Backstage Details On Katsuyori Shibata Wrestle Kingdom Match Rules Change

1 year ago by Sanchez Taylor

Backstage Details On Katsuyori Shibata Wrestle Kingdom Match Rules Change

The backstage reaction to Katsuyori Shibata changing the rules for his return to the ring has been revealed.

Ahead of Wrestle Kingdom 16 night one, NJPW announced that Shibata would be competing in a grappling match against a mystery opponent, with no strikes allowed.

Following Ren Narita’s entrance, Shibata stormed to the ring, got on the mic and told everyone that the bout would be contested under normal pro-wrestling rules.

Shibata’s spontaneous announcement appeared to catch the commentators off-guard. As per the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, those backstage at the Tokyo Dome indicated that ‘everyone freaked out’ as nobody actually knew that was going to happen.

The report noted that the promotion has kept big angles secret in the past, however NJPW sources reportedly stated that the reactions of Gedo and the leading officers indicated that truly nobody knew.

During the October 21, 2021 G1 Climax Final show, Shibata wrestled Zack Sabre Jr under UWF rules in his first bout since 2017, when it had been stated, following surgery after suffering a subdural hematoma in the ring, that it was unlikely that Shibata would ever wrestle again.

Confirming that NJPW will not punish Shibata for the impromptu change, NJPW President Takami Ohbari tweeted:

“There is no way NJPW will give him a punishment. The social significance of NJPW is to energize people through our battle.”

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