Katsuyori has shocked fans after making a return to the ring on October 21st, facing Zack Sabre Jr. in a five minute long UWF Rules Exhibition Match.
The wrestler, who suffered an injury in 2017, also announced that he would be returning to the ring properly, and the next time fans see him there it would be in a fight.
Katsuyori Shibata returns to the ring
On October 21st on the final day of G1 Climax 31, Katsuyori Shibata returned to the ring and faced Zack Sabre Jr. in a five minute long UWF Rules Exhibition Match.
Time expired before either of the wrestlers could score the victory and the competitors shook hands following the match.
Katsuyori then made a shocking announcement and told viewers that the next time he was in a New Japan ring, it would be for a match.
In 2017, Katsuyori suffered a subdural hematoma following his match with Kazuchika Okada at Sakura Genesis. The use of a headbutt combined with dehydration also caused some paralysis on the right side of his body, Cultaholic reported.
After the incident, it emerged that Katsuyori would likely never wrestle again and he signed with NJPW as the head coach of the LA Dojo.
Fans react to Katsuyori’s return
Following Katsuyori’s announcement of his return, fans took to Twitter to share their excitement over the news and their thoughts on the situation.
One fan wrote on Twitter:
“WOW!!!! As if 2021 wasn’t already a year for miracles… KATSUYORI SHIBATA IS OFFICIALLY BACK! He last wrestled for NJPW in 2017 where he literally cracked his skull open on a headbutt. Now he’s back and better than ever. Never say never in wrestling.”
Another said: “I wake up to see that Katsuyori Shibata has been cleared to compete! Words cannot describe how happy I am. Shibata deserves a better way to go out. Give me Danielson vs Shibata right this instant!”