There’s a lot of talk about New Japan Pro Wrestling. From their upcoming event with All Elite Wrestling in June, and their current tour across the United States, there’s a lot to talk about in the promotion. Unfortunately, there’s some negative news as well as Kota Ibushi is seemingly upset with the company. While there’s a lot unknown about the matter, and potentially lost in translation, speculation is still running rampant across wrestling. If the situation occurred where Ibushi becomes a free agent, he would be one of the most important signings in recent years.
Many publications and wrestling personalities have a lot to say about what’s going on as Ibushi publicly calls out NJPW. There’s no idea how the entire situation will play out, especially as Ibushi recovers from a significant shoulder injury. Ibushi signed a three-year deal with NJPW in 2019, meaning his contract would be up sometime this year. If all this plays out to Ibushi being a free agent, expect the two big sharks in the industry to make major plays to bring him on.
Pro wrestling fans will want to see Ibushi go to All Elite Wrestling. The story is there and writes itself. Ibushi has a vital relationship with Kenny Omega and seeing them return together, both coming off serious injuries, would push AEW’s current run of momentum over the top. Not only is the story both with and against Omega there for the telling, but potential matches against Bryan Danielson, Jon Moxley, Adam Cole, Swerve Strickland, and many more are ripe for the taking.
Then there’s WWE, who has taken to the strategy of playing “keep away.” Ibushi had a brief run in WWE as a part of the Cruiserweight Classic back in 2016. Ibushi was the early favorite to win the whole thing, but that changed when contract negotiations between he and the WWE fell apart, leading him to leave the company. Perhaps Ibushi saw the writing on the wall when it comes to the cruiserweight division and WWE booking as a whole. Or maybe he’s from the future, but either way, he made the right choice to go back to New Japan.
Ibushi would be a major player on either roster. Imagine him going against Seth Rollins or AJ Styles. Perhaps matches with Cody Rhodes or Kofi Kingston. The options are plentiful. AEW would lean heavily into the narrative while giving fans excellent matches. There would be a lot to look forward to, regardless of what promotion he’d sign with. And besides, it’s Kota Ibushi, he could very well sign on with DDT and buck the trend of what fans want to see.
The free-agent market has been hotter than ever. Big signings left and right keep fans guessing who is going to show up on major shows. Kota Ibushi might be on that market in the coming months and he would be a massive free agent, regardless of where he would land.