Kota Ibushi Comments On Why He Didn’t Sign With AEW

Kota Ibushi
Kota Ibushi

Kota Ibushi was recently interviewed by Japanese media outlet, ShuPru, on why he turned down AEW’s offer last year. He also mentioned he hasn’t spoken to Kenny Omega since Wrestle Kingdom.

Ibushi’s comments to ShuPru were translated by NJPW commentator, Chris Charlton, on Twitter. The two main points of the interview are regarding his negotiations with AEW and his rivalry with Will Ospreay.

Kota Ibushi Interview Highlights

Kota Ibushi On Not Signing With AEW

“What I realized (talking to AEW) was I really don’t care about money,” he continued. “‘(Kenny and I) haven’t spoken since Wrestle Kingdom. I think he wanted me in his corner in the main event but after what happened (concussion in his match against Ospreay) he was worried and said I should leave early. After that..”

“AEW said they just want me in their ring in some form. The ideal for them was for me to move to America and be there full time. I turned them down just after Wrestle Kingdom.”

“If I went it would be the end of my career. There wouldn’t be anywhere else to go after that. No step up, nothing left to do. That would be the last step to make, and after that things would just go down. Great money, but I want to keep developing.”

Kota Ibushi on Match With Will Ospreay

Ibushi in ShuPro on the Ospreay match: ‘the only downer was the very end… in part it was like the old Ibushi versus the new Ibushi, or junior Ibushi versus heavy Ibushi, plus something more.. like the kind of thing you can only normally do in a video game’

‘Ospreay is fast and powerful with it. He can easily go heavyweight and not lose out in the power stakes’

Iibushi: very difficult to ascertain severity in any given (concussion) case. He hit his head, had a headache, but was seen by three different doctors that day (Jan 4)who said there was no problem with reflexes, movement etc. next day went to hospital and was told he was fine.”

A link to the article in Japanese can be found here.

The latest NJPW Territory Report can be read here.