Kota Ibushi is by far one of the biggest stars on the NJPW roster and now it, unfortunately, looks like he will be missing the New Japan Cup which coincides with the promotion’s fiftieth anniversary.
Ibushi, who was injured back at NJPW’s G1 Climax 31, was scheduled to return on March 1st. However, after further evaluation by NJPW’s medical staff, the decision was made to push back his return. Ibushi’s opponent Great-O-Khan will now win via forfeit and advance to the second round.
NJPW also announced that Hiroyoshi Tenzan, who was was scheduled to meet the winner of Toru Yano vs. Taichi in the second round, will also be pulled from the show while still healing from a knee injury. The winner of that bout will receive a bye.
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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. The following change has been made to the event.
Yuji Nagata, Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Kota Ibushi vs Will Ospreay, Jeff Cobb, Great-O-Khan & Aaron Henare ->
Yuji Nagata, Satoshi Kojima, Yuto Nakashima & Kosei Fujita vs Will Ospreay, Jeff Cobb, Great-O-Khan & Aaron Henare
Furthermore, after concerns around Ibushi’s condition across several potential singles matches in the New Japan Cup tournament, the decision has been made for him to withdraw. 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.
Additionally, Hiroyoshi Tenzan is still recovering from a knee injury, and will not be taking part in the New Japan Cup. His second round match against the winner of Taichi and Toru Yano on March 9 in Korakuen will be considered forfeit, and either Yano or Taichi will advance to the third round March 16 in Aichi.
We deeply apologise to fans who were looking forward to seeing Tenzan and Ibushi wrestle and appreciate your understanding. New Japan Pro-Wrestling joins fans in wishing the very best for both men in their recovery.
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