RADICAN’S TAKE: Best of the Super Junior 30 finals provides NJPW opportunity to create new star in junior division

IWGP World Heavyweight Championship open challenge added to Forbidden Door


Master Wato beat Titan today to emerge as the victor out of one of the deepest Best of the Super Juniors fields in recent memory to win BOSJ 30. Wato wasn’t a favorite to win the tournament going in, but he picked up momentum after dropping two matches early in the tournament and will go to Dominion on June 4 in his hometown of Osaka to challenge Hiromu Takahashi for the IWGP Jr. Hvt. Championship.

Announcers Kevin Kelly and Chris Charlton talked about how Wato was washed at this time a year ago and nowhere near the position he is in right now. Their words rang true from both a kayfabe and real life standpoint. Wato has improved his craft month by month over the course of the last year.

Wato has gone from being a punchline with a cartoon gimmick that would only appeal to kids to a credible top tier junior heavyweight. It didn’t happen overnight for Wato. It has taken him years to improve, but he has by improving and modifying his look. He has toned down the more theatrical aspects of his gimmick and added bulk.

He also wrestles a more physical style now in addition to being able to fly when the occasion calls for it. I don’t want to call Wato’s performance in winning the final a star-making performance, as I feel he would fall back to the middle of pack with a loss to Takahashi at Dominion. However, his performance at the BOSJ 30 Final event today was as close as you can get to a star-making performance.

Wato and Titan both wrestled a fast-paced physical match that I would rate at ****½. They built upon previous damage that had been done to Wato’s leg during the tournament and Wato did a good job of selling Titan’s work on his leg for the bulk of the match. Wato’s selling was impressive throughout the match and resulted in the finishing sequences being really compelling.

The match had a great pace with a hot crowd in Tokyo split between both men. Titan’s performance in the final was tremendous as well even though he came up short in the end. Wato still has some work to do to cement himself as a top guy in a deep junior division in Japan, but if he can follow up a great performance against Titan with another one against Takahashi next week, it will go a long way towards being considered one of the better wrestlers in the division.

PWTorch columnist Sean Radican has written for Pro Wrestling Torch for twenty years covering Ring of Honor, independent wrestling, and NJPW. Follow him on Twitter @SR_Torch and email him at pwtorchsean@gmail.com.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply