by Daniel Johnson
Katsuyori Shibata vs. Wataru Inoue
I have talked about the dark days of NJPW plenty of times on this website and have even highlighted Shibata as a particularly negative influence. Why do I keep bringing up this period and posting clips if I hate it so much? Well, part of it must be the masochist (sadist?) in me, but the main reason is that NJPW has so many clips from that era on their Official YouTube page despite trumpeting each match as “NJPW Greatest Moments.”
So while looking for matches this one featuring Shibata stuck out. The clip is about eight minutes so I knew that though I may suffer, it wouldn’t be for long. I figured I’d watch it, post it, Shibata would throw a bunch of kicks and we’d all have a good laugh. Instead Shibata and Inoue really forced each other to wrestle in this one. There is even some decent psychology here with Shibata focusing on Inoue’s arm and locking an armbar on Inoue that has him flailing around like a chicken with his head cut off. Speaking of chickens even with some decent definition Inoue more or less has the physique of a chicken that has been skinned. But enough about Inoue looking like a deformed chicken. The man ranked on Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s PWI 500 in 2011 and this match demonstrates his skills when he was still fairly new to the business.
The match is by no means great, but it teaches us a powerful lesson. The next time you see a man who looks and/or acts like a half-dead chicken before mocking him keep in mind that he may just be a great wrestler.
Categories: Wrestling Clips