Juice Robinson is returning to singles competition.
Embarking on a critical run, Robinson seeks to build momentum over the next three months into free agency in 2022.
“I’ll be a free agent [in] February,” Robinson says. “It’s a great time in wrestling to show up anywhere, and maybe it’s the right time for me to spread my wings and fly.”
Although he had a brief run in Ring of Honor and a more recent tenure in Impact Wrestling (where he briefly held the tag titles with David Finlay as part of FinJuice), Robinson is best known for his work in New Japan Pro-Wrestling. That is where he beat the likes of Kenny Omega, Jon Moxley and “Switchblade” Jay White. And after his tag run with Finlay, New Japan is also where he plans to reignite his singles career, beginning on Saturday at the Battle in the Valley show in San Jose.
“Maybe people forgot I can get it done as a singles guy,” Robinson says. “But they’re going to remember really quickly when they see me on Saturday.”
Robinson is set to square off against Moose, the reigning Impact champion. This is a non-title match, but Moose’s belt is a commodity Robinson would relish.
“This Saturday is going to be my jumping-off point to show the world what I can do, and that includes being a world champion,” Robinson says. “Now Moose is an incredible athlete and a force of nature. But when he says he’s a wrestling god, he’s downright, vehemently lying. I’m going to show that world that isn’t true.”
A former IWGP United States champion, Robinson has the potential to be a major player for New Japan over the next year, especially in the U.S. And with no plans to return to Japan for the foreseeable future, Robinson is eager to showcase his brand of showmanship and charisma stateside.
“I’m the same guy that beat Omega, beat Moxley, and beat Cody Rhodes,” he says. “My goal is to make New Japan as must-see as possible in America. The sky is the limit for me. And I want a crack at the U.S. title, too.”
Kenta became the new U.S. title holder this past weekend when he defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi, who Robinson had been preparing to wrestle.
“That match with Tanahashi came as close to happening without happening,” Robinson says. “It was in the cards. And I’m always thinking about the U.S. title. That is the belt that’s defined my career. It’s always in my crosshairs, no matter who has it. Of course, I want it back, especially on U.S. soil.”
Robinson’s official return to the singles ranks kicks off in exciting fashion at Battle in the Valley, where he has every intention of making his return as spectacular as possible.
“I’m going to beat Moose in a New Japan ring,” Robinson says. “After that, maybe I’ll go to Impact and take that world title, too. It’s Juice-Moose, and I want people to get ready for chaos on Saturday.”
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Justin Barrasso can be reached at JBarrasso@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @JustinBarrasso.