NJPW News: Juice Robinson talks about his time in NXT and more
The former CJ Parker talks NXT, New Japan and a whole lot more with Colt Cabana.
What’s the story?
Juice Robinson made an appearance on Colt Cabana’s Art of Wrestling podcast recently to talk about his journey from WWE developmental all the way to challenging for the NEVER Openweight Championship in New Japan Pro Wrestling.
Robinson, known as CJ Parker in NXT, spoke positively of his time developmental, saying ’It was a lot of fun and I was getting better and I was learning how to work’, he further spoke about working with current WWE stars Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Cesaro.
Everything changed when FCW morphed into NXT and Robinson became something of a jobber to incoming stars. It was clear that he was going nowhere fast in the company, and after being left off a big NXT card, Robinson left the company.
Later in the interview, Robinson spoke of his love for working in New Japan Pro Wrestling and revealed that he had no desire of leaving the company anytime soon.
In case you didn’t know...
Juice Robinson signed a developmental contract with WWE in 2011 and subsequently spent four years with the company before requesting his release in 2015.
The last years of Parker’s career in NXT were spent putting over the many independent standouts who came into the company, including putting over Kevin Owens, in the current WWE Universal Champion’s first match in the company.
Four months later, he turned up in NJPW as a Young Lion, a decision that confused many at the time but has since proven to be the best thing he could have done. Robinson has gone from strength to strength in Japan and looks set for a huge 2017.
Here’s the full episode of Colt Cabana’s podcast featuring Robinson:
The heart of the matter
Many believed that Robinson was crazy to give up what most see as a ‘dream job’ in order to work from the bottom of the ladder in a foreign country, but the man from Joliet, Illinois has since proven that hard work really does pay off.
If Robinson returns to WWE further down the line, he will do so as a far better performer with a far better standing in the pro wrestling world.
Robinson may have come up short in challenging Hirooki Goto for the NEVER Openweight Championship at NJPW: The New Beginning, but his performances since that show hint that Goto may not have gotten rid of him just yet.
Regardless of whether Robinson wins gold in New Japan this year, he is certainly evolving into a hugely valuable performer in the middle of the stacked NJPW roster.
Juice Robinson may well have been 2016’s most improved major wrestler, and if he continues to improve at such a rate in 2017, the wrestling world could well have something special on their hands.
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