Juice Robinson Beats Cody Rhodes to Win United States Title at WK 13

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 4, 2019

TOKYO, JAPAN - OCTOBER 08: Juice Robinson is seen prior to the 4-man match during the King of Pro-Wresting at Ryogoku Kokugikan on October 8, 2018 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)
Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

Juice Robinson defeated Cody Rhodes to win the IWGP United States Championship at Wrestle Kingdom 13 at the Tokyo Dome on Friday.

With the win, Robinson became the first two-time IWGP United States champion in the history of New Japan Pro-Wrestling.

Friday's bout was a rematch after Cody beat Robinson to win the title at Fighting Spirit Unleashed in Long Beach, California, in September.

Robinson originally won the title in July when he beat Jay White at the G1 Special in San Francisco.

The IWGP United States Championship was first awarded in 2017 when Kenny Omega beat Tomohiro Ishii in the finals of an eight-man tournament to become the inaugural champion. No Japanese wrestler has held the title to this point, and of the four men who have won it, three of them are from North America.

Both Robinson and Cody have ties to WWE and have gone on to enjoy stardom away from the biggest wrestling company in the world.

Robinson signed a developmental contract with WWE in 2011 and starred in NXT as C.J. Parker from 2012 to 2015.

He never received a true push and was utilized primarily as enhancement talent, which led to his departure and attempts to make strides in Japan.

Cody is the son of WWE Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes, and he was ticketed for success in the wrestling business at a young age.

He signed a developmental deal with WWE at the age of 18 and was on the main roster within a year.

Cody won multiple titles in WWE before asking for and being granted his release in 2016. Since then, he has become a phenomenon on the independent wrestling scene as part of The Elite with The Young Bucks, Marty Scurll and Hangman Page.

Since Cody has no shortage of options, and it is rumored that he is part of the group starting the All Elite Wrestling promotion, his loss to Robinson will spark speculation that his time with New Japan may be nearing an end.


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