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MOTW 26: Shibata vs Okada

$25.00 USD - $40.00 USD

"Chris Things M.O.T.W. #26: The Wrestler Katsuyori Shibata vs. The Rainmaker Kazuchika Okada"

Hi pals! We’re up to week 26 of this little old “Match of the Week” illustration series & this week I’ve got another all-time classic for you.

This epic, heart-wrenching IWGP Heavyweight Championship bout took place almost 7 years ago on April 9th, 2017 at NJPW Sakura Genesis 2017 in the historic Tokyo Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Hall.

Now I’m a bit late to the party here but I somehow only finally watched this one this past week & safe to say, not much is topping this match! To be honest, for a long time, I couldn’t quite bring myself to watch this one. For those who might be unaware, Shibata sustained a very serious brain injury in this match that almost ended his life & was long thought to have ended his Pro Wrestling career for good. He then miraculously returned & bit by bit has been returning to top-form. A big part of my finally watching this one was inspired by that truly great match with Bryan Danielson last week. As a long-time Shibata-fan, after that one it finally felt like he really was back.

As someone who myself had my wrestling days ended due to concussion-issues, this whole thing was both close to home but also very inspiring.

As far as a match, what can you say? This is just incredible stuff. Far & away the greatest Okada match that I’ve seen. For me a lot of that is that this one is more Shibata forcing Okada to wrestle a Shibata match & not the other way around. This match is definitely not for the faint of heart but a match that captures the true beauty & more than anything, the heart of Professional Wrestling.


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