Kota Ibushi Clarifies His AEW Contract Status

Kota Ibushi is arguably one of the greatest NJPW stars of all time, and his leap overseas to the United States has been welcome. Ibushi wrestled his last match for NJPW in 2021, losing to Kazuchika Okada in the finals of the G1 Climax. During that match, he suffered an arm injury and did not compete again until his contract ended earlier this year. Following his NJPW contract expiring, he wrestled a pair of shows in the United States for GCW but became a regular in AEW shortly after. He has wrestled three matches in AEW, all multi-man alongside his Golden Elite brethren.

In a Japanese interview shared by HD Subs on X, Ibushi confirmed that he signed his AEW contract on July 19 at Blood & Guts. His signing did not come without conditions, as he will continue to live in Japan, and his contract will have fewer matches mandated so that he is not traveling back and forth regularly. AEW also agreed to let him work for other promotions, which he did in August, wrestling for GLEAT in Japan.

Following the interview becoming public on social media, Ibushi took to social media to clarify some of his comments.

“Even if it’s not full time, my life is dedicated to AEW,” he responded to one user. “I don’t play matches in Japan, I’m here to attend gym and school. That’s why pro wrestling is all about AEW.”

“I would like to make a slight correction,” he replied to the Wrestling Observer’s coverage of his comments. “My current contract is with AEW. I think AEW is the best in the world. That’s why I want to seize the opportunity in America or AEW and make it an even greater organization.”

Ibushi participated in the main event of the original All In, the precursor to All Elite Wrestling. On the show, he teamed with The Young Bucks in a winning effort against Rey Mysterio, Bandido, and Rey Fenix.

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