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Katsuyori Shibata embarrassed Wheeler Yuta to win ROH Pure Championship

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Be careful what you wish for. Wheeler Yuta found that out the hard way at the ROH Supercard of Honor PPV (March 31, 2023).

Yuta had been running his mouth as the ROH Pure champion trying to pick a fight with one man in particular. Yuta made an example by beating NJPW LA Dojo students, and now he wanted the teacher. Katsuyori Shibata answered the call.

Yuta had a surprise by his side. Blackpool Combat Club teacher Jon Moxley was in the house. Mox kept to himself as an observer during the contest.

Pure rules in effect. Pat Buck, Madison Rayne, and Christopher Daniels were judges to pick a winner in the event of a 60-minute time limit draw. This match did not go the distance. Master Shibata embarrassed the brash, young punk in Yuta.

Mat work to start. Shibata was in control forcing Yuta to fight defensively. The teacher locked in a figure-four. Yuta was in deep trouble but managed to reach the ropes for his first break at 5 minutes into the contest. Shibata was also dominant in the striking game. Yuta unloaded chops to no effect, while Shibata flattened the student on single blows.

Yuta was desperate and resorted to cheap tricks just to survive. On a waistlock by Shibata, Yuta landed a mule kick out of sight from the referee. Yuta turned around for an illegal closed-fist punch. That earned an official warning from the ref. A second closed-fist punch would result in a disqualification, and the Pure title can change hands on a DQ.

Shibata had enough of the games. A stiff punch on the jaw knocked Yuta silly. Shibata applied a sleeper hold then finished with a penalty kick to win at 13:12 on the clock. Shibata is the new ROH Pure champion.

In addition to the current story, there’s also the longer, real-life one of Shibata’s comeback. The man could have died in the ring from a brain bleed back in 2017. This is only his fifth match since that happened, and several of them featured rules designed to protect him from further injury. Now he’s carrying an active title for Tony Khan, and could be back on course for some dream matches with other members of the ROH and AEW rosters... like some of Yuta’s Blackpool Combat Club teammates (cough... Bryan Danielson... cough).

What was your reaction to Katsuyori Shibata winning the ROH Pure Championship?

Get the full results of Supercard of Honor here. The PPV is available for viewing through Bleacher Report in the USA and Fite TV for the rest of the world.

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