While things are nearly as contentious or dramatic as they were a month or so ago, questions remain about Kota Ibushi’s future with New Japan Pro-Wrestling.
Beyond the public dispute between the former IWGP World Heavyweight champion and company officials that resulted in Ibushi and others being fined, there are also questions about the 40 year old wrestler’s health — specifically the shoulder injury he suffered in the finals of the G1 Climax tournament last fall.
The Golden Star addressed both in an impromptu Q & A with fans on social media this week (translation courtesy @thefeelite). Some of his responses follow:
- “Sadly, my shoulder [injury] is getting worse. I have done my rehab according to the instructions and guidance [of my doctors and trainers] too. I’m not risking anything this time.”
- “My shoulder won’t move at all, so I probably overdid it for many years.”
- “However, physically, it’s been 8 months and I still can’t do a single push-up, so I’m making a calm decision. I’ll say it again and again, but I’m not giving up.”
- “You can’t worry about [injuries as wrestler]. It’s a profession that assumes injuries [are going to happen]. I won’t forget that there are a lot of other people who have had more frustrations than me.”
- “If I wrestled now, [my shoulder] would dislocate in less than a minute. I’m sorry that it’s gotten worse and made daily life difficult, instead of having rested again for a little under a year. I will do everything I can to take care of my mother.”
The mention of his mother is an indication the NJPW situation is still on his mind; he shared that she’d attempted suicide amidst his public feud with the company this spring. He is also still unhappy about New Japan advertising him for a tournament in March when he says they knew he wouldn’t be able to wrestle:
- “They announced it [his entry in the New Japan Cup], knowing that having me return by March 1st was impossible. A scam.”
None of that sounds great, and some healing seems to be in order both for Ibushi and his relationship with his employers.
We’ll see what the future holds for a very talented performer.