There’s no offseason for professional wrestling, which unfortunately means it’s always pro wrestling injury season. New Japan has had some real unfortunate luck lately in that respect, as fan favorite Tomoaki Honma recently suffered a very serious neck injury, and now one of their top stars has just undergone surgery following a traumatic brain injury.
Katsuyori Shibata, the hard-hitting three-time NEVER Openweight Champion, was the winner of this year’s New Japan Cup just a couple of weeks ago, which earned him a title fight of his choosing. He opted to challenge Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, and the two had their title match on Sunday at Sakura Genesis.
Shibata came up on the losing end of that fight, and reportedly collapsed backstage afterward. He was rushed to a nearby hospital and had emergency surgery. On Monday, New Japan posted an update, revealing that Shibata suffered a subdural hematoma, and is recovering following a successful surgical procedure.
Katsuyori Shibata was taken to hospital due to poor health following his main event match on April 9th at Ryogoku Sumo Hall. He was conscious and able to communicate while being admitted to hospital.
After a medical examination, he was diagnosed with subdural hematoma and surgery was conducted as part of his treatment. He is now recovering following a successful operation.
Subdural hematomas are generally caused by tears in veins in the brain, which leads to blood collecting in the brain. We don’t yet know — and may never know — just how serious this particular hematoma was, but it’s certainly very worrying, especially given Shibata’s particular wrestling style, which places emphasis on legitimate strikes and headbutts.
We here at With Spandex wish Shibata a speedy recovery and hope that any further updates will be filled with good news.