Kota Ibushi Suffers Serious Injury In NJPW G1 Climax Final

Ibushi's match with Kazuchika Okada was called short after an arm injury.

Kota Ibushi

Kota Ibushi's rotten 2021 continued on today's NJPW G1 Climax show, with the former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion suffering a suspected arm injury while wrestling Kazuchika Okada.

Okada and Ibushi were contesting the tournament final. Fighting for the right to challenge for Shingo Takagi's IWGP strap at Wrestle Kingdom 16, they wrestled for around 35 minutes before Ibushi hit the top rope, looking to score a Phoenix Splash on his opponent. Okada rolled out of the way and Kota took a nasty landing on his right arm, rendering him unable to continue.

The match was soon called off. Staff tended to Ibushi for several minutes, appearing to try and pop Ibushi's shoulder back into its socket at one point, suggesting a dislocation. Visibly distraught at the situation, the 'Golden Star' was embraced by Okada before being helped to the back.


An Ibushi victory would have brought him his third consecutive G1 Climax tournament triumph. Okada took the trophy instead, giving him the right to challenge Takagi.

Diagnosed with aspiration pneumonia in July, Ibushi returned in a visibly diminished physical state two months later, with NJPW catching flak for what was perceived as a premature return. It now looks like the 39-year-old faces another lengthy spell on the sidelines.

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WhatCulture's Senior Wrestling Reporter, Presenter and Editor. Formerly Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @andyhmurray.