NJPW Teases Return Of Hirai Kawato

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The other night on the weekly NJPW show in Japan, a hype promo was ran for a returning superstar. It has been a while since we’ve seen this. But except for Death Rider turning out to be Jon Moxley, this indicates a Young Lion returning from their excursion. There is only one person ready to return from theirs, that being Hirai Kawato, who seems to be The Grandmaster now.

Hirai Kawato Spent His Time In Mexico With CMLL

23 year old Hirai Kawato spent his last two years as Kawato-San in CMLL, where he won the CMLL World Lightweight Championship after outlasting men like Electrico, El Hijo Del Villano III, Flyer, Principe Diamantem, Star Jr., Super Astro Jr. and Halcon Suriano Jr. This would be followed by a match with Audaz to win the vacant championship. He also was featured in the main event of Sin Piedad 2020, where he lost to Dulce Gardenia with Lucha de Apuestas rules. This caused Kawato to lose his hair in defeat after he lost the match two falls to one. By all accounts from viewers of CMLL, Kawato was poorly placed. He had issues keeping up with the Lucha Libre style, didn’t work in a heel role, and suffered a knee injury which got his title stripped. He showed great promise in NJPW, but it didn’t translate well in Mexico.

The Grandmaster Is Coming

While knowing fans of lucha libre have chuckled at the prospect of Kawato being renamed as ‘The Grandmaster’, few could have imagined Kazuchika Okada becoming a star after his equally laughable run in TNA as ‘Okoto’. You can’t judge how NJPW will use a talent in their most familiar environment. These hype packages would show someone practicing martial arts in a forest. A martial arts gimmick could certainly work for someone like Kawato, who showed great striking ability during his time with NJPW.
If they cast him as a babyface, letting him use his seemingly natural babyface fire, he’ll go right back to being a favorite. Fans were getting behind him in 2018, and it won’t take much to rekindle that going forward.
Do you think these promos will signal the return of Kawato? Is someone else coming to NJPW as ‘The Grandmaster’? Let us know what you think in the comment section down below.
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