Kota Ibushi Returning To Action In The United States, New Update On NJPW Departure

Kota Ibushi

Kota Ibushi hasn’t been seen inside a wrestling ring since the finals of the G1 Climax in 2021. On that occasion, he suffered a serious shoulder injury that put him out of action.

During his hiatus, the relationship between Ibushi and NJPW soured considerably, with the star calling out “sexually harassing bosses” and “power harassment” in a series of tweets in May of 2022.

Ibushi’s unhappiness partially stemmed from being asked to return to action at Wrestle Kingdom 16 despite still rehabilitating his shoulder injury as the star didn’t want to return until he was fully healed. After he released a series of text messages between himself and a New Japan official, both parties were subject to financial penalties. The star also revealed the tragic news that his mother had attempted to end her own life as a result of his public falling out with the company.

Now, a new update from Fightful Select provides more information on his departure from NJPW as he’s officially a free agent. According to the report, Ibushi’s shoulder injury was only one of the reasons the relationship between himself and his former employer soured. The report notes that the star was also dealing with a “significant private matter” and that New Japan wanted him to return to work while working through it. The report did not include further information as to the nature of the private matter as Ibushi has not made details public.

Kota Ibushi Will Wrestle At The GCW Collective During WrestleMania Weekend

When it was reported that Ibushi’s contract was set to expire at the end of January, fans began to wonder if he’d be returning to action at long last, and now his comeback has been officially announced. Taking to social media, GCW revealed that Ibushi will be taking part in the promotion’s Collective during WWE WrestleMania weekend in Los Angeles, CA.

According to the announcement, he will take part in both Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport 9 on March 30th and Joey Janela’s Spring Break 7 on March 31st. His opponents for the show have not been announced, but according to Fightful Select, he is planned to take part in a main event match with Joey Janela himself at Spring Break.

Back in September, Kota Ibushi was pictured alongside his longtime friend and former tag team partner Kenny Omega, who was suspended from AEW at the time due to his involvement in the brawl following All Out.