Rocky Romero Recalls Gedo’s Reaction To AJ Styles’ NJPW Departure

AJ Styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura

Rocky Romero has recalled the moment Gedo found out AJ Styles was leaving NJPW and how he instantly chose his next star.

The wrestling world was shaken to its core in the January of 2016 when top NJPW Stars AJ Styles, Karl Anderson, Doc Gallows, and Shinsuke Nakamura all left the company for a move to WWE. While WWE instantly inserted all four guys into top programs across NXT and the main roster, NJPW management was caught off-guard by the mass exit.

Speaking to Bobby Fish on “The Undisputed Podcast”, the eight-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion recalled the backstage unravelling in New Japan when the news about the departures was brought to the knowledge of the management.

Romero talked about how Anderson and Gallows let him know the news a night before Wrestle Kingdom 10, and that it was the only thing he and the Young Bucks could think of while preparing for their match at the Tokyo Dome show:

“This was a day before the Tokyo Dome, and I knew what was going to happen because… Anderson and Gallows, we’re really tight, and they had to kind of tell me the night before ‘Hey, we’re going to talk to the boss man and let him know that we’re out of here, and AJ’s going, and we’re going right after him’… so we’re all trying to make the match, but I remember the Bucks and I were, like, invested in these two.”

The Chaos member then discussed how he was looking forward to Gedo’s reaction to the information, who was dumbfounded by the news of Styles leaving, but then immediately made up his mind that Kenny Omega would be the next top guy for the Japanese promotion:

“We’re trying… like, really trying to watch what was going to happen in this whole conversation… when they broke the news to Gedo that they were leaving, that they were on their way out. So we’re kind of watching the whole thing, and that was the day we saw…

I literally saw Gedo go ‘Oh s**t, you guys are leaving, AJ’s leaving, oh man.’ He’s totally feeling it, then he scans the room, and he just sees Kenny (Omega) and then it’s like ‘Okay, AJ’s out.’ You could just see it in his face. He just locked eyes on Kenny and he’s like ‘Kenny’s the guy now.’ It kind of went down all at the same time, it was pretty cool.”

While Karl Anderson is the current NEVER Openweight Champion, he has not ruled out the possibility of a WWE return now that his and Doc Gallows’ Impact Wresting contracts have expired.

h/t Wrestling Inc.