Kota Ibushi Send Message To NJPW Following Shock Exit

Kota Ibushi

On January 31st, Kota Ibushi’s contract with New Japan Pro Wrestling came to an end. The first-ever IWGP World Heavyweight Champion had not been seen in the ring since the G1 Climax Final in October 2021, where he suffered a serious shoulder injury that led to the referee stopping his match and awarding the victory to Kazuchika Okada.

During his time away, Ibushi’s relationship with the company soured dramatically with the star calling out “sexually harassing bosses” and “power harassment” in a series of tweets in May of 2022.

The problems between the two parties began when Ibushi a New Japan official wanted him to appear at Wrestle Kingdom 16 in January 2022 despite still being injured. He was also advertised to appear at NJPW’s Anniversary show that March and the subsequent New Japan Cup tournament. At the time, he was still far from being able to compete and didn’t want to return until he was fully healed.

This led to him being pulled from the shows and his scheduled first-round match in the Cup was forfeited to Great-O-Khan.

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.

Immediately after his contract ended on January 31st, Ibushi was advertised to appear for GCW during WrestleMania weekend. With a new chapter in his career beginning, he seems to have put the past behind him.

Kota Ibushi thanks NJPW despite past conflicts

On February 1st, Ibushi acknowledged his past conflicts with the company while sending a somewhat surprising message of thanks through social media.

“There were a lot of conflicts, but I thank New Japan Pro Wrestling I have chosen not to renew my contract and become a freelancer instead. Thank you for the long, densely packed time that went by in the blink of an eye. I’m grateful

“I hope to watch over my own path from now on! I don’t know what’s going to happen.”

NJPW has also issued a short statement on the exit of the star, wishing him the best in his future endeavours.

“With the conclusion of his contract period on January 31 2023, Kota Ibushi has departed New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Ibushi had been recovering from injury since October 2021.

“We apologise to Ibushi’s fans for the abrupt announcement, and join them in wishing Ibushi the very best in all his future endeavours.”

H/T to Thefeelite for the above translation.