New Japan Pro Wrestling superstar Juice Robinson, who previously wrestled for WWE NXT as CJ Parker, spoke with members of the media this week ahead of the upcoming NJPW G1 Special in San Francisco.
Juice will be in action on July 7th live at the world famous Cow Palace, as he steps into the biggest match of his career challenging “Switchblade” Jay White for the IWGP U.S. Heavyweight Championship. The entire event, headlined by Kenny Omega defending the IWGP Heavyweight Championship against Cody Rhodes, will be broadcast live on AXS TV, kicking off at 8/7c.
Recently, Kevin Owens stirred up Twitter by randomly tweeting out that Juice was the “best promo in wrestling”. While the Chicago born star does not currently partake in social media, and so understandably had not heard what Owens said about him, he did take it as a massive compliment coming from the best talker in WWE.
“I didn’t know that he tweeted that! Kevin’s a huge fan of mine. He has been for a long time, every since we became friends when I broke his nose. Coming from him that’s a huge, huge compliment. I think he’s the best promo, so him saying that to me – wow, that really makes me feel good. I don’t know if I agree with him, but hey, I’m just being myself. Coming from him, that’s awesome.”
Juice famously left WWE NXT back in 2015 after being unhappy with his role in the company, betting on himself and essentially starting from scratch as a member of the New Japan Dojo. He told the story of his relationship with NXT head trainer Matt bloom, and the conversations they had prior to his departure.
“We became friends because he was a fan of the CJ Parker character. He thought it was cool, and we used to sit around and talk about different things with the character. But we became friends before anything.”
“He knew I was frustrated the whole time, and would always try to give me pointers and help me try to stay positive. The frustration continued to climb, and I told him, ‘I’m not gonna be here very much longer. I can’t stand it – I gotta get out of here.’ And he said, ‘If you ever do leave her, let me try to get you a look from New Japan.’ I didn’t think I could [work in New Japan].”
“Around that time I saw Wrestle Kingdom 9 and I was watching Tanahashi and Okada, Nakamura – and then I started to really get into it. I watched the G1 and AJ [Styles] was a big part of that. I went back and watched Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi from Buddokan a few years back. It’s really not that much different from WWE. It’s what I wish WWE was – more wrestling, less talking and less bullshit. More telling the story in the ring, and more classic pro wrestling.”
“I got lucky. We were in the Bay Area for WrestleMania and they were inducting Tatsumi Fujinama into the Hall of Fame. Tiger Hatori and the NJPW President were at Axxess and they came to see Matt Bloom, and I just so happened to be going out to wrestling Baron Corbin. I didn’t know they were there. I was joking around, just having fun, because I already told Matt that I was done and it would be my last weekend.”