Following his show opening match with Will Ospreay at Wrestle Kingdom 13 earlier today (Jan. 4), Kota Ibushi was strapped to a back board and carried out of the ring area at the Tokyo Dome.
No one was sure whether to attribute that to storyline or a legitimate injury. There were reasons to speculate either way. The former helps cover for Ibushi’s loss, and his not being present for Kenny Omega in the main event. The latter believable, especially considering the brutality displayed by Ospreay in the closing act of his NEVER Openweight title winning performance.
This update from New Japan’s Japanese language site doesn’t close the book on either, but it does hopefully mean that whatever injury or injuries the Golden Star suffered, they’re not life-threatening or in danger of leaving him paralyzed. For translation, we’re going with Chris Carlton (who you really should be following if you have any interest in NJPW or puroresu) rather than the unintentionally humorous Google version:
Kota Ibushi suffered a concussion against Ospreay. His condition is not described as serious. More information to come. https://t.co/rKXAOFpVXS— chris charlton (@reasonjp) January 4, 2019
If it’s a real concussion, there’s always the risk it will turn into a more serious issue even if it doesn’t seem like one in the early stages. Hopefully, the fact the company is willing to quickly and publicly downplay the injury means this is mostly kayfabe.
We’ll keep you posted.