Kota Ibushi hasn’t participated in a match since he lost to Kazuchika Okada in the G1 Climax 31 finals of New Japan Pro Wrestling in October 2021. He suffered a shoulder injury which forced him to stay out of action. We have now got the latest update on his injury.
Ibushi hurt his shoulder during the fight with Okada as he landed awkwardly on a Phoenix Splash. He has since been attempting to rehab the injury. Ibushi apparently refused to have surgery on the affected area, despite being encouraged to do so.
Ibushi’s reluctance contributed to the length and difficulty of his recuperation. According to the most recent Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Ibushi’s shoulder is healing, but the process is taking a while. No specific timetable was given as to when he is expected to return.
Since then, despite NJPW’s public apology to Ibushi for his social media criticism of the company, Ibushi’s relationship with NJPW has deteriorated. During that time, the former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion exchanged messages with New Japan executive Yusuke Kikuchi in which he was threatened with having his contract cancelled.
Since then, it has been claimed that he won’t be joining the company again. Ibushi hasn’t worked in the wrestling industry for a while, but this week he was seen in Japan alongside Kenny Omega of AEW. The erstwhile Golden Lovers were spotted hanging together while Omega is on indefinite leave from AEW as a result of the altercation that occurred after the most recent All Out pay-per-view.
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