Over the weekend the news began to spread that not only were Katsuyori Shibata’s injuries following his match with Kazuchika Okada not a work, but that they could potentially put an end to his career. According to Dave Meltzer, the combination of that now horrifying headbutt and dehydration led to Shibata’s subdural hematoma, and he was temporarily paralysed down his right side. While he is now communicating and recovering in the hospital, it is believed that the chances of him ever being cleared to wrestle again are low.
There was a very real danger that Sakura Genesis would get lost in the shuffle. The week after WrestleMania most of us are suffering from wrestling fatigue and it would be easy to decide this was a show you could miss. If that’s a decision you made, then I’m here to tell you to sort your life out. Sakura Genesis put everything WWE did to shame, and New Japan continued to prove themselves the best wrestling company in the world. While this card was far from perfect there wasn’t a true dud to be found and here are ten things that we noticed during this brilliant night of wrestling.
After the madness that was Fantastica Mania New Japan gets back onto the serious stuff with The New Beginning in Sapporo, a show that kicked off Suzuki-gun’s invasion of New Japan proper. Even with a second event next weekend this was a stacked card and gave me plenty to think about as I continue my New Japan education.
As a newcomer to New Japan, Fantastica Mania is a bit of a strange one. It’s the bump in the road before we get back to the serious stuff and it introduces a whole new cast of guys (the CMLL wrestlers) into a group that I’m only just getting to know. However, I’m nothing if not a trooper, and I wasn’t about to slow down on my newfound puroresu love. Therefore, over the last few days I’ve tuned into all the broadcast shows of Fantastica Mania and here are ten things that I took away from them.
Coming into 2017 I made the decision that from now on I was going to watch less WWE. With five hours of Raw and SmackDown and two PPVs a month enough was enough, and it was dampening my enthusiasm for other wrestling. Alongside that, I vowed that this would be the year I finally got into New Japan. I’ve watched a couple of Wrestle Kingdoms in the past, but it is time for me to give it the effort it deserves. With that in mind, the last two days have seen me sign up to New Japan World and tune into Wrestle Kingdom 11 and New Year Dash and as this is the internet in 2017, here are some things I learnt.
Before I get into this, it’s confession time. Wrestle Kingdom 10 was my first experience of New Japan. I’ve seen matches here and there and I’m obviously aware of Nakamura, Okada, and Tanahashi while you’d have to be living under a WWE-sized rock to have missed Bullet Club (although even that seems to be changing). But until now, I have never sat down and watched a full New Japan show. So here’s my thoughts.