Katsuyori Shibata Bests Ren Narita In Return To Competition At NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 16 Night One

The Wrestler is officially back.

Katsuyori Shibata came to the ring at NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 16 to compete in a catch wrestling rules match, taking on a returning Ren Narita, marking his first non-exhibition bout since 2017 when he was forced to retire due to a subdural hematoma.

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Narita, a student of Shibata's at the LA Dojo, was not announced as his opponent ahead of the bout. Before the bell rang, Shibata announced the match would be contested under regular wrestling rules, meaning strikes would be legal.

Shibata used the strikes to his advantage, lighting up Narita with a series of legs kicks and a sleeper before finally finishing him off with the PK.

Shibata made a surprise appearance at the finals of the 2021 G1 Climax, competing in a special exhibition grappling match against Zack Sabre Jr. The bout went to a five-minute time limit draw. Shibata stated after the match that the next one would be real.

You can find Fightful's coverage of NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 16 night one by clicking here.

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