Wednesday, December 9, 2015

NXT Advent Calendar Day 9: The former CJ Parker takes Japan!

Image credit: Wikipedia.
I have a ton of respect for Juice Robinson, the artist formerly known as CJ Parker. A talented independent wrestler before his time in NXT, he realized early in 2015 that any push he had was completely stalled. He was already serving as little more than a jobber for incoming talent, with losses to Kevin Owens and Solomon Crowe during his final few weeks with the company. So he did something very few people have the balls to do: he asked for his release so he can go out and make his name elsewhere, with the door to be open to possibly return in the future.

Few people would give up the guaranteed paycheck a WWE superstar gets, one that is usually more than most folks can make on the indies. But Parker did and for a brief time had quite a run on the indies as CJP ranging across the Midwest, Northeast and Florida. When he announced his retirement a couple months later, people were shocked, only to find out he was only retiring the CJP and gimmick. His old name Juice Robinson was back and he was going to Japan full time under contract to NJPW.

And Juice seems to be doing it right in Japan. He's frequently in the first one or two matches on the card, but his fun loving babyface character has captured the Japanese fans' imaginations. Few gaijin get to play the face in Japan, but he does it to perfection, even when he's in peril from some of the dastardly villains on the roster.

For example, take this match from the first day of the World Tag League, where Juice teamed with the legendary Tiger Mask IV to take on The Addiction, Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian. The result was a great match that even when he's losing, Juice looks amazing.

Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian vs... by mbahbomaye

The future seems bright for the young star, even if it never comes with another NXT or WWE run.

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