Kota Ibushi Says He Turned Down AEW Deal, Wants To Wrestle Exclusively For NJPW

Kota Ibushi discusses his deal with NJPW in a new interview.

Ibushi surprised many at The New Beginning in Osaka, showing up in NJPW for the first time since he suffered a concussion at Wrestle Kingdom 13. Ibushi announced that he would be staying in NJPW and entering the New Japan Cup. It was later reported by the Super J-Cast that Ibushi had signed a two-year deal with NJPW.

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Speaking to ShuPro (translation via NJPW commentator Chris Charlton), Ibushi discussed the deal and turning down an offer from AEW.

‘I want to wrestle exclusively for New Japan. If I can, I want to be on every card, every tour," said Ibushi. “AEW said they just want me in their ring in some form. The ideal for them was for me to move to America and be there full time. I turned them down just after Wrestle Kingdom. If I went it would be the end of my career. There wouldn’t be anywhere else to go after that. No step up, nothing left to do. That would be the last step to make, and after that things would just go down. Great money, but I want to keep developing.”

Ibushi continued, "What I realized (talking to AEW) was I really don’t care about money"

In the same interview, Ibushi stated that he has not spoken to Kenny Omega privately since Wrestle Kingdom on Jan. 4 and that Omega was not part of his negotiation with AEW. Ibushi has not wrestled since his Wrestle Kingdom 13 bout against Will Ospreay, but is scheduled to take part in the upcoming New Japan Cup. The winner of the NJ Cup will challenge Jay White for the IWGP Heavyweight Title at NJPW-ROH G1 Supercard at Madison Square Garden.

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