Juice Robinson has won the IWGP United States championship. He defeated “Switchblade” Jay White tonight in the Cow Palace at NJPW’s G1 Special in San Francisco.
Jim Ross and Josh Barnett spoke early in the match about how Juice really needed to win this match to show he can win big matches. Robinson had challenged for every heavyweight single’s title in the promotion minus the IWGP Heavyweight title but won his first tonight.
White would kick-out of Juice Robinson’s Pulp Friction, even after Juice had hit him illegally with the cast on his injured hand. Juice looked like he was going to drop yet another title match but then he countered White’s Switchblade into a roll-up and got a 3-count.
In doing so, Robinson becomes the first American to hold the IWGP United States championship.
Juice Robinson IWGP United States Champion
Winning a single’s championship in the semi-final of a big show at the Cow Palace should solidify that Juice Robinson is a guy NJPW wants to promote to their international audience. The live crowd was definitely behind him tonight.
Robinson earned a lot of praise for his profanity-laced promo earlier this month. Seth Rollins tweeted out that his former WWE developmental teammate was the best promo in the business in response to it.
They built up an angle leading up to this match where White broke a bone in Juice’s hand by hitting him with a chair. They announced a special rule before the match that if Juice used his hand as a weapon he could be disqualified at the referee’s discretion.
White’s title reign ends at 3 defenses over 160 days. Kenny Omega, the only other person to have held the title, defended the title 4 times over 210 days.