A pioneer of mixed martial arts and widely appraised as one of the greatest fighters of all time, Minoru Suzuki made an easy transition into professional wrestling. At the age of 52, Suzuki continues to put on stellar performances in New Japan Pro Wrestling as the leader of Suzuki-Gun.
Back at New Japan Cup 2020, Suzuki faced off against Yuji Nagata in the first round of the tournament in a losing effort. It was EVIL who won after defeating Kazuchika Okada in the finals. He would then turn his back on Tetsuya Naito and join the Bullet Club. The biggest shocker was when EVIL defeated Naito at Dominion to become double-champion, with the help of a returning Dick Togo.
EVIL made his official debut for NJPW at King of Pro Wrestling 2015 as Naito's first recruit in Los Ingobernables de Japon. The King of Darkness won some championships in the following years.
However, it was in 2017 when he left his mark in NJPW as he defeated Kazuchika Okada during the 27th G1 Climax. EVIL has been a mainstay in NJPW's mid-card until he went on to win the 2020 New Japan Cup.
Many were shocked to see him receive such a big push. The opinion of some of the fans was that NJPW had better wrestlers in their roster to dethrone Naito as the double champion. One such option was Minoru Suzuki.
EVIL is an exceptional wrestler who has the skillset to become a main event star. However, his in-ring work needs to improve a lot as some of EVIL's matches have been lackluster. His character may have fit in as a heel champion, but his time is not now as he hasn't reached his full potential yet.
Minoru Suzuki is a more plausible choice since he is a much better performer than EVIL. There is also a ready-made storyline with Naito as they have had a rivalry in the past and the Suzuki-gun boss is long overdue for a world title reign.
If NJPW was looking to catch its fans by surprise, then it was better to put the title on an established performer like Minoru Suzuki. The company had a lot of chances to crown Minoru Suzuki as their world champ. Yet for some reason, they didn't just seem to pull the trigger with him.
Despite the earlier comments, EVIL has shown signs of improvement since beating Naito. With Gedo as the booker of NJPW, he is definitely in good hands and the new Bullet Club member looks destined to become a star in the coming years.
Both wrestlers will perform at Power Struggle 2020. Minoru Suzuki will be defending his NEVER Openweight Championship against Shingo Takagi and EVIL is the challenger for Tetsuya Naito's IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championships.
Minoru Suzuki isn't showing signs of slowing down and many believe that he is still capable of winning the IWGP Heavyweight Gold before he hangs up his boots.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the article belong to the writer and doesn't necessarily represent Sportskeeda's stand.Published 30 Oct 2020, 13:12 IST