NJPW Legend Makes Surprise AEW Debut At Forbidden Door!

Look who cleaned house following Will Ospreay vs. Orange Cassidy...

Katsuyori Shibata

Zack Sabre Jr.'s mystery opponent wasn't the only surprise All Elite Wrestling had up its sleeve at Forbidden Door, as legendary NJPW head-kicker Katsuyori Shibata showed up to cause unexpected chaos following Will Ospreay vs. Orange Cassidy.

Ospreay had just defeated Cassidy via Stormbreaker when his United Empire stablemates, Aussie Open, jumped into the ring to take Orange out. Trent Beretta and Rocky Romero attempted to make the save but were quickly overwhelmed, setting the stage for an equalizer.

Cue: the opening guitar notes of Shibata's iconic NJPW entrance theme - and the LA Dojo head trainer hitting the ramp.


In his first physical spot since wrestling Ren Narita at Wrestle Kingdom 16 this July, Shibata put Aussie Open down first then focused his attention on Ospreay, potentially setting the duo up for a singles feud. Will was slapped in a rear naked choke but saved by Kyle Fletcher and Mark Davis before significant damage could be done.

Shibata's 21 October 2021 grappling match with Zack Sabre Jr. was his first in four-and-a-half years, having nearly died due to a brain injury following his acclaimed April 2017 bout with IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada. When a potential match with Ospreay will go down is currently unclear.

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WhatCulture's Senior Wrestling Reporter, Presenter and Editor. Formerly Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @andyhmurray.