New Japan Pro Wrestling has pulled Kota Ibushi from three upcoming shows after confirming that the former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion is suffering from aspiration pneumonia.
This was announced via NJPW's English-language website, with the release noting that Ibushi's condition is not a product of side effects from his COVID-19 vaccination, as was originally reported. The 39-year-old has tested negative for the virus currently sweeping the planet.
Ibushi, who hasn't wrestled since 2 July, will now miss scheduled shows on 22, 23, and 24 July. Whether or not he takes part in a planned IWGP Title match with champion Shingo Takagi at Wrestle Grand Slam in Tokyo Dome on 25 July will be determined after his recovery is assessed.
Aspiration pneumonia is an infection caused when germs infect the patient's lungs and airways after something that should have been swallowed has been inhaled. It varies in severity, and there's currently no word on how bad Ibushi's case is.
Here's hoping for a swift recovery for the Golden Star, who won his first IWGP Heavyweight Championship at Wrestle Kingdom 15 in January, then reigned as the inaugural IWGP World Heavyweight Champion before dropping it to Will Ospreay in April.