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    Monday, October 31, 2016

    #MustWatchMonday (10/31/2016): Go Shiozaki vs. Katsuyori Shibata

    There is currently an ongoing inter-promotional feud between the two BushiRoad owned promotions: NJPW and Pro Wrestling NOAH. It all started on the final night of the G1 Climax this year, where we saw NOAH wrestlers Go Shiozaki, Katsuhiko Nakajima, Masa Kitamiya and Maybach Taniguchi going up against the New Japan dad team of Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Manabu Nakanishi, Yuji Nagata and the NEVER Openweight Champion Katusyori Shibata. The two teams showed utter disdain toward each other, and the crowd reacted to the invaders by booing them out of the building.

    [NJPW G1 FINALS SPOILERS] Team NJPW vs. Team NOAH - Create, Discover and Share GIFs on Gfycat

    NOAH would eventually win this match, and another match that the two teams would have in King of Pro Wrestling, but with Satoshi Kojima taking the place of Katsuyori Shibata, who had a title defense that night. Following Shibata's successful defense though, Shiozaki would come out and get into the face of Shibata, seemingly challenging him for his title.

    Some quick background information on Go Shiozaki for those who don't know: Shiozaki is a well-decorated wrestler in Japan, being a three time GHC Heavyweight Champion, and also a former Triple Crown Champion for AJPW. Shiozaki started out his career with NOAH, but left for AJPW in 2013 along with Jun Akiyama and other talents when there were backstage issues in NOAH. Shiozaki has had more than his fair share of great matches, such as this one against Shinsuke Nakamura.

    Or this one against Joe Doering in AJPW.

    Now that that's out of the way, I'll continue. Pro Wrestling NOAH held it's Great Voyage in Yokohama Vol. 2 event on October 23, and one of the matches on it was Go Shiozaki vs. Katsuyori Shibata in a non-title match. It is likely that this match isn't the culminating bout for the feud between these two men and for the two promotions as a whole, but it didn't stop this match from being must-watch.

    Shiozaki's style of wrestling is quite similar to Shibata's, being more brutal, hard hitting, and focusing on chops, lariats, and slams, yet still being able to wrestle on a technical level. As for the match itself, it looked painful. Not painful in the bad way, but more in the vein of "These guys are going to kill each other." Shots were stiff, the hatred was well-sold and the whole match was violent as a whole.

    Both men were pumped for this match, and the crowd responded. These two had great chemistry, and you can tell that there was more in the tank for both of them, which leads me to believe that they'll be having another match, most likely at Wrestle Kingdom 12. Shibata won this one, but you can bet that Shiozaki will be back for more.

    Brandon Sy is a PhD student in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics currently based in Sydney. Since he wasn't allowed to watch wrestling as a kid, he's been overcompensating ever since. Despite being a huge fan of Japanese wrestling, he still holds a soft spot in his heart for WWE's Kane. He's good for recommending matches from pretty much anywhere, whether it be Japan, Europe, the US or Mexico. He'd be ecstatic if you watched Dragon Gate though.
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    Item Reviewed: #MustWatchMonday (10/31/2016): Go Shiozaki vs. Katsuyori Shibata Rating: 5 Reviewed By: bodonium
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