Shibata Opens Up About Returning To Action In AEW After Brutal Injury

Katsuyori Shibata shocked the world when he appeared on the November 2 edition of "AEW Dynamite" and challenged Orange Cassidy to a match for Cassidy's All-Atlantic Championship. The two faced off in a highly-competitive and entertaining match on "Rampage," in which Cassidy spoiled Shibata's first AEW match and was victorious.

It was Shibata's third match since he suffered a major head injury during a match in 2017. It led to his early retirement from pro wrestling. The journey back to in-ring action was not an easy one. Following his first AEW match, Shibata spoke with "Tokyo Sports" about the challenges he faced.

"It's frustrating, seriously," Shibata said. "The result is the same, and there are many things to reflect on in terms of movement. After all, I'm back on the battlefield, it's special to be in the ring. Sometimes it goes well and sometimes it doesn't."

Shibata searched for any opportunity to wrestle again, speaking with various doctors for clearance. New Japan Pro-Wrestling was being extra cautious with him, which is why it was hesitant to book Shibata in a match even with permission from his doctor. So Shibata decided that he would stop waiting around and make his move in the U.S., where he works as a coach at NJPW's Los Angeles Dojo.

"I went without hesitation, and I had a match in the AEW ring."

But don't think that Shibata is done in AEW just yet. In addition to Cassidy, Shibata has requested to face Blackpool Combat Club's own Bryan Danielson. So we might see a match between the two in the near future.