Last weekend’s Katsuyori Shibata vs. Kazuchika Okada at NJPW Sakura Genesis show should have garnered tons of headlines as, arguably, the best match of the year (and one of the best matches ever) but it was overshadowed because Shibata, 37, had to be rushed to the hospital with a subdural hematoma after a stiff brutal headbutt. A subdural hematoma is a collection of blood outside of the brain and can be life threatening. NJPW stated that he underwent successful surgery.
There was talk that the injuries may have been worked but it’s looking like the injury was real and the word is that Shibata may never wrestle again. He lost feeling on the right side of his body and thankfully he has recovered from paralysis but reports from Japan say that he may never get cleared to wrestle again.
In an interview with Yahoo Sports, Shinsuke Nakamura talked about the risks associated with the Japanese strong style. Nakamura was quoted as saying (translated from Japanese by Chris Charlton), “Lately exchanging dangerous moves has become a trend in Japanese wrestling. With serious injuries happening, it might have to change, and wrestlers should look back and think about dangerous moves they do and the risks they take.”
Thankfully, Nakamura has toned down his style since signing with WWE. Scroll down to see the head butt that caused Shibata to be hospitalized.
— chris charlton (@reasonjp) April 13, 2017
— njpw_global (@njpwglobal) April 9, 2017