Kota Ibushi is one of the all-time greats in wrestling, revolutionising wrestling in Japan and around the world.
His high-flying and hard-hitting style made him a huge star in New Japan Pro-Wrestling, and his world title reigns soon followed suit.
With his recent exit from NJPW, Kota Ibushi could be set to sign for AEW and wrestle at All In 2.
Before that, we’ll look at Kota Ibushi’s last match in New Japan Pro Wrestling and how it turned from a fantastic match to a horrific one, thanks to a tragic ending of his NJPW career.
Kota Ibushi Last Match
Kota Ibushi’s last match in NJPW took place in the finals of the 2021 G1 Climax.
After winning his group in the G1 Climax in 2021, Kota Ibushi was drawn into a huge clash with one of the greatest champions of all time – Kazuchika Okada.
The winner of the bout would win the chance to face Shingo Tagaki for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship in the main event of Wrestle Kingdom 16.
The match was on the 21st October, 2021 and emanated from Nippon Budokan in Tokyo, Japan.
Kota Ibushi had won the previous two editions of the legendary tournament (2019 and 2020), and was aiming to make history, as the first man to win three in a row.
The match between Ibushi and Okada lasted 25 minutes, and was one of the best G1 finals of all time. However, the ending of the match completely soured it, and made it one fans don’t go back and watch.
At the end of the match, Kota Ibushi suffered a shoulder injury which rendered him unable to wrestle. While he would usually wrestle through injuries, this one was so bad that the referee was forced to stop the match.
Okada was given the win by referee stoppage, earning his match against Shingo Tagaki at Wrestle Kingdom.
Everyone was hoping that Kota Ibushi would be fit to wrestle at Wrestle Kingdom 16, but this would not be the case.
Sadly, this would be Koti Ibushi’s last match in NJPW. His shoulder injury was worse than expected, and he would not wrestle for another year and half.
He left NJPW in February 2023, when his contract expired and he was released from the company.
Will Kota Ibushi Be At All In 2?
He wrestled for GCW on WrestleMania weekend in 2023, and a reunion with Kenny Omega could be on the cards in All Elite Wrestling.
Ibushi has said recently that he is “more suited to AEW” than another promotion, which gave the fans hope to see him in an AEW ring in the near future.
“I don’t want to go out normally, I want to go out seriously. I think I’m more suited to AEW than Japan. I already thought so during All In. I have many friends. There are even the best tag partners.”Kota Ibushi on joining AEW – SOURCE
According to Dark Puroresu Flowsion on Twitter, Kota Ibushi has admitted on multiple occasions that a rematch against Adam Page would be a dream match for him,
The two men previously faced each other at ROH Supercard of Honor 2018. This occured when Page was a Ring of Honor roster member, while Ibushi was signed to New Japan Pro Wrestling.
However, since then, Hangman has come on leaps and bounds, and it a totally different level of star than he was back then.
Multiple occasions Kota Ibushi has brought up to me that if he can’t team with Hangman Page. Then he would like a singles rematch against him. I’d say Hangman Page is #1 on Ibushi’s list as his most desired opponent. pic.twitter.com/xtZdp2nLnl— Dark Puroresu Flowsion (@PuroresuFlow) April 9, 2023
A Kenny Omega vs Kota Ibushi could also be a huge main-event match for AEW’s All In 2 event, on August 27th 2023 in Wembley Stadium.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.