In February 2018, Young Lion Hirai Kawato graduated from the New Japan Dojo and started an excursion to Mexico, where he started wrestling as Kawato-San.
On June 30 in Arena Mexico, Kawato-San picked up his first career championship, defeating Audaz in the final of a tournament for the vacant CMLL World Super Lightweight Championship. The championship (which Hiromu Takahashi memorably won when he was on Mexican excursion as Kamaitachi), had been held by Dragon Lee, but on his return to Mexico after Best of the Super Juniors and Dominion, Lee vacated the title.
That led to a tournament which saw Kawato-San and Audaz in the finals. In a two out of three falls match, Kawato-San won the first fall with a llave submission. Audaz returned the favour in the second fall, but Kawato-San took the third with a modified vertical drop brainbuster.
We at NJPW congratulate Kawato on his first championship! What’s next for the young talent?