Skip to main content

NJPW announces three-month pay reduction for Kota Ibushi, two officials

The salary reductions result from issues between Ibushi and an NJPW booking assistant.
ibushi8

NJPW has announced a three-month pay reduction for Kota Ibushi, company president Takami Ohbari, and company official Yuichi Kikuchi, stemming from issues between Ibushi and company management.

In a statement released on their website, NJPW announced that after consideration, Ibushi, Ohbari, and Kikiuchi (never mentioned by name) would all receive a 10 percent reduction in pay for July 2022 through September 2022. 

Additionally, Kikuchi (referred to only as "the official") will be transferred to a different position within the company. Kikuchi had served as head booker Gedo's primary assistant.

Ibushi went public with his frustrations with NJPW management following an incident where he appeared at a Just Tap Out event on March 4. NJPW stated that Ibushi's appearance constituted a breach of his contract, and Ibushi posted screenshots of text messages with Kikuchi that included Kikuchi threatening to fire Ibushi. 

Ibushi blamed the matter for causing stress that ultimately led to his mother attempting suicide and suffering an injury in her attempt. 

NJPW held a press conference on May 27 to publicly address the matter. While they publicly apologized to Ibushi, the relationship between Ibushi and the company remains strained. 

Ibushi has been out of action since suffering a shoulder injury in the G1 Climax 31 finals on October 21, 2021.

There is much more on the backstory of the strife between the two sides in the current issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

Here is the full text of NJPW's statement:

During a press conference on May 27 2022 regarding events concerning Kota Ibushi and a member of NJPW staff (henceforth “The Official”), it was announced that both Mr. Ibushi and The Official would be subject to penalties as a result of their actions. Upon consideration, these penalties have been determined, and in the interest of transparency, are outlined below.

KOTA IBUSHI: A ten percent (10%) reduction in pay for the three month period between July and September 2022 as a result of a breach of contract.

Representative Director TAKAMI OHBARI: A ten percent (10%) reduction in pay for the three month period between July and September 2022 as a result of executive responsibility.

THE OFFICIAL: A ten percent (10%) reduction in pay for the three month period between July and September 2022, as well as a transfer to a different position as a result of inappropriate comments toward a wrestler representing a breach of duty.

New Japan Pro-Wrestling would like to once again apologise for the concern and inconvenience caused by these events, and humbly ask for your continued support.