WWE News: Japanese Star Kota Ibushi Rejected Three Different WWE Contract Offers

The WWE had some of the biggest cruiserweights in the world take part in their Cruiserweight Classic on the WWE Network. Most of those wrestlers were not under WWE contract and were only signed for the tournament. Some still showed up and worked events on NXT and Monday Night Raw while not signed to an official deal. Kota Ibushi is one of those stars.

In an interview with the Pro-Wrestling News Media, Kota Ibushi said that he was offered three different deals from the WWE and rejected them all. According to Ibushi, the WWE offered him a five-year deal, and he turned them down. They returned with a three-year deal and a two-year deal, and he said that he still wasn’t interested.

According to Kota Ibushi, he wants to continue to wrestle in Japan and believes that he can be a big deal in his home country. He most recently wrestled for New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), the same promotion that AJ Styles wrestled in before joining the WWE.

The WWE is in an interesting position right now. They are allowing wrestlers to compete for the company without being under contract, even letting them pick up wins in televised events. As the Inquisitr previously reported, Drew Gulak wrestled on both NXT and Monday Night Raw and never signed an official deal until last week.

Kota Ibushi wrestled in the Cruiserweight Classic tournament, beating Sean Maluta in the first round, Cedric Alexander in the second round, and Brian Kendrick in the third round. While many people expected Kota Ibushi and Zack Sabre Jr. to make it to the finals, the WWE wants to have two men who already signed deals to make it that far, so neither of those indie stars made it to the end. In the end, TJ Perkins beat Kota Ibushi.

Kota Ibushi also competed on NXT, beating Bobby Murphy in his debut there. False reports rose that he had signed a deal to join NXT, but that was on of the contract that he turned down.

Most recently, Kota Ibushi joined forces with Hideo Itami to take part in the Dusty Rhodes Classic Tag Team Tournament. When Itami pulled out due to injury, Ibushi teamed with Cruiserweight Champion TJ Perkins. They won their first round match but then lost to Sanity in the second round.

Before making his debut in a WWE ring, Kota Ibushi made his name as one of the top wrestlers in the world. His 2015 match with current NXT champion Shinsuke Nakamura was named the Match of the Year by the Wrestling Observer.


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Kota Ibushi won numerous titles in NJPW, including the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship three times, the IWGP Junior Tag Team titles once with Kenny Omega, the 2011 Best of the Super Juniors, and the 2015 New Japan Cup.

While Kota Ibushi refused all three WWE contract offers, both sides have proven that they have no problems continuing to work together. Both Tomasso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano worked with NXT for a long time while continuing their indie careers before they finally signed WWE contracts.

However, with Kota Ibushi wanting to focus his main time in Japan, getting to the United States is a lot more difficult. There is still a chance to see Kota Ibushi in a WWE ring in the future, but only for special events. Don’t expect to see him show up on the new 205 Live WWE Network show.

[Featured Image by WWE]