Kota Ibushi To Make GCW Debut

Kota Ibushi

Kota Ibushi is coming to the United States for the first time in years.

Ibushi, who is now a free agent after his NJPW contract expired, will appear at GCW’s Collective 2023 show, which takes place on March 30th in Los Angeles, California. The official announcement was shared on Twitter earlier today.

This will be wrestling his first match in the United States November 2019 when he took wrestled on New Japan’s Showdown in San Jose show.

Kota Ibushi hasn’t wrestled a single match since suffering a major injury on October 21st, 2021. That match saw Ibushi take on Kazuchika Okada in the finals of that year’s G1 Climax tournament. The match ended via referee’s decision when Ibushi landed badly following a dive.

In the process, Ibushi damaged his arm and shoulder and spent well over a year recovering and rehabbing his injury.

Ibushi’s 2022 was further mired in controversy as he made some accusatory statements towards New Japan over alleged pressure to return to the ring while not fully healed. That situation escalated and eventually ruined any change of Ibushi wrestling for New Japan, at least on any long-term basis.

Kota Ibushi did wrestle for WWE many years ago during the widely-acclaimed Cruiserweight Classic tournament in 2016. He made it to the semi-final before losing to TJ Perkins, and also had a memorable match with Brian Kendrick in that tournament’s quarter-final round.

He also teamed with Perkins in the 2016 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic but failed to win that as well.