Kota Ibushi Injures Shoulder Again, Still Vows To Compete Over WrestleMania Weekend

Kota Ibushi is penciled in for two matches during Game Changer Wrestling's The Collective this weekend in Los Angeles, California. However, the former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion is dealing with a setback heading into those bouts. Ibushi wrote on Twitter, which was translated via DeepL Translator, "I understand a lot of things, but this is a return fight. Why do I feel like I'm being bullied, and why did the MMA gym make me injure my right shoulder again? Well, I'm still doubtful for the second day, but I'll still do my best not to break and show the power of Japanese."


Ibushi, who landed in Los Angeles, California, on Tuesday, is set to face "Speedball" Mike Bailey at Josh Barnett's Bloodsport 7 this evening before taking on "The Bad Boy" Joey Janela at Spring Break 7 tomorrow night. If those bouts do go ahead as planned, it will be the first time the "Golden Star" has laced up his wrestling boots since losing to Kazuchika Okada in the finals of New Japan Pro-Wrestling's G1 Climax 31 in October 2021. It was during that high-stakes encounter that Ibushi first injured his shoulder, which ruled him out of action indefinitely. 

While on the sidelines, the 40-year-old's relationship with NJPW severely deteriorated, and he ultimately exited the promotion upon the expiration of his contract earlier this year. On the same day the Japanese organization revealed that Ibushi was no longer under contract, GCW announced that the two-time G1 Climax winner would travel to the United States for the first time since November 2019 to make his in-ring comeback during The Collective.