Orange Cassidy reflects on his match with Katsuyori Shibata.
Due to a subdural hematoma, Shibata was forced to retire in 2017. He returned to the ring for an exhibition bout against Zack Sabre Jr at NJPW G1 Climax 31 Finals, and he also faced Ren Narita at NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 16. Shibata made his AEW debut by saving Cassidy from Will Ospreay and Aussie Open (Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher) at AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door 2022. He then unsuccessfully challenged Cassidy for the AEW All-Atlantic Championship on the November 4, 2022, episode of AEW Rampage.
Speaking on Casual Conversations with The Wrestling Classic, Cassidy was asked about his match with Shibata. He noted that he never thought someone like Shibata would even think about facing him. Cassidy stated that sharing the ring with Shibata was an honor, and they're friends ow, as they recently played roulette.
“There are a lot of people that don’t care for me, that don’t care about what I’m doing. They don’t like what I’m doing, they don’t appreciate it. They think I’m insulting professional wrestling or whatever you want to call it. Then there is a living legend and a phenomenal professional wrestling in Shibata. He said he wanted, on his return, because he actually almost died doing what he does in the ring, and when he came back and was able to wrestle, he mentioned two people. One of them was Bryan Danielson, and the other one was me. I don’t think people understand that, but I never thought that a person of that stature would even consider me for something like that, and it was truly an honor. I barely beat him. I mean, I was terrified because he is Shibata. But because of that, Shibata and I actually played roulette last night, so we’re friends," Cassidy said.
Shibata previously discussed his match with Cassidy. Check out his comments here.
Cassidy will defend the AEW International Championship at AEW Double or Nothing. More information is available here.
Shibata won the ROH Pure Championship at ROH Supercard of Honor 2023. Alex Coughlin will challenge him for the title on the June 1 episode of ROH TV. More information is available here.
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