New Japan Pro Wrestling has officially announced that Kota Ibushi is no longer with the company.
Ibushi’s contract expired on January 31st, and the decorated wrestler is officially a free agent.
You can read the official announcement below:
“Kota Ibushi leaves New Japan Pro-Wrestling
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.”
Fightful reports that several big wrestling companies have “major interest” in Ibushi, from full-time deals to one-off appearances. It is believed that Ibushi will remain a free agent and sources close to the wrestler noted that he was happy with his free agency prior to signing with NJPW, which was apparently a “live and learn” experience.
The report also states an unspecified “significant private matter” that Ibushi was dealing with which strained his relationship with NJPW, who wanted him to work through the situation.
Ibushi will be competing in several GCW events at The Collective over WrestleMania 39 weekend. Ibushi has already been booked in a singles match against Mike Bailey for Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport 9.