Frustrations over a number of issues with a backstage official boiled over for New Japan star Kota Ibushi last month. It led to a number of accusations being made on social media, which included sharing private communications — and just generally the kind of airing of dirty laundry we don’t typically see in the world of puroresu or Japanese society.
New Japan Pro-Wrestling President Takami Ohbari and the founder & President of parent company Bushiroad Takaaki Kidani did apologize to Ibushi for the actions of a backstage official and their handling of the matter. But even then, NJPW management said penalties would be levied for those involved, including The Golden Star.
Those punishments were formally announced today (June 6). Fines were levied against Ibushi, Ohbari, and the “the official”, reportedly head booker Gedo’s primary assistant Kikuchi.
KOTA IBUSHI: A ten percent (10%) reduction in pay for the three month period between July and September 2022 as a result of a breach of contract.
Representative Director TAKAMI OHBARI: A ten percent (10%) reduction in pay for the three month period between July and September 2022 as a result of executive responsibility.
THE OFFICIAL: A ten percent (10%) reduction in pay for the three month period between July and September 2022, as well as a transfer to a different position as a result of inappropriate comments toward a wrestler representing a breach of duty.
It’s still not clear when Ibushi will return to the ring. He’s been sidelined with a shoulder injury since last fall’s G1 Climax final, and his status & pressure on him to return from company officials was an element of last month’s controversy.