Hello! The Characters of NJPW is back to your reading screen of choice. Before we get things started though, here’s a reminder about our main objective:

This series will try to give newcomers to New Japan, as well as people curious towards its product, a feel as for how each of their wrestlers operate, what their motivations are, how their story drives them to be who they are, and how their actions inside and outside of the squared circle further their personas. Although this will contain historical data and a brief description of each wrestler’s past, its main goal is not meant to be a comprehensive guide to a performer’s history and achievements. Rather, we intend focus on two main topics: Character and in-ring work, to see how each wrestler on NJPW sets themselves apart from the rest of the roster, and what makes them truly unique and worth investing. If you want to check all the previous parts (the Part thing is getting ridiculous, I know, but now I’m committed), here’s a list with all the articles done up until now, each readable by clicking on the wrestler’s name. Okay, now let’s get this money.

You know, sometimes, people have to do outrageous things to chase their dreams. Roadblocks get themselves on the way, and it takes a lot of persistence, a lot of balls to continue. When you have the biggest chance that could probably come in your entire life to realize your dreams, and lose it, what do you do? For today’s subject, the solution was to dig deeper and take an even greater risk in order to improve and achieve his goals. Now, he enjoys a healthy rise, with great things on his horizon. Today, we talk about the bet on yourself story of one of the most fiery wrestlers on the planet, Juice Robinson.

Juice Robinson

Introduction: In WWE’s developmental grounds, there seemed to be a certain limit. A struggling wrestler, hated by the crowd, the man then known as CJ Parker had his talent recognized by more famous, successful peers. But still, he more often than not would stare at the lights, wondering what was going wrong, getting passed over by hotter, better performers. Forward movement was getting sparse. So, when workers underperform, despite any perceived talents, they find themselves out of a job, more often than not. And so, that’s what happened. Parker was out of the biggest company in the world, without any real momentum to come back in. What now?

What happened next is that he took himself a risk. He could have toured on smaller independents and made an honest living. But he wanted to improve. He desired for more. And so, he started again. By going to NJPW, and subjecting himself to the Dojo and its famous methods of training. He rechristened himself as Juice Robinson. And started again, as little more than a rookie, a Young Lion. Over time, he learned a new style, which complimented his talents, and slowly but surely, not only secured his place in the company, but the hope for better things within New Japan’s landscape. Now, let’s talk about what got Robinson’s star on the rise.

Characters: Heart and Honor. Over his time in wrestling, Juice Robinson had to transform to survive. From a somewhat cocky upstart looking to reaffirm his trajectory, to a humble, hungry competitor looking to start over, and learn things all over again, in search of the missing pieces. But surviving was not enough. He wanted to reach his dreams, the source of his passion. And so, those two words became Juice’s ethos and inspiration, and over time, allowed him to keep pushing whenever things got rough. And man oh man, did they ever. After an uninspired run in NXT, the opportunity to go to a big company like New Japan had a stroke of luck to it. Also, once he got there, they gave him nothing. He started a Young Lion, despite already having been a rookie somewhere else for years.

But, in surprisingly traditional Japanese fashion, Robinson took his lumps, showed his desired, and in time, both his new peers and the crowd took to him. With good reason. Robinson’s passion wouldn’t allow him to accept any other result. And also, he didn’t come all this way to start over, and not do it the right way. His dreams were too strong for him to just hack into a job. So, he took to his surroundings well, and got to learn from the very best NJPW had to offer. In the beginning, the competition was too stiff, even more so for a guy who couldn’t do it consistently on a developmental scale.

But the willingness to do it despite the hardships spoke volumes. Robinson adopted the traditional fighting spirit and made it into something his of his own. Heart and Honor. What was once his drive is now his signature. Those are the two missing pieces that tied it all together, to finally make his talent click. He had to reinvent, and he did so. Now, his trajectory is moving upwards. From an overwhelmed rookie with a deep-lying talent, to a passionate, proud performer, who not only belongs on one of the best rosters on the world, but can stand out and is capable of achieving big accolades on his own. And if other obstacles get on the way, fine. Robinson’s soul is gonna keep his aspirations alive, the eternal fire firmly lit inside his being.

In-ring work: We can argue if Juice Robinson was overwhelmed from the cultural aspects of NJPW and Japanese culture in general once he got there. But there’s no question he was, at least in the start, totally outmatched when he first got in the company. The hard hitting, diverse, intensively competitive style of the King of Sports was too much for a former underwhelming perfomer to handle, his distinctively American style not being able to translate to any result of substance. But then he started to implement, little by little, elements of the Japanese style to his moveset and demeanor, which worked surprisingly well.

Now an exciting hybrid with a more devastating arsenal of moves, Juice is working out the kinks to great effect. Blessed with size, strength and good athletic ability, he also has high energy, tremendous perseverance, and is able to keep himself on any match thanks to the high impact of his offense, which still has a distinctive modern American flavor, but also a Japanese edge. Case in point, moves like his finisher, the Pulp Friction, an inverted double underhook facebuster, is as North American as they come. But it he does it with an extra oomph by ading a jump to it. Other such moves include the falling powerbomb and Crescent Kick, the Jumping Lariat, a fast cannonball splash, and the Juice is Loose front facelock drop, as well as the reverse falling DDT as maneuvers likes to employ.

With such a high-octane style and fire will, Juice has slowly made himself into not only a respectable opponent, but a certified threat. However, questions about how successful can he be still remain, because as well as he competes, he still has trouble into putting forward any strategy beyond fighting hard and hoping for the best, which is undoubtedly a big necessity, but it’s also, in most cases, not enough to do the job consistently at the highest level. The journey now is to find something else, a new wrinkle or gear, that can take him to the promised land. Big journeys, however, are not a foreign concept for someone who calls himself the Moonchild. And so, Robinson will keep traveling towards that uncertain destination. Forever fueled by pure fire. Always guided by Heart and Honor.

Thank you so much for your continued support to this series! If you’d like, I set up a Patreon Page if you want to donate and help me continue to produce better content. The articles will continue to stay free, of course. This is just an easy avenue if you have the willingness and means to contribute with any amount you can, so I can keep doing these more and more. As always, any feedback and suggestions are appreciated. See you next time!

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