Kota Ibushi comments on potentially working with All Elite Wrestling.
Ibushi has been out with a shoulder injury since October 2021. After previously expressing his frustrations with NJPW management, he entered free agency when his contract expired on January 31. The former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion, given his ties with Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks; the quartet is collectively known as The Golden Elite. They worked together before Omega and The Bucks left NJPW and helped build AEW in its infancy.
Speaking with Dark Puroresu Flowsion, Ibushi was asked whether he’d like to head to AEW. He noted that a lot of his friends are there, but he’s not thinking of going to AEW right now. Instead, he wants to work with his younger peers at a “school” in Japan. Ibushi stated that he thinks he’ll talk to AEW once that has been worked out.
“A lot of my best friends are in AEW,” Ibushi said. “My younger peers in Japan are also growing up [there?]. Nonetheless, I don’t think of going to AEW immediately. I want to have a ‘school’ in Japan. Once that’s been worked out, I think I’ll talk with AEW.”
When asked to describe how big a part does money factor into his match selections and the deals he’s receiving, he stated that he’s focused on having matches that are meaningful, and he’s confident that he’ll show up places where he can do that.
About money, I think it’s very much unnecessary, but for me the things I care about and what’s necessary [for me] are more important. So I don’t want to be in a match without meaning. There aren’t a lot of matches without meaning, but I think I’ll show up places in the future that truly and fully understand me.
Ibushi will return to the ring at The Collective 2023; he will face Mike Bailey at Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport 9.
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