Kota Ibushi’s Wrestle Grand Slam status is in question.
It was on July 2nd that Kota Ibushi was last in action for New Japan Pro-Wrestling. The company provided an update on Ibushi and noted that he has been diagnosed with aspiration pneumonia. New Japan initially announced that Ibushi would be out temporarily as he recovered from the side effects of receiving his COVID-19 vaccination shot.
Ibushi’s illness is not connected to the result of him receiving the shot and he has also tested negative for COVID. He will be off of New Japan’s next three shows which stretch from July 22nd through the 24th. He is scheduled to challenge Shingo Takagi for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestle Grand Slam on the 25th, but that match is in question.
Here’s NJPW1972.com’s full write-up about the news concerning Kota Ibushi:
Kota Ibushi has been out of competition since the beginning of the Summer Struggle series due to illness. After careful investigation and thorough assessment, he has been diagnosed with aspiration pneumonia.
Ibushi’s illness was originally reported as a result of side effects arising from his COVID-19 vaccination. Aspiration pneumonia has no connection to COVID vaccinations, and Ibushi’s illness is not a result of his inoculation. We apologise for any misunderstanding. Ibushi has also tested negative for COVID-19.
In order to give Ibushi more time to make a full in ring recovery, he will be absent from cards on July 22 and 23 in Osaka, as well as July 24 in Nagoya. A final decision on his participation at Wrestle Grand Slam on July 25 will be made after assessing Ibushi’s recovery.
As a result changes will be made to the cards in Osaka and Nagoya as outlined below. We apologise to fans who were looking forward to seeing Ibushi wrestle.
New Japan Pro-Wrestling deeply apologises for the concern and inconvenience caused by this news. We appreciate your understanding, and hope you join us in wishing Ibushi the very best in his recovery.
July 22, Osaka 4th Match, July 23 Osaka 4th Match, July 25 Nagoya 4th Match
Master Wato & Kota Ibushi vs Shingo Takagi & BUSHI
Master Wato & Tomoaki Honma vs Shingo Takagi & BUSHI
As of this writing, the Wrestle Grand Slam card is going to be presented as followed:
- Kickoff Match: KOPW Trophy — New Japan Ranbo (Handcuffs Stipulation): Toru Yano, competitors TBA
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: Taiji Ishimori & El Phantasmo (c) vs. Rocky Romero & Ryusuke Taguchi
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: El Desperado (c) vs. Robbie Eagles
- Jeff Cobb vs. Kazuchika Okada
- IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: Tetsuya Naito & SANADA (c) vs. Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi
- IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: Shingo Takagi (c) vs. Kota Ibushi