According to reports WWE recently missed out on one of professional wrestling’s hottest free agents.
On the recent episode of AEW Dynamite, former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion, and leader of the Bullet Club, Jay White made his surprise debut.
Following a beat down of Ricky Starks, White was given the special “All Elite” treatment from Tony Khan after months of free agent status due to his NJPW expulsion.
After losing a Loser Leaves Japan to his former Bullet Club stablemate, Hikuleo, at NJPW The New Beginning In Osaka 2023 speculation surrounding White’s future was rife. Then at NJPW Battle In The Valley, he lost a Loser Leaves NJPW to Eddie Kingston and it was clear he was Connecticut or Jacksonville bound.
Both companies reportedly had an interest in signing White. At one point it looked like the sports entertainment-focused promotion might be his next wrestling destination due to the NJPW situation and the fact he is unable to wrestle for the promotion.
However, the Switchblade chose to go All Elite Wrestling despite their working relationship with the Japanese promotion. Now, it seems as though Vince McMaohon’s company has missed out on another of wrestling’s top free agents.
Since leaving NJPW in February 2023, Kota Ibushi’s next wrestling home has been the topic of much conjecture. Again, both WWE and AEW are in the running to sign the star, but the former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion is yet to commit, until now.
Is Kota Ibushi WWE or AEW Bound?
The official Twitter account of Dark Puroresu Flowsion recently spoke to one part of the Golden Lovers, Ibusho about his future, to which he replied:
Kota Ibushi told me AEW is his #1 choice:
“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”
The same account also later stated:
“Kota Ibushi as well confirmed with me that he has HIGH INTEREST to be on the All In card with Kenny Omega, Young Bucks & Hangman Page in some capacity at Wembley Stadium.”
Ibushi and AEW EVP Kenny Omega are intrinsically linked. The duo formed a tag team called the Golden Lovers in 2009 while they were both in the Japanese promotion, DDT Pro. Together they won the KO-D Tag Team Championship on two occasions and the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships.