Hawke Looks at Katsuyori Shibata in Big Mouth Loud Collection
With Katsuyori Shibata’s career apparently coming to an end after his match with Kazuchika Okada, I decided I wanted to go back and finally watch his matches in Big Mouth Loud. Much like Shibata’s in-ring career, the promotion’s run was very interesting but all too brief. What follows is a look at all the matches Shibata did for BML. He was either the main event or semi-main event for every show. Enjoy.
September 11, 2005
Katsuyori Shibata vs Kazunari Murakami
This was a very competitive and fun main event for the first BML show (and thankfully for Shibata, ended much differently than their 2003 NJPW match). Both guys spent the whole match (that barely went past ten minutes) trying to either finish each other or look for an opening to that would eventually lead to a potential finish. There was just a ton of good action here, and it felt like a genuinely fresh approach to main event wrestling. Good stuff all around. Murakami won after blocking a second PK and then hitting a brutal running knee to the chest. (***3/4)
December 29, 2005
Katsuyori Shibata vs Satoshi Kojima
This was a fine second main event for BML. It did not feel nearly as fresh or fun as their first main event, but it still featured some crowd-pleasing action in enough of a compact package.
It did also get a lot more intriguing in the second half of the match after Shibata took an Emerald Flowsion on the floor. From there, Shibata seemed to be very clearly done. Kojima did however take him too lightly, and it gave Shibata enough room to fight back. Kojima did end up winning in the end though.
The biggest issue with the match was potentially that the pacing of the match felt all off throughout. There was just no flow to much of what they did, and they were lucky that the decent action and mini-story in the second half kept things together slightly. (***)
February 26, 2006
Katsuyori Shibata vs Alan Karaev
This was so much fun! Karaev was this giant bear of a fucking dude, and he was absolutely mauling Shibata. Shibata looked completely helpless; it was clearly only a matter of time before he stayed down for good. He managed to pull a knee-bar out of nowhere though to save himself the match which was his first BML win. Such a good main event! (***3/4)
March 22, 2006
Katsuyori Shibata vs Hidetaka Monma
This was a very solid match even if it was missing the excitement that some of the other Shibata BML main events had.
They took their time getting going. Monma eventually got control. He did not have the killer instinct to finish Shibata off though and that gave Shibata enough of an opening to fire back and defeat him.
This had sound storytelling with fun action mixed in. It just really needed a few more peaks in excitement in order to get to that next level. (***1/4)
April 19, 2006
Katsuyori Shibata vs Katsuhiko Nakajima
This was a very solid match. They were tentative in the early goings. Things eventually got intense. It looked like Shibata might run away with it, but Nakajima held on there for a bit longer than expected. Shibata did though eventually finish him with the kimura. Not bad at all. (***)
June 18, 2006
Katsuyori Shibata & Kota Ibushi vs Naomichi Marufuji & Takeshi Morishima
This match worked due to the wide variety of things going on it it. Shibata was being his badass self. Kota was in uber young boy mode here. Marufuji got to show off his silky smooth movement AND his dangerous side when kicking Kota’s ass. Morishima was a monster who was just mauling everyone. The combination of all these elements made this otherwise average match into something more fun and unique. Kota eventually ate the pin from Morishima to give the NOAH team the win. (***1/4)
July 2, 2006
Katsuyori Shibata vs Kensuke Sasaki
This match was probably more interesting than good. Early on, Sasaki was able to keep up with Shibata and got the advantage as a result.
He eventually could not keep the pace at such a high level though and was forced to slow down. Shibata did not come back right away, but the slower pace did allow for that in the end.
Shibata never went for the kill which gave Sasaki an opening to keep it competitive. Sasaki managed to win cleanly in the end as a result.
This was a case of a match using slow periods and a lack of killer instinct to their advantage in regards to storytelling. Anyone looking for a minor gem though will be disappointed. (***)
August 20, 2006
Katsuyori Shibata vs TARU
This was such a shitty last match for Shibata in BML. Taru took the trashy micard heel approach here and brought absolutely nothing interesting to the table. Shibata could not drag anything decent out of him, and then the match ended with Taru getting disqualified intentionally for all intents or purposes. Bad, bad, bad match. Avoid. (*)