Katsuyori Shibata Announces Return At Wrestle Kingdom 16

Katsuyori Shibata Announces Return At Wrestle Kingdom 16
Credit NJPW

Katsuyori Shibata announced that he will return to action at Wrestle Kingdom 16 on January 4th, 2022. After being out of action for the past five years after he sustained a serious injury in April 2017.

At this time it wasn’t 100% clear whether he would be able to wrestle again, however at many points during his recovery he updated fans and slowly but surely his condition improved which led him to be able to re-enter the wrestling ring.

After a surprising appearance at the G1 climax finals this year, There was a brief grappling exchange with Zack Sabre Jr, fans were buzzing with anticipation after Shibata announced that he would have an announcement at this year’s joint Best of Super Juniors/World Tag League finals.

Just like most of his updates it was brief and to the point, “I have a match on January 4th, that is all,”

Although no opponent has been announced as yet, this definitely brings an emotional return for Shibata at Wrestle Kingdom 16 as Shibata suffered a head injury in his IWGP Heavyweight Title match against Kazuchika Okada on April 9th, 2017.

NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 16 will take place over three nights, with January 4th & 5th taking place in the Tokyo Dome, and a January 8th show in Yokohama, that will be a special NJPW vs. Pro Wrestling NOAH event to aid the Japanese Red Cross.

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