Kota Ibushi and Hiroyoshi Tenzan Off Of New Japan Cup and NJPW Anniversary Card

Kota Ibushi
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Disappointing news for the New Japan Pro-Wrestling fans came in just before NJPWs Anniversary Show. NJPW’s Kota Ibushi has been pulled from the promotion’s 50th Anniversary Show as well as from the esteemed New Japan Cup tournament. ‘The Golden Star’ has apparently not fully recovered from his horrific shoulder injury that took place during the G1 Climax Final last October.

The disheartening announcement was released on NJPW’s official English website early today. The article said:

“Kota Ibushi has been diligently preparing for a scheduled return on March 1 at the Nippon Budokan. However, after careful consultation with trainers, medical staff and the NJPW medical committee, and based on the results of a final medical evaluation, the difficult decision has been made to delay Ibushi’s return, and remove him from Wednesday’s Anniversary card.”

In addition to being pulled from Wednesday’s Anniversary show, the website also stated Ibushi’s withdrawal from the New Japan Cup Tournament on the same grounds. This resulted in a change of plans for the tournament, which the promotion elaborated as, “His first-round match against Great-O-Khan on March 6 will be considered forfeit, and O-Khan will advance to March 12 in Aichi where he will face Taiji Ishimori.”

Previously, New Japan Pro Wrestling had confirmed that Kota Ibushi was expected to miss two months of action, owing to the injuries sustained in the G1 Final. They had released a statement on their website, updating the fans about Ibushi’s right anterior shoulder dislocation along with joint lip damage. The inaugural IWGP World Heavyweight Champion had sustained these injuries when he attempted a Phoenix Splash against Kazuchika Okada during the G1 Climax 31 Finals on October 21, 2021. Ibushi landed hard, immediately clutching his arm as the ringside officials and medical staff attended to him. The match was ultimately stopped and Okada was declared to be the winner of the match and the G1 Climax Tournament.

Besides Ibushi’s withdrawal, NJPW also announced that Hiroyoshi Tenzan will share the same fortune, missing both the Anniversary show and the New Japan Cup. Tenzan had to miss a number of shows lately due to his worrying knee injury. Tenzan was set to get a bye to the second round but the winner of Taichi vs Toru Yano will now advance immediately to the third round instead

Ibushi and Tenzan were originally slated to wrestle in an 8-man tag team match on the 50th Anniversary show. The promotion has announced that Young Lions Yuto Nakashima and Kosei Fujita will be their replacements, pairing up with Yuji Nagata and Satoshi Kojima against the United Empire’s Will Ospreay, Great-O-Khan, Jeff Cobb, and Aaron Henare. It will certainly be a match to keep an eye out for.

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