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6 Winners And 4 Losers From The New Japan Cup

10. Loser: Master Wato

NJPW

If it's any consolation, Okada had a terrible debut too.

Hirai Kawato had a pretty decent run as far as Young Lions go, endearing himself to the crowd, but usually being the fall-guy in any tag team match he found himself slotted in.

His excursion in CMLL showed some promise though, as his bishounen look and athleticism blended well with the lucha-libre style. The promotion even had enough faith in Kawato-san to give him the lightweight championship, a belt held by some of NJPW's best juniors like Ryu Lee, Hiromu Takahashi, and Rocky Romero. Unfortunately a knee injury and the global health crisis had him on the shelf.

Despite these dubious circumstances NJPW brought the Young Lion back to the den, and had him debut to absolute silence from the vacant crowd. He showed little presence or charisma, failing to speak with conviction during his limited promo time before Douki ended it by beating the newly dubbed Master Wato with a steel pipe.

As far as talents to debut against go, Douki is hardly an impressive one to take down. Also the gimmick of the grand master looks like something that'd be more in place in WWF's New Generation era. All things considered, Master Wato has a lot of impressing to do if he wants people to forget about his dud of a debut.

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Contributor

A former NCAA runner turned writer, and an ardent aficionado of all things academic, aesthetic and athletic.