Wrestle Kingdom 11, New Japan Pro Wrestling’s flagship event, is just two weeks away! And here at With Spandex, we could think of no better way to kick off our coverage than an interview with one of the men you’ll see in action. Maybe you know him as Trent?, or perhaps you know him as half of the Best Friends. But in New Japan, his name is Beretta, where he and Rocky Romero are collectively known as Roppongi Vice. And together, they’re currently the #1 contenders for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships. But it’s been a long road to the Tokyo Dome, and Beretta was kind enough to sit down with us this past weekend and talk about how he’s arrived at this point.
Let’s talk about your transition to New Japan Pro Wrestling. What was the post-WWE timeframe for that? There were a few stops at TNA and some various independent promotions.
I did indies right off the bat. I did PWG [Pro Wrestling Guerilla] early, maybe once my 90 days was up. Then I did [NJPW Best of the] Super Juniors that year, a few months after being released. I did fine, I thought I did good, they were happy with everything. But it’s so hard to get into New Japan. There was no spot for me on the main roster, so I floated around. I did indies, did TNA a couple of times. Literally two different tapings. One was two shows, the other was one show. I wrestled everywhere, and then suddenly, I got hurt. I was like, “Oh shit, this is bad.” Right when I’m about to heal up, Alex Koslov is leaving New Japan. They had remembered me and thought I was okay … Next thing you know, I’m on a leg that’s barely healed and full-time wrestling in Japan ever since.
Is New Japan starting to feel like home now?
Yeah, it’s definitely feeling like home. The locker room’s great, it feels like a family. You’re with those guys so much, it’d be shitty if I didn’t get along with everybody. But I do! I love that place. At least for a foreigner, it doesn’t feel political at all. You just go there, you be yourself in the locker room, you don’t have to be weird and make sure you shake everybody’s hand every day. Then you go wrestle, and you have freedom to do whatever you want. So I love that.