Major AEW Favourite To Take An "Extended" Break

This former title won't be on AEW or ROH programming for an extended period.

Shibata and Orange Cassidy

Having now dropped the ROH Pure Championship, Katsuyori Shibata is set for a hiatus from AEW and ROH programming.

Per Fightful Select, Shibata is due to return to Japan for an "extended period" as soon as possible.


The initial hope was that Shibata's absence could've been delayed until after ROH Final Battle 2023, which takes place on 15 December from Garland, Texas' Curtis Culwell Center. It unfortunately was not possible for the 44-year-old to remain in the US for that long, and thus the decision was made for him to drop the ROH Pure Title to Wheeler Yuta on on last night's episode of AEW Rampage.

That loss to Yuta brought Katsuyori's Pure Championship reign to a halt at 239 days; the Wrestler having defeated the Blackpool Combat Club man for that prize back at last year's Final Battle.


Shibata has enjoyed his time with AEW and ROH and is said to have liked teaming with Hook and Orange Cassidy, suggesting that the legend is open to working with the promotions in the future. For now, though, his focus will be on Japan.

Senior Writer
Senior Writer

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