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Rules For Katsuyori Shibata's NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 16 Return Match Revealed

Not a normal match

The rules have been revealed for Katsuyori Shibata's return match on day one of Wrestle Kingdom 16 on January 4. 

Speaking at the Wrestle Kingdom 16 press conference today, Shibata announced his return match would be contested under Catch Wrestling Rules. Strikes will be prohibited during the match but stretches, submissions and throws can be used. Similar to a professional wrestling match fans are used to, victory can be achieved by pinfall, submission, count-out and other methods. 

Shibata revealed why he decided his return match would be fought under Catch Wrestling Rules, saying: "To go to the roots of wrestling a bit, pro-wrestling sprung out of what we call the Lancashire style in England, and that's something we mustn't lose sight of. I want a fusion in NJPW that brings the base fundamentals to the fold. This is something that's just beginning, and I think these rules, match times and things of that nature can change as the concept evolves. That's it!"

Shibata's Catch Wrestling Rules Match will take place only a few months after he had a five-minute UWF Rules Exhibition Match with Zack Sabre Jr. on the final day of G1 Climax 31.  

The Wrestler hadn't competed inside the squared circle for four years prior to that match, since he sustained a subdural hematoma following Sakura Genesis 2017 and was forced to retire after undergoing emergency surgery. 

Other matches set for day one of Wrestle Kingdom 16 include El Desperado vs. Hiromu Takahashi for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title and Shingo Takagi vs. Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship. 

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Aidan Gibbons

Written by Aidan Gibbons

Journalist/Editor-in-Chief of Cultaholic.com Twitter: @theaidangibbons