Kevin Kelly has strong feelings about NJPW's relationship with ROH.
Appearing on the Super J-Cast, NJPW announcer Kevin Kelly was helping preview Wrestle Kingdom 13 event. The discussion moved to the bout between Zack Sabre Jr and Tomohiro Ishii for the RPW British Heavyweight Title. NJPW and RevPro established a working relationship in 2015 and Wrestle Kingdom 13 will mark the first time the RPW British Heavyweight Title will be defended at a Wrestle Kingdom event.
While previewing the match, Kelly discussed the difference between NJPW's working relationship with RPW compared to their agreement with ROH.
"When I was in ROH, (RevPro promoter) Andy (Quinlan) was trying to get ROH to sort of listen to him, and he has some really good ideas. For whatever reason, they weren’t interested," said Kelly. "I always looked at Andy as this is a guy with a vision, this is a guy who sees the importance of this relationship other than just selling tickets. It’s not just, let’s just use NJPW like a girl that you call when you’re drunk and you need to get laid. That’s kind of what I always felt like ROH did with New Japan."
Kelly continued, "They never really did anything with them, they just needed them to sell tickets, but I think Andy sees the benefit of this, and sees growing his brand and also helping New Japan grow in terms of the UK, which is a saturated market to begin with. And yes, he’s doing it to sell tickets, but there’s a mutual benefit for the New Japan stars, who are treated like gods in the UK. It’s amazing to see, the fans love them and they love the fans."
NJPW has working agreements with multiple companies and the newly formed All Elite Wrestling are now vying for their services as well. NJPW and ROH are scheduled to hold a joint Supercard event at Madison Square Garden the night before WrestleMania 35.
(Thanks to Jonathan Ma for part of the transcription)