NJPW and DDT superstar Kota Ibushi has announced that he will not be re-signing his dual DDT/NJPW contract. This announcement was made earlier today, in a press conference. Ibushi (33) cites the mental and physical tolls of working for both promotions as the reason for his decision.
Ibushi also said he intends to start his own organization/promotion. It will be called the Ibushi Wrestling Research Institute. There is not much information on what exactly IWRI will be at this point in time.
Ibushi has been out of action since last year due to a neck injury. He is due to return to the ring on March 22nd at DDT Ryogoku. His “departure” can be seen as another blow to NJPW, since most observers expected him to be pushed in Nakamura’s and AJ Styles’ stead once he returned. Many expected him to feud with former tag team partner and current IWGP Heavyweight champion Kenny Omega.
Now officially a freelancer, Ibushi can of course continue to work some dates with DDT (likely) or NJPW (it is unknown how they’re reacting to this news at this point) if he chooses to. Some have already cited him as one of the names HHH would be interested him for his Global Cruiserweight series, but that’s only a rumor at this point, although it should be noted that HHH was interested in signing Ibushi, alongside KENTA, back in 2014, but the deal couldn’t be made back then.
My feeling is that Ibushi just wants the freedom to accept his own dates and create his own projects, so I don’t think he will close any doors definitively in the coming months, but I wouldn’t expect any big contracts signings from him either.
Tags: ddt, Kota Ibushi, njpw