Proof that anything truly is possible in pro wrestling, New Japan Pro Wrestling star Katsuyori Shibata has returned to the ring.
At the time of his devastating brain injury in 2017, it seemed like a guarantee that he would never wrestle again.
Four years later, Shibata is back, having wrestled a five-minute UWFi exhibition match with Zack Sabre Jr.
After the match, Shibata announced that the next time we see him will be in a match. Tears were shed.
Now, we get the fun of looking to the future with a world of possibilities. The amount of talent around the world is unfathomable and here we shall look at some of the biggest dream matches Shibata can now have.
Some of these matches have happened in the past but as we look to the future, they couldn’t be more new.
These are the 11 biggest dream matches for Katsuyori Shibata.
UPDATE: Damnit I forgot Jon Moxley.
Oh well, I’ll put him on the list anyway. Jon Moxley has been AEW’s representative against the crusaders of New Japan Pro Wrestling in 2021 and would be a perfect opponent for Katsuyori Shibata.
Moxley has done his best New Japan work against the likes of Minoru Suzuki, Tomohiro Ishii and Shingo Takagi. Hot damn if Shibata’s name does not fit in with those three perfectly.
Moxley’s rough and tough style meshing very well with the strong style approach of many of New Japan’s hardest hitters.
With more crossover taking place with AEW and New Japan, this would be an excellent way to further an already fruitful working relationship.
11. Jonathan Gresham
One of the best technical wrestlers in the world currently, is Jonathan Gresham. Gresham has spent years honing his craft and is now one of the top stars of Ring of Honor.
This is one of the biggest examples of the wrestling landscape changing in the time Shibata has been gone.
Four years ago Gresham wasn’t on the national radar like he is now. Now, he is one of the best prospective opponents for Katsuyori Shibata.
Their styles would mesh better than almost anyone on this list and with Gresham still on the rise, this could be a very beneficial match for both men.
10. Minoru Suzuki
This is a match that has happened before but who wouldn’t want to see it again on a big stage?
Minoru Suzuki and Katsuyori Shibata only wrestled one singles match after Shibata’s return to New Japan in 2012.
A first-round match in the 2017 New Japan Cup, there is no question that a match of this caliber deserves a bigger stage.
Suzuki has continued to redefine himself in 2021, wrestling some of AEW’s best. If his recent match with Bryan Danielson is anything to go off of, Suzuki can still throw down with the best.