Katsuyori Shibata wasn’t exactly thrilled with how his match with Orange Cassidy went.
Shibata made his surprise AEW debut on the November 2nd episode of Dynamite. He challenged Orange Cassidy to an All-Atlantic Championship match and Cassidy accepted. Cassidy retained his title against Shibata two nights later on Rampage.
This was an important match for Shibata. He was forced to retire following an epic match with Kazuchika Okada in 2017 that ended in both a loss for Shibata and some major health problems for him as well.
Katsuyori Shibata spent the next four years serving as a trainer/coach for NJPW rookies. Then during the 2021 G1 Climax, Shibata had a surprise 5-minute shoot-style exhibition grappling match with Zack Sabre, Jr.
That was followed by a longer match with Ren Narita earlier this year at Wrestle Kingdom. It’s clear that Shibata intends on wrestling more, especially since he wants to wrestle Bryan Danielson and Tony Khan is interested in such a dream match as well.
But Katsuyori Shibata wasn’t happy with his match with Cassidy. Specifically, he wasn’t happy with himself and his performance, according to an interview with Tokyo Sports:
“It’s frustrating, really. The result is the same, and I have a lot of things to reflect on in terms of my moves. I felt that I was back on the battlefield, and that the ring is special. Sometimes things go well, and sometimes things don’t go well. I really felt alive. I’ve been looking for a chance for a long time. I thought that if I waited in Japan, I would never get a chance. I didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity I have now. I wanted to give it my all. I went there without hesitation.”
Katsuyori Shibata’s immediate future remains uncertain, but with rumors swirling that NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 17 is to feature AEW stars, then there’s a chance Shibata could face Bryan Danielson in the Tokyo Dome.
h/t Fightful for the transcription