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NJPW Issues Statement On Kota Ibushi’s Departure

Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

New Japan Pro-Wrestling has confirmed Kota Ibushi‘s departure.

Ibushi had worked for the company for several years, starting in 2009. He was a prominent member of the roster until his departure in 2016, when he had a brief run with WWE. He returned to NJPW in October 2016 and reestablished himself as one of the company’s top stars. Ibushi won many titles throughout his time with NJPW including the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship. He held the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship three times and the IWGP Intercontinental Championship twice. Ibushi also won the G1 Climax in both 2019 and 2020, and he won the Best of the Super Junior tournament in 2011.

Ibushi expressed his frustration with NJPW management after he was advertised and later pulled from the New Japan Cup despite having an injury. He jhas been sidelined with a shoulder injury since October 2021, when he lost to Kazuchika Okada in the finals of he G1 Climax 2021 tournament. NJPW later announced punishments to Ibushi and others who were involved with the incidents.

On January 31, NJPW issued a statement in which it confirmed his departure. The company apologized to his fans and wished Ibushi well in his future endeavors.

From NJPW:

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 apologize to Ibushi’s fans for the abrupt announcement, and join them in wishing Ibushi the very best in all his future endeavors.

In a recent interview, Ibushi stated that he is “90% comeback.” More information is available here.

Ibushi has been announced for The Collective 2023; he will compete at Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport 9 and Joey Janela’s Spring Break 7.

RELATED: Report: Kota Ibushi Has ‘Major Interest’ From Multiple Companies

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