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Kota Ibushi to prepare for Global Cruiserweight Series (probably) by fighting people dressed as giant monsters

If you've followed the career of former IWGP Junior Heavyweight champion Kota Ibushi, this news actually isn't very surprising. But that doesn't make it less awesome.

One of the hottest free agents on the market since his announcing he wouldn't re-sign with either New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) or Dramatic Dream Team (DDT), we already knew Ibushi was headed to the WWNLive Supershow, Mercury Rising, on Saturday night in Dallas before WrestleMania. It's been widely assumed that appearance - and signings before for EVOLVE 58 & 59 - with Triple H partner Gabe Sapolsky are a try-out/warm-up for WWE Network's upcoming Global Cruiserweight Series, and a possible contract with the sports entertainment giant.

Voices of Wrestling earlier this week confirmed Ibushi has at least one stop to make on his way to those presumed destinations, however. That's the awesome-but-not-that-surprising part...

On Friday night at midnight local time, Kaiju Big Battel will be holding their Contest of Champions show at Eddie Dean's Ranch, and Ibushi will be there.

For those not familiar with Big Battel, they're pretty much what if a cartoon version of classic Japanese monster flicks told stories in a wrestling ring. One announced "match" for the April 1 show which should give you an idea of what you're dealing with... something that looks like a Donnie Darko character covered in sofa stuffing called Dusto Bunny will arm wrestle the descriptively named Steam Powered Tentacle Boulder.

You get the idea.

Considering his long relationship with DDT - a blend of  "Sports Entertainment" parody and Latin-American telenovella - working with Big Battel fits. Throw in the fact that his interest in the company is both legit and a years-long work and, well...

What will a guy with a Match of the Year on his résumé (2015, against WWE's newest Japanese signee, Shinsuke Nakamura, at NJPW's Wrestle Kingdom 9) be doing with a company where the performers dress in foam costumes?

Probably continuing his feud with top heel (and Nazi experiment gone awry) Dr. Cube in the main event as leader of the mysterious third faction which will take on Cube's minions and a group lead by Silver Potato, a guy stuck in an aluminum foil hazmat suit since his lunch exploded in the microwave and turned him into a superhero.

Pro wrestling, everybody!

Get tickets for Contest of Champions here, or order the internet pay-per-view (iPPV) here.

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