Katsuyori Shibata is set to return to the ring on January 4.
During the Wrestle Kingdom 16 press conference, Shibata announced the rules for his January 4 bout. He will compete under catch wrestling rules.
Stretches and submissions will be in use, as well as throws. Victory will be attained as usual, via pinfall, submission, countout etc. Strikes are prohibited.
An opponent for Shibata has yet to be announced.
"‘I wanted to give this a different name to the grappling exhibition match I had with Zack (Sabre Jr.) and set it apart as something else. Grappling rules is a concept that is already common in MMA, where strikes are banned. Catch wrestling rules is something that I think can be specific to pro-wrestling, and that’s why the name change is there," said Shibata. "To explain (those differences with grappling rules) more specifically, I think it allows for moves using the ropes, or more pro-wrestling styled, ‘three dimensional’, if you will, expression (than a grappling match). Victory to a pro-wrestler comes down to skill and technique in this environment, and it strips pro-wrestling right down to its essentials. To go to the roots of wrestling a bit, pro-wrestling sprung out of what we call the Lancashire style in England, and that’s something we mustn’t lose sight of. I want a fusion in NJPW that brings the base fundamentals to the fold. This is something that’s just beginning, and I think these rules, match times and things of that nature can change as the concept evolves. That’s it!"
You can view the current lineup for the first two nights of Wrestle Kingdom 16 by clicking here.
Fightful will have coverage of NJPW Wrestle Kingdom on January 4 and 5.