Posted By James Walsh on 04/13/17
UPDATE: F4wonline.com now reports that the news is bad, and that the Shibata injury is not an angle. The site reports that a combination of dehydration and the trauma of the legit head butt from Shibata to Okada has Shibata hospitalized; he is currently in the hospital and is awake, can carry on a conversation, has some memories of the match itself. He initially had some right side paralysis but that is getting better. The fear now is that he will never be cleared to wrestle due to the injury. More on the story as details are made available.
ORIGINAL: It was previously reported that Katsuyori Shibata collapsed after the NJPW SAKURA GENESIS event, where he faced Kazuckika Okada in a grueling 38-minute match. There were reports that Shibata passed out after the match; and New Japan confirmed that he was taken to the hospital and diagnosed with a subdural hematoma, and had successful emergency surgery.
According to The Wrestling Observer Newsletter, sources close to the situation believe that this whole situation is an intricate work. The feeling is that this is being done to sell the match with Okada, and to give Shibata time off to allow him to heal up from all of the injuries he’s been working through over the last few years. The New Japan talent is slit on the angle, some feel it is real, while others do not buy it.
For now, Shibata has been pulled from all future events.