Tony Khan credits Rocky Romero as a vital figure in the process of putting AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door together.
Rocky Romero is sometimes seen as the human representative of the Forbidden Door; in 2021, he wrestled for AEW, NJPW, IMPACT Wrestling, and MLW, among other promotions. Long before Forbidden Door was even rumored, his influential role behind the scenes in NJPW helped strengthen the connection between the companies.
During the post-show media scrum, Khan discussed the process of collaborating on the show with NJPW, particularly from a booking perspective. He credited NJPW booker Gedo for his input and pointed out how Rocky Romero has helped build the relationship between the two companies.
“Now that it’s done, I’ve equated it to like a submarine movie where there’s two mission keys. I think being on-site, I have been like the captain, but I think I’ve had people working beside me that have had the same key and they can [use] veto power over stuff. So we put a lot of things in place here and have quarterbacked it from here in America. But Gedo had really valuable input. It was very gratifying to meet him in person because through the pandemic, we built this partnership through our mutual friend, Rocky Romero.
Later in the call, Khan emphasized that Romero has been on hundreds of phone calls to make Forbidden Door come together, and he stated that the show wouldn’t have been possible without him. Khan also acknowledged that dealing with the injuries and other obstacles the shows faced was challenging, but it still turned out very well.
“So it was really a cool experience getting into this together,” said Khan. “There’s probably nobody who could elaborate on it better than a person I’ve spent hundreds of hours on the phone with, who’s standing in the back of the room, who wrestled his ass off tonight and is a huge reason this came together, and that’s Rocky Romero, who deserves [claps]. He’s been the person who’s done hundreds and hundreds of phone calls and messages in between myself and Gedo, and with his own ideas, and he’s just responsible for this as anybody. And there’s no way we would be doing this right now if it wasn’t for Rocky Romero, and I just think the world of him, so thank you Rocky. Appreciate you. It’s been a pleasure working with him, and we’ve worked side by side to help. With Rocky here, he’s been able to get feedback for me [and] ideas.
“It’s been a pleasure. It’s been a big challenge I think on both sides because there’s been injuries and stuff on both sides. When I finally met Gedo last night, I don’t think he’d mind me saying he came in and he said, I’m sorry about the thing with Hiromu [Takahashi] and some of the challenges and I said, I’m sorry about CM Punk and Bryan Danielson, but I think it’s gonna work out great. I think we’re gonna together have one of our best shows for either company,’ and I think it was. So I’m really proud of what we did, I’m proud of what they did. We came together and we had a great night, AEW and New Japan, and it wouldn’t have been possible without you, Rock, so thanks, man.”
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