Major Free Agent Not Expected To Sign Full-time Deal With AEW

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In recent months, All Elite Wrestling has signed top stars like Jay White, Taya Valkyrie,, and most recently Roderick Strong. However, there is one free agent who has so far eluded them.

Kota Ibushi officially left New Japan Pro Wrestling when his contract with the promotion expired on January 31st. At the time, he was still recovering from a shoulder injury he sustained towards the end of 2021.

However, on March 30th, he made his long-awaited return to the ring at Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport 9. The Golden Star made his mark by defeating ‘Speedball’ Mike Bailey in under seven minutes. The following night, he once again emerged victorious, this time from a war with Joey Janella at Spring Break 7.

While Ibushi has now proved he is back in action, and even debuted a new entrance video, the star still hasn’t made his next move known.

Due to his longtime connection with Kenny Omega, Ibushi has been heavily linked to a move to AEW. The inaugural IWGP World Heavyweight Champion added fuel to the fire himself, telling Dark Puroresu Flowsion that the company is his top choice, noting he has many friends and potential tag partners there.

“I don’t want to go out normally, I want to go out seriously. I think I’m more suited to AEW than Japan. I already thought so during All In. I have many friends. There are even the best tag partners”

However, a new report has indicated that he might not become All Elite on a full-time basis.

Kota Ibushi unlikely to join AEW full-time

According to Dave Meltzer in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, while Ibushi has an interest in competing in big matches in the company, he’s “probably not” going to sign a full-time deal.

“Regarding Kota Ibushi, nothing has happened, past he is interested in working here but there has been nothing done in that direction yet.

“According to those close to him, he’s probably not looking at working anywhere full-time, but he would be open to traveling for big matches that he wanted to do, like he did because he wanted to do Bloodsport”

This could be in part because Ibushi has been preparing to open a wrestling school in Japan.

He has been charting his progress through a series of videos on YouTube. Most recently, he has been scouting out possible locations for his new dojo.