In the most recent installment of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer is reporting that Katsuyori Shibata‘s match a few weeks ago against IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada will likely be his last.
Shibata and Okada went to battle on April 9th, 2017 for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at Tokyo Sumo Hall. The combination of the length of the match, dehydration and trauma from the head-butt led to doctors advising New Japan that they would likely never be able to clear him to wrestle in good conscience again. Dr. Shunji Asamoto, who performed the surgery, noted that he would need a strict examination before being cleared to wrestle and that he’s not optimistic at all.
New Japan Pro-Wrestling has not issued a public statement as of yet. At this time, it appears that Katsuyori Shibata’s career is over.
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