New Japan Pro Wrestling‘s Juice Robinson‘s profile has risen dramatically over the past few years. The former CJ Parker left NXT as a wrestler best known for a bad gimmick and injuring Kevin Owens. But after training in the New Japan dojo and joining their heavyweight division, Robinson has become a fan favorite (especially in Tokyo), an all-around much more entertaining wrestler, and has been called one of the best English language promos in the game. At NJPW’s G1 Special In San Francisco, Robinson’s IWGP U.S. Championship match with dojo-classmate-turned-Knife-Pervert Jay White is one of several highly anticipate bouts on a stacked card.
Robinson spoke to press on a conference call hosted by AXS TV about this title shot, his WWE past, his Japanese wrestling future, and more. Excerpts from the press conference are below, and have been edited for length and clarity.
With Spandex: Hi Juice, I was wondering if you want to tell us anything about your strategy for competing with a broken hand?
Juice Robinson: Well, I know that New Japan announced that if I use it as a weapon – because there is a hard splint on the outside and underneath of my hand, so it’s considered a weapon… It’s funny to me because I don’t know if Suzukigun can use weapons all they want, but I can’t use a cast, but I can’t use it as a weapon, and I’m going to have to keep it away from Jay, because if he gets to my hand the match isn’t going to last very long… So I gotta play keep away.
With Spandex: Things have been getting pretty heated, to say the least, between you and Jay over the Kizuna Road tour and at Dominion. Did you expect this type of behavior from Jay back in your dojo days, and why do you think he’s changed the way he has?
Juice Robinson: I did not. In fact, I didn’t think that Jay would go this way even around Dominion time. I thought Jay was just kind of a guy trying to act like something that he wasn’t. I didn’t think that the Switchblade character had much to it. I thought it was the same old Jay White… yeah, he proved me wrong.
I think that he’s frustrated with what he’s done so far as U.S. champion. I don’t think that he’s had as much spotlight as Kenny Omega, and I think that he feels deep down that the title’s lost a little bit of luster ever since it passed from Kenny to him. I think there’s a lot of frustration that he’s feeling right now, and he took it out on me and my poor hand.
With Spandex: Social media is a big part of being a wrestler these days, or for building their brand, but you are not on social media. Why are you not on social media, and are you worried at all that that could hurt your career?
Juice Robinson: No, I don’t think it will hurt my career at all… I think social media’s silly. There’s a lot of guys on there, some of my friends, who just go on there, and the things they say – even our president, the things he says on there – it’s just something I don’t want be a part of… If you want to see me, come to the matches… see me curtain to curtain. You don’t need to know what I had for lunch… I could get drunk and say something that I shouldn’t, hurt somebody’s feelings, open up a can of worms that I don’t want to. Some people just aren’t meant to have it.