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Video: Katsuyori Shibata returns at G1 Final in Sumo Hall



For the first time since suffering what many believe was a career ending injury, Katsuyori Shibata returned to the ring tonight in Tokyo. Saying it was an emotional moment would be a gross understatement.

Shibata suffered a subdural hematoma as a result of a headbutt in his main event match with Kazuchika Okada back at Sakura Genesis. He would be rushed to the hospital where he was receive emergency surgery, the first of two on his brain. Now, just 4 months later, Shibata is back in a New Japan ring.

Shibata’s return came after the IWGP Jr. Tag Team Championship match and before tonight’s show went to an intermission. He merely told the crowd “I’m alive. That is all,” before slamming down the microphone emphatically. And that’s all they needed to hear.

Although Shibata appeared to be able to fight back the tears, women in attendance were seen crying, as were the fans who tuned in live to NJPWWorld. It was just an incredibly emotional and beautiful moment for all to see him up and around. Regardless of what may or may not be next – here’s to a healthy and happy Katsuyori Shibata.

image credit – @njpwglobal