Katsuyori Shibata

Katsuyori Shibata to be head coach of the New Japan Dojo in Los Angeles

New Japan announced over the weekend that former NEVER and IWGP Tag Team Champion Katsuyori Shibata will be the head coach for the recently re-opened New Japan Dojo in Los Angeles.

Shibata is all but retired from in-ring action currently after suffering a subdural hematoma in his brain during his match with IWGP Champion Kazuchika Okada in April 2017 and hasn’t competed since. Shibata did make one appearance for New Japan during the G-1 Climax Finals last August in an emotional moment, telling fans that he is alive.

Shibata will be joined by current ROH star Scorpio Sky at the dojo as Sky will be an assistant coach there. Sky is known for his long tenure in Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, as well as short stints in WWE and TNA as Daryl in the Team Hell No skits in 2012 and Mason Andrews during that same year.

Summer NJPW schedule

New Japan announced over the weekend that their annual Best of the Super Juniors round-robin tournament will take place from May 18 to June 4, with both the first night and the finals emanating from Koruaken Hall in Tokyo.

The tournament is done in the style of the G-1 Climax and World Tag League, with 16 men in two 8-man blocks battling it out over the span of the tournament until the winners of each block meet on the final day to determine the tournament winner. That winner receives an IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title shot at the Dominion iPPV later that month.

New Japan also announced that Dominion will take place on June 9 from the Osaka-Jo Hall in Osaka, Japan. Last year’s event saw the memorable one-hour draw between IWGP Champion Kazuchika Okada and Kenny Omega in the second match of their vaunted three-match series in 2017.