Fred Rosser Addresses Being Left Out of AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door and More

NJPW Strong Openweight Champion Fred Rosser recently spoke with Forbes for an in-depth conversation about all things pro-wrestling. Here are the highlights:

Winning the NJPW Openweight Championship:

“It was a defining moment for me,” said Rosser in an exclusive interview.

“Because in the final seconds leading up to the finish of the match, it didn’t matter whether I was Black, gay, straight, it did not matter because people in attendance in Philadelphia were rooting for me to win. The reaction was different, it was like a roar from the crowd. It was like a last-second buzzer beater in basketball or a field goal in football.”

His Dream Opponent:

“Jon Moxley,” Rosser said without hesitation when asked whom his ideal AEW opponent would be.

“I believe he’d bring the best out of me, and vice versa. I don’t think people would expect us to have a banger match, but I really feel deep in my heart that we would have a banger.”

“Working with Tom Lawlor—a lot of people don’t like competition. A lot of people do not like competition, but I love competition. I take it head-on. I like when an S.O.B. is better than me because it’s going to push me to go further, it’s going to push me to be sharp in the ring and to be in the ring and to be on my game. So I love Tom Lawlor, and I love Jon Moxley so I’d love to share the ring with them. We would both bring the best out of one another.”

Being left off AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door:

“A bucket list of mine is definitely working in Japan, doing Forbidden Door in Japan and maybe someday working with AEW. I’ve made it public that they said no to me, not once, but twice. And WWE also said no to me over 40 times. I did not take no for an answer, I put my head down and went to work.”

“You know what motivates me the most? Is, of all people, my dad,” Rosser continued.

“My dad is the person that got me into wrestling. I can show you texts messages of him saying ‘why ain’t you signed to AEW? Everybody else is getting signed, you feel small.’ I’m like ‘yo, dad is saying this to you?’ so he was at the ECW arena when I won the championship, and I really wanted to just shove this title in his face and say ‘look, are you proud of me, dad? Are you proud of me?’ But I didn’t. I showed him, I said ‘look, I did it dad,’ and he gave me a hug. My dad’s my biggest hater and he motivates me to push forward. Never settle, never settle.”

Facing fellow LGBTQ athlete Anthony Bowens:

“As Vince McMahon would say, ‘never say never in the World Wrestling Entertainment.’ That’s my worst Vince McMahon impersonation, but never say never,” Rosser said about a potential match against Bowens.

“Anthony, he’s making moves in AEW. I would love him to scissor me, but you’ve got to understand that when he gets in the ring with Mr. No Days Off, I’m a different breed. My style is different. You can’t prepare for me.”