Stipulation Announced for NJPW Wrestle Kinfdom 16 Match
New Japan Pro Wrestling have announced a new stipulation for one of their blockbuster Wrestle Kingdom 16 Matches.
Recently it was announced that none other than Katsuyori Shibata would be making his return to the ring at the Wrestle Kingdom 16 event after what was thought to be a career ending injury in 2017. On Monday New Japan Pro Wrestling held a Press Conference for their upcoming Premier event, in which they announced the stipulation for Shibata’s return match. As announced, Shibata’s return match will be contested under “Catch Wrestling Rules.” This means that the match will still abide by the usual Pinfall, DQ, Submission and Count-Out Rules, but the rules will also focus on grappling and submissions while strikes will be outlawed. At this time there is still no opponent announced for the historic return match.
The rules have been determined for Katsuyori Shibata's match at Wrestle Kingdom.— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) December 27, 2021
It will be a Catch Wrestling Rules match. Stretches and grappling will be the focus. Rules are as usual, but strikes are prohibited. #njpw #njwk16 pic.twitter.com/xPPINNESZu
Shibata took to Twitter to explain that he wants to bring the catch and grappling from the MMA World into the Pro-Wrestling World.
Shibata: We hear about catch and grappling in the MMA world, but I wanted to bring those fundamentals in the pro wrestling world. It's about bringing purity of technique and a different means of expression to pro-wrestling. #njwk16 #njpw— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) December 27, 2021
Shibata continues that he wanted to bring Pro-Wrestling back to its Lancashire Style roots.
Shibata: To move forward I think we need to go back to our roots. The pro ranks have their roots in shoot grappling and what we call the Lancashire Style, and that's what I want to come back to here. #njwk16 #njpw— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) December 27, 2021
Shibata suffered what was originally thought to be a career ending injury in the main event of NJPW Sakura Genesis on April 9th, 2017. After 5 years away from the ring he returned at the G1 Climax Finals in October, where he wrestled Zack Sabre Jr. to a 5min Time Limit Draw in a UWF-Rules Match. A match with similar rules to his announced match at Wrestle Kingdom 16 on January 4th, 2022. While away from the ring, Shibata used his skills to train the North American Young Lions at n his NJPW’s LA Dojo, in Los Angeles California.
Are you looking forward to Shibata's match at WK16?
Who do you think will be announced as his opponent?