Before the Nov. 15 Dynamite, AEW owner, president & head of creative Tony Khan told us that ‘one of the world’s best wrestlers’ will sign with the company at Full Gear this Saturday.
Immediately after the episode, Khan officially announced the signing of someone who many would have described that way a few years ago: Kota Ibushi.
Ibushi wrestled his fourth match with AEW on Dynamite tonight, teaming with his Golden Lovers partner Kenny Omega, Chris Jericho & Paul “Big Show” Wight to defeat Don Callis’ Family in the Like a Dragon Gaiden Street Fight. The Golden Star didn’t shy away from big moves and bigger bumps...
Kyle Fletcher brutally piledrives Kota Ibushi into a pile of chairs!— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) November 16, 2023
Watch #AEWDynamite LIVE on TBS!@IAmJericho | @KennyOmegaManX | @ibushi_kota | @PaulWight | @TheDonCallis | @briancagegmsi | @takesoup | @kylefletcherpro | @TrueWillieHobbs pic.twitter.com/refxXE9Qop
... but he also isn’t quite the same performer he was before the shoulder injury he suffered in the finals of the 2021 G1 Climax tournament.
Assuming it’s the same one, his contract also isn’t quite news. Ibushi himself revealed last month that he’d signed a “flexible” deal with AEW that allows him to remain based in Japan while he flies in for a limited number of dates.
We’ll see how often the 41 year old makes the trip across the Pacific to work for his new promotion, and how he looks when he does, over the course of his contract.