Kota Ibushi Wants to Face Tetsuya Naito

1/2 of the newly reunited Golden Lovers, Kota Ibushi, recently gave an interview to Tokyo Sports. Ibushi spoke about the upcoming New Japan Cup, which gets underway March 9th, 2018.

Ibushi’s tag-team partner, Kenny Omega, opted not to take part in the tournament. Instead, Omega says he wants to focus on the rift in Bullet Club. Omega is not looking to win a single’s title or tournament until after the problems in Bullet Club have ceased.

As for Ibushi, however, he is highly motivated to win the New Japan Cup this year. Something he’s already done once before.

Kota Ibushi on Wanting to Face Tetsuya Naito in the New Japan Cup

Ibushi will face YOSHI-HASHI in the 1st round of the tournament. Should Ibushi win, he’ll move on to face the winner of Zack Sabre Jr versus Tetsuya Naito in the 2nd round.

We’ve run Ibushi’s comments through Google Translate and picked out the important parts.

“I want you to win Naito-san, since I have lost two consecutive games, the revenge for Mr. Naito is more valuable than I won in the sense that I am the most valuable”

Naito and Ibushi have met 4x in single’s competition. The first time was in the 2013 G1 tournament. Ibushi defeated Naito in that match but Naito would go on to win the tournament. The next time they faced each other was the 2015 New Japan Cup. Ibushi won that match again and would go on to win the tournament.

Naito has won the last two matches between the two, however. He defeated Ibushi in the 2015 G1 tournament and again in the 2017 version en route to winning the whole thing for the 2nd time in his career.

Kota Ibushi Wants to Face Tetsuya Naito

2018 New Japan Cup Schedule

Naito and Ibushi will both wrestle their 1st round matches on March 11th. The show will air on New Japan World but will not feature English commentary. Luckily, you follow this site and we put out stuff like this.

Should both Naito and Ibushi get by their 1st round opponents, they would face each other for a 5th time on March 15th, 2018. That show will have Kevin Kelly and Don Callis on commentary.