Juice Robinson compares the start of his run in New Japan to the start of his run in NXT.
Formerly known as C.J. Parker, Juice Robinson took a chance on himself and departed from the NXT brand to carve his own path and he soon found himself working for New Japan Pro Wrestling and fast forward to present day and Juice is a two-time and the current IWGP U.S. Heavyweight Champion. Juice has told of the story of how WWE Performance Coach Matt Bloom introduced him to Tiger Hattori and Naoki Sugabayashi at a WrestleMania AXXESS show which ultimately led to Juice joining NJPW.
Juice praised NJPW booker Gedo for taking a chance on him and providing him with the platform to bring a character that he feels works to the forefront. Robinson expressed those feelings when he joined Chris Jericho's 'Talk Is Jericho' podcast that was recently released but recorded in January prior to Wrestle Kingdom 13. Juice compared the start of his run in WWE to the start of his run in New Japan and questioned the methods of developing a character that were in place in NXT.
“Dude, that’s the other thing: Everybody’s just like, ‘Oh my God, he’s so much better now. He’s improved’. I really feel like I’m about the same [that] I’ve always been. I just think Gedo was the first guy that was like, ‘Just go wrestle’ and then he saw kind of how I was and then, he liked it and said, ‘You should do more of that’. He told me… he made the flamboyant, he’s the one, ‘Oh yeah, you should wear crazy costumes’. He loves when I just yell profanity." Juice laughed. "I mean we’re toning it down now but when I first got here I was just yelling…. Yeah and they don’t care because it’s like you can say the f-word as loud as you want in front of a 4-year old. They just laugh: ‘Ah, he’s being American’. The f-word is not a thing here. They don’t really have cuss words and like half of the Japanese dudes use the f-word too. But yeah, I think Gedo was just the first guy who gave me a chance and then was patient too because I just feel like in NXT it was like, ‘Alright, CJ Parker. You got dreads so you’re a hippy. We made this 70s light-up gimmick when you come out. This rip-off Jimi Hendrix song. Alright, we’re practicing your entrance. What? You’re just gonna walk to the ring? Why would you just walk to the ring?’ Michael Hayes [goes], ‘You gotta dance’. Well I can’t dance. I can’t sing or dance. Triple H, Pat Patterson, all these guys, ‘Ok I’ll dance’. I don’t know and why was I a hippie just because I had dreadlocks? I don’t know.”
Juice Robinson is currently on the Wrestling Dontaku tour and to check out the results from day two of the tour, head over to Fightful's "results" page.
If the quote in this article is used, please credit Talk Is Jericho with an H/T to Fightful for the transcription.