Interview: Juice Robinson of New Japan Pro Wrestling
Hot off the trail after a ultra successful Wrestle Kingdom 12 which was recently held at the massive 55,000 capacity Tokyo Dome and has created intense global interest. New Japan Pro Wrestling has officially announced their first ever tour of Australia. Led by the man they call ‘’The Cleaner’’ Kenny Omega the most talked about wrestler on the planet NJPW is bound to thrill Wrestling purists and straight out fans alike!
Joining Omega are the like of IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada, Cody, The Young Bucks, IWGP Intercontinental Champion Minoru Suzuki, IWGP Tag Team Champions ‘’King Of Darkness’’ Evil and Sanada, IWGP United States Champion Jay White, IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion Will Ospreay, Lance Archer, Ishii, Juice, Nagata.. and plenty more!
These events will assuredly send shockwaves through the world of professional wrestling. NJPW is coming to Australia because the fans have demanded it! This is the company’s first full international tour! The hottest brand in professional wrestling New Japan Pro Wrestling continues is global branding in 2018 and it kicks off in Australia! It might have just set on their biggest event of the year, but The Rising Sun is now headed Down Under and there is sure to be plenty of FALLOUT! This is one event you will not want to miss. We were lucky enough to speak with fan favourite, Juice Robinson, before this must see tour kicks off tomorrow!
Are you getting excited and pumped up for this Fallout Downunder Tour?
I am man, it's going to be cool. I've never wrestled in Australia, so I can't wait just to see what it looks like. I can't wait to meet the lovely people there, drink a beer, have a good time and put on some great matches for you guys. It's going to be a hell of a time!
It'll also be a good test to see how over New Japan is in another country like Australia, I'm really looking forward to seeing just how the fans take to the shows and the spectacle. It'll be cool to see how familiar they are with the product and everyone's character, who get get the biggest boos and who gets the biggest cheers. It's always fun to wrestle in a new country and in front of new people.
What is it about the Juice character that people are drawn to and why do you think you've become such a fan favourite with the Japanese audience?
Yeah, I think in Japan especially because I was a Young Lion, they fans have appreciated my journey from that stage of my career to where I am now. I connect with the audience in a way that, well, it hasn't been easy for me and it still isn't easy for me, but they can see how passionate I am about wrestling and just how much I love the sport and competition. I think when I'm out there in the ring, doing my thing, they see me having so much fun and they sort of feed of my energy, it's sort of contagious.
What's the key difference between training in NXT and training as a Young Lion? Is it the nature and nurture or is it a coincidence that New Japan Young Lion's seem immediately more prepared and well rounded compared to those from NXT?
I think that NXT is great, it taught me the fundamentals and they got drilled into my head. I just needed a change of scenery because I felt stuck at the point in my career, I wanted a fresh environment. So when I came to New Japan, that was a shot in the arm that I needed, I adapted different styles, I worked with new people, I learned all sorts of different elements of professional wrestling. I fell in love with it, the rest is history, I mean I loved my time in NXT but things have been awesome since coming to New Japan that's for sure.
On his favourite opponents in NXT and in NJPW: My favourite opponent in NXT was Tyler Breeze, not so much what we did on TV but what we did together up and down the smaller towns. We just always had a really good time together and we had great chemistry, he's just so damn good man.
In New Japan, I just love wrestling EVIL, I think we've only really had 2 or 3 singles matches, but I don't know what it is, we're a similar age, we both like to hit hard, every time I wrestle EVIL it's just so damn enjoyable.
What does Juice Robinson have his sights set on in 2018? Do you have a goal that you'd like to achieve?
I'd like to be in the New Japan Cup, and in the G1 Climax, also I'd love to be in the Tag Team League Tournament also. I just want to be on all of the major shows and try to just grow from where I was in 2017, and continue my progress, get my match quality higher and just improve on everything basically. Character evolution is important as well, so there might be something new in that sense.
Could you tell us what sort of music you enjoy listening to? Whether it's in the gym, getting pumped before a match, or just while you travel around the world.
Man, I have a love for all kinds of music, I love The Beatles, The Stones, The Who, lots of classic rock. Then I also get into bands like Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers, I like all kinds of stuff. Not so much hip-hop or country music, but I just can't go past rock and roll when it comes to music.