early bird subscribers to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, such as myself, got some pretty bad news this morning, as it appears, according to Dave Meltzer, that doctors are not going to clear Katsuyori Shibata and his career, as far as he has heard, is over. Shibata still has little to no feeling in his left side, even a week later, following the headbutt spot, during his match with Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at Sakura Genesis. Meltzer reported early this morning that he had been receiving texts and calls from people in Japan close to the situation, saying that this is 100% not a work and Shibata's condition is "bad, but improving daily." As far as his wrestling status, Meltzer was quoted as saying that no doctor is likely to clear him after a brain hematoma and his career is "most likely over."
It's pants on had stupid headbutting in actual fights, doing it in a work is even worse. Strong style spots for pops are dumb and people who want to pretend to be smart to this business should know hurting each other for real isn't what "work rate" is.
Post by Tenese Sarwieh on Apr 17, 2017 19:21:09 GMT -5
It's sad and sucks but from his own words, "Every match I have might be my last match. That's how I wrestle every time. I don't want to change that mentality, ever. Because if I did, I wouldn't wrestle my style of match. And if I can't wrestle my way, I don't want to wrestle."
For the majority of us, yes, in hindsight, it was a stupid spot. But putting myself in their shoes, with how proud they are of their wrestling style, of the mentality in which they envisioned the way they build their match, how they wrestle every night, I'm not sure I'll ever see Shibata expressing some regrets over this. Hell, look at Daniel Bryan, who's clearly willing to wrestle again once his WWE contract expires, even though he said that he'd have to tweak his style a bit. But still, it's that warrior mentality that those guys wrestling that way are having. Even Tomoaki Honma, who was badly injured also recently, would probably be feeling the same way that Shibata is right now in that regard.
Personally, I know I'd be thinking otherwise but I'm convinced that despite everything he's gonna go through in the next few months, Katsuyori Shibata doesn't have a single regret. It's mindboggling in a way but that's the way it is.
Post by Christian Small on Apr 18, 2017 6:23:14 GMT -5
A real shame as he was a guy who could have been a massive star for New Japan and it looked like they were getting behind him even more. As for those headbutts being part of his style, he could have easily eliminated them and still wrestle in his style. It was one spot in his arsenal, not like it would change everything he did if he had to get rid of it. The only silver lining here (if you can even see it as that) is his last match was a classic.
I feel like I should comment on this because of the whole Bryan Danielson argument I had.
Basically, I don’t mind if wrestlers work snug in the sense that some of your holds and worked spots are a little bit real, because the alternative would be that some of your worked spots look totally fake due to the large gap of space between you and your opponent or the weak submission hold you just put on. But fundamentally pro wrestling is not about actually hurting your opponent so I draw the line at serious injury and headbutts are a definite no-no. There is really no difference between a headbutt (either Shibata-style, Benoit-style, or otherwise) and an unprotected chair-shot. And most unprotected chair-shots went the way of the Dodo over a decade ago.
Shibata should stop wrestling until he fully heals, and if/when that happens he shouldn’t wrestle the same style anymore. But if his career is indeed over then what a waste of talent. He was on the cusp of becoming one of NJPW’s top stars.
Arguing in absolutes and sweeping statements is either a poor argument or done intentionally to annoy.
The entire point of pro wrestling is to simulate combat without the ramifications of actual combat.
Taking basic bumps is hard enough on the body. Some asshole adding stiff kicks, elbows and punches is just a recipe for disaster. Just because a hand select few had long careers in strong style, doesn't mean the vast majority haven't been shortened far too early compared to the days of pro wrestlers from the 80s still working to this very day.
Calling stiff guys "workers" or even professional is a slap in the face of all safe guys who make this look real without hurting anyone.
If a stuntman was just punching people for real, that makes you a shitty stuntman.