The final lineup for 2019’s Super J-Cup is out there for all to see. One name that immediately pops out is Rocky Romero. A longtime competitor in both Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro-Wrestling, Rocky sat down with NJPW1972.com to talk about the entire tournament and his place in it.
It’s Rocky’s first time in the Super J-Cup, and he’s stoked to be a part of it. “For a junior heavyweight, the J-Cup is the tournament that got a lot of us hooked on pro wrestling. Even more than Best of the Super Juniors, that was the tournament that made the rounds among people who were getting into NJPW and Japanese wrestling in the late 90s and early 2000s. To be in it is a dream I never thought would be possible.”
It’s one thing to participate in an ongoing tradition, but what makes it special is the competition that you get to face in the tournament. When asked about veteran stars like Amazing Red also making it into the tourney, Rocky knows that fans are in for a treat. “He’s so, so, influential. Put simply, this guy has innovated more maneuvers than anyone can count that are still being used today. Look at his Code Red, which Goto uses a version of today.” Rocky notes that Red is planning on retiring soon, and it was Will Osprey on Twitter who convinced him to step up to the competition. Those two will face in the first round in Tacoma, Washington.
Another big name that American fans might be more familiar with than local Japanese fans is TJP. Wrestling in both IMPACT and WWE in recent years, Rocky is very familiar with the former WWE Cruiserweight Champion.
TJP’s technical skills are going to mesh really well with Connors’ amateur background, I think. And TJP was in a Young Lions Cup himself back in the day (in 2004 as Pinoy Boy, TJP went 2-2-3, including scoring a win over Hirooki Goto) so he’s familiar with the Japanese system. New fans are in for a treat with him. He’s so smooth, just flawless with his technical execution in the ring. He’s a treat to watch.