Kota Ibushi Comments On His NJPW Exit

As reported earlier, former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Kota Ibushi is officially a free agent and the Japanese star took to Twitter to comment on his exit from NJPW.

"There were various conflicts, but thank you to New Japan Pro-Wrestling. I chose the position of being free to renew my contract. Thank you for your long and condensed period. thank you. From now on, I hope you will watch over my path! I don't know what will happen," wrote Ibushi.

NJPW released a statement about his departure earlier, apologizing to fans and wishing Ibushi "the very best in all his future endeavors." It's no secret that there were issues between Ibushi and NJPW officials. Last year, Ibushi took to social media claiming that he was being pressured into returning early from his injury and had to deal with "sexually harassing bosses" and "power harassment."

Ibushi has not wrestled since he dislocated his shoulder in October 2021, during the G1 Climax 31 tournament finals against current IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada. 

The 40-year-old is scheduled to make his in-ring return and Game Changer Wrestling debut at the end of March. He will be a part of two GCW's The Collective events — Bloodsport and Joey Janela's Spring Break. It was also revealed on Tuesday night that Ibushi's opponent for Josh Barnett's Bloodsport 9 will be Impact Wrestling star "Speedball" Mike Bailey.

A few NJPW stars have reacted to Ibushi's NJPW exit on social media, including Will Ospreay, who called him an "amazing rival" and a "great friend."