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Wrestler of the Month: March 2018

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This time, it’s unanimous. We here at FightBoothPW agree that Zack Sabre Jr. is far and away the wrestler of the month for March of 2018. Here’s why.

Robert McCauley: When New Japan gets behind someone they make sure you take notice. Zack Sabre Jr. scored four consecutive wins over fan favorites, Tetsuya Naito, Kota Ibushi, SANADA and Hiroshi Tanahashi. Not only did he defeat them, each were forced to submit. There was no interference or fluke wins of any sort, each of Sabre’s wins were decisive. Sabre comes out of March looking like a credible opponent for Okada. Even if you don’t find him beating Okada likely, there is no way to be certain thanks to these huge wins. His place has been cemented among the top of the New Japan pecking order. Stories like these are why wrestling is so cool. Those who want to know how to make a star, take notice.

Dave Reno: What a joy it has been to watch Zack Sabre Jr. is his current run with New Japan. He’s soared to the very top of just about every promotion he’s competed in, yet his direction seemed unclear after his feud with Hiroshi Tanahashi last year. Was ZSJ someone who New Japan now deemed worthy of being a top guy? Or was it just a matter of him stepping up when the time was right and making himself absolutely undeniable as a top heel; a new face and a refreshing one to boot opposite their resident Superman — Kazuchika Okada.

It wasn’t just Sabre’s incredible technical mat game that made his performances during the New Japan Cup must see TV, it was his performances before and after the matches as well. His post-match pressers showed just how comfortable and believable he can be as a top player for New Japan. While he’s not nearly as visibly scary as Suzuki-gun leader Minoru Suzuki, his unique brand of moxie commands attention, adding some scary depth to the faction that he’s now been a part of for just over a year.

If you had told me that ZSJ would win the New Japan Cup in 2018, I would’ve named at least 5 or 6 other guys who I thought had a better chance. Instead, we were taking on another unexpected ride that catapulted another more than worthy name to the top of the card.

Robert McCauley hasn't missed an NJPW show since the launch of NJPW World. Always be on the look out for his reviews where he shares results and gives his honest opinions on the goings-on of New Japan Pro-Wrestling.

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