NJPW President Takami Ohbari and Bushiroad Representative director Takaaki Kidani addressed the situation surrounding Kota Ibushi in today’s (May 27) press conference.
Ibushi recently went public with numerous serious accusations against NJPW management, stating that he also planned to expose ‘harassing bosses’.
During today’s press conference, Ohbari stated that he had met with Ibushi on March 31, following the star’s contract breaching appearance at a at a Just Tap Out event on March 4.
Ohbari stated that the conversation was amicable, and that Ibushi indicated that he had no intention of breaching his contract.
The NJPW President stated that following Ibushi’s series of tweets on May 10, it was agreed in a meeting that the company wouldn’t make a public statement until they had first spoken with Ibushi, which they did yesterday.
It was revealed that Ibushi will receive a penalty (likely a salary reduction), but won’t be released. Ohbari stated that he never considered terminating Ibushi’s contract.
It was also noted that a NJPW Official, who Ibushi had shared screenshots of his conversation with, will also receive a penalty for the ‘inexcusable’ words in the text conversation, and ‘the lack of consideration shown to him and by extension our wrestlers at large’.
It was noted in an update that the Official is responsible for contacting wrestlers contracted to NJPW, but also had a ‘long personal history’ with Ibushi. The statement claimed that the Official had interpreted Ibushi’s contract breach as a ‘betrayal of personal trust’, leading to him sending messages in ‘an emotional state’.
The representatives summarised:
“Kota Ibushi is, and will remain a key member of the New Japan Pro-Wrestling roster. This kind of severe disagreement between company and talent should not happen again; in order to prevent any such instances in the future, and ensure the best possible working environment for talent, we will be actively engaged in discussion with Mr. Ibushi about improving company policy and implementing proper procedure.
“We again would like to apologise to fans, wrestlers and personnel for the concern and the disruption caused in the middle of the Best of the Super Jr. tour.”
You can read the transcript from the press conference right here.
Ibushi hasn’t wrestled since picking up a shoulder injury in October 2021, during the G1 Climax finals.
We will continue to provide updates on the situation as they become available.
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