New Japan star Rocky Romero -- currently one-half of RPG Vice, along with Beretta -- was rumored to be on WWE's radar recently as a potential trainer and coach for the Performance Center. That buzz may have helped him land a somewhat unusual two-year contract with NJPW, according to Ryan Satin at Pro Wrestling Sheet.
Here's the information that Pro Wrestling Sheet obtained:
Sources close to the situation tell us Rocky had been working on a "handshake deal" with New Japan â but once the wrestling company caught wind of WWE's interest, they began trying to lock him down.
We're told the recent reported talent exodus from New Japan and WWE wanting him as a trainer influenced the company to offer a two-year deal -- instead of their normal one-year contracts -- plus, the wrestler can still work for Ring of Honor and take indie bookings.
Romero is well-known to longtime independent wrestling fans. He first popped up on North American fans' radar as one-half of the Havana Pitbulls (with partner Ricky Reyes, now best known as Lucha Underground's Cortez Castro), who debuted in Ring of Honor in 2004 and became ROH's longest-reigning tag team champions to that point.
He has also worked in Japan and Mexico as Black Tiger IV, taking up the mantle previously worn by Rollerball Rocco, Eddie Guerrero and Silver King. Romero has been working with several Southern California promotions as an occasional trainer in recent years. He's a three-time ROH tag champ, a former IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion and a five-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion.