AEW Rampage featured a rather surprising title change this week as Wheeler Yuta beat Shibata for the ROH Pure Title. Now, we have a bit more information about the situation.

Ringside News has complete coverage of AEW Collision and Rampage, and the show started off with a surprising moment. The ROH Pure Title was on the line, and now there is a new champion.

Sean Sapp noted behind Fightful’s paywall that Katsuyori Shibata dropped his ROH Pure Title for a very good reason. He is taking a break from wrestling in the United States, because he is heading home to Japan.

Katsuyori Shibata is set to take a break from ROH after losing the ROH Pure Championship to Wheeler Yuta on the November 25th episode of AEW Rampage. Yuta’s confrontation with Shibata led to the title change. According to AEW officials, Shibata needs to return to Japan for an extended period urgently, and he couldn’t delay his departure until ROH Final Battle.


The plan was for Yuta to “steal” the title and tease causing some damage to Shibata’s brain, with HOOK eventually making the save to create drama but not permanently injure Shibata. The attack was meant to force ROH to impose an extended “No Contact” period for Shibata as a precaution before his eventual return.

Sources said that Shibata’s absence was something ROH hoped he could put off until after ROH Final Battle, but it was confirmed earlier in the week that it was not possible for him to stay that long. As a result, ROH and Shibata worked out the plan this week, and Shibata was said to love the idea. Shibata has said he is happy in AEW and has liked teaming with HOOK and Orange Cassidy. It is not known when Shibata will return to ROH.

Katsuyori Shibata had previously retired due to a subdural hematoma in 2017 but returned to wrestling, making his AEW debut at AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door 2022. He wrestled on the November 4th, 2022 episode of AEW Rampage, won the ROH Pure Championship at ROH Supercard of Honor 2023, and participated in events like AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door 2023, AEW Dynamite, and ROH TV.

We will keep an eye on this story, and many more, right here at Ringside News. You never know what will break next, because the pro wrestling world is busier than ever.

What’s your take on Katsuyori Shibata going back to Japan? Let us know what you think in the comments section!

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H Jenkins

I love pro wrestling and hate BS. These two things drive me. Years of experience in writing, journalism, and digging exclusive insider info for Ringside News. Worked in finance before realizing pro wrestling journalism made much less sense. Pro beachballs at pro wrestling shows, pro dives if someone catches, anti bullies, olives, and pineapples on pizza.

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