Over the past few months, Kota Ibushi has been one of the many wrestlers whose future in the changing wrestling world has been in question. Ibushi has been out of action with a concussion since Wrestle Kingdom 13, giving fans plenty of time to wonder whether the absent Golden Star would next appear back in New Japan Pro Wrestling or maybe in All Elite Wrestling, the new home of the other half of the Golden Lovers tag team, Kenny Omega.
Ibushi put an end to the speculation when he showed up unannounced halfway through NJPW’s New Beginning in Osaka. Ibushi thanked the fans for supporting him during his injury and said he was happy to be back. His announcement that “I’m not going anywhere” earned a huge pop from the crowd. Ibushi then said that he would return for the New Japan Cup, which begins in March. Backstage, Ibushi added that “I always want to be here in NJPW. In 2019, 2020, 2021, and beyond.”
Kenny Omega congratulated Ibushi on Twitter soon after his announcement. Omega told Wrestling Observer Radio a few days ago that he expects to see Ibushi in AEW in the “near future,” though not for Double or Nothing. It’s now clear that wouldn’t be under a full-time or exclusive contract. Those hoping to see the Golden Lovers back together or on opposite sides of a ring might also get their wish in NJPW, since Omega told WOR that his AEW contract, like Chris Jericho’s, allows him to appear for NJPW in the future.