Fred Rosser is getting another shot on the national scene, and he wants it to lead to the global scene.
After years off of television, Rosser returned on the New Japan USA scene this month and emerged victorious. In a new interview with Fightful, he explains how it came about.
Rosser had a handful of matches in the last two years, only seven listed on cagematch.net's profile for him. Many wondered if he'd ever make it back, or if he'd decided to step away. After speaking with us in Chicago last year, Young said he had a chance meeting that changed everything.
"How it all happened was last year, September, I ran into a show with Lance Hoyt in Pomona, California. Him and I came up in the FCW system in 2010. So, fast forward to 2019 in Pomona, California when I ran into him at a show, and he had gave me this flyer, this New Japan flyer, that they were doing a show at the Globe Theatre, so I saved it. He gave this to me, September 2019, and November 11th at 7 PM at the Globe Theater, New Japan was doing a show. So, he gave this to me. I held onto it. The show was at 7," Rosser said. "I got there at 5 to meet all the wrestlers and to kinda feel the ring out a little bit. September 11th tomorrow, it’ll be 18 years I’ve been wrestling. I still wanted to feel the ring. It’s a different ring. It’s a hard ring. I wanted to be able to watch the show from beginning to end to see if I fit in. That was the one question that was going through my head because I was in their little VIP section, watching the show from beginning to end, and that same question, “I’m here to see do I fit in. Do I fit in? Do I fit in?” After it was all said and done, and the show was done, I said to myself, “Man, I can hang with these guys. I can really go.” I talked to Rocky Romero after the show and I said, “Man, I’ve wrestled all over the world, but any time WWE was doing a tour of Japan, I was always on a different tour. I was either on the UK tour or not on tour at all.” So, it’s always been a bucket list of mine to compete for New Japan, and I told Rocky that. This was November of 2019."
As of now, Rosser does not have a New Japan contract. He's not opposed to signing anywhere, but his focus is on New Japan, and getting overseas so he can make some of his personal dream matches happen. Rocky Romero put in the call to bring Rosser in.
"May or June of this year, Rocky Romero had called me up," Rosser recalled. "He told me about this opportunity with New Japan and I was on cloud nine. I said, “Rocky, let me just get back to you. I gotta talk to my family,” and my family gave me the blessing to give it a shot. It sounded like a great opportunity for following the protocol with the COVID testing and all that stuff. I called up Rocky—actually, I hadn’t told my family. So, Rocky told me about this opportunity and then two days later Rocky texted me again and was like, “Have you talked to your family?” I said, “Rocky, I’m gonna talk to them this afternoon or at night and get their blessing.” So, I finally talked to my family and they blessed me with the opportunity to compete with New Japan. I called up Rocky and I said, “Yeah. Let’s do it.”
Rosser said that his 2020 plans changed, just like everyone else's. A NJPW veteran actually motivated him to branch out into a form of entertainment he hadn't been in before.
"January or February, I had signed on to do my first ever musical, off Broadway musical where I was singing, dancing, and acting in New York. So, the reason why I did that was because there was an opportunity to kinda step out of wrestling box and do something different. It was Chris Jericho that, not literally encouraged me, but from his stint on Dancing with the Stars, I said to myself, “Well, if he can do it, so can I.” So, I signed on to do this musical in January and February of this year and it was the best decision I ever made. I would do it again in a heart beat. Then the pandemic hit in March and it is what it is," said Rosser.
The musical wasn't meant to be, but New Japan was.
You can see our full interview with the former Darren Young at the top of the page. He can also be seen every Friday night on NJPW Strong.
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