Kota Ibushi releases first comments as IWGP Double Champion

In the early morning hours of January 12th, Kota Ibushi spoke at the NJPW New Beginning press conference. This marks his first words to the press since he won the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental championships at Wrestle Kingdom on January 4th. Ibushi spoke to the press about his health, his championship victory, and more.

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The new double champion opened the press conference saying:

“I am the new IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Champion. Looking back on January 4 & 5, I have nothing but gratitude for all the fans that watched us on NJPW World or who came to the venue. I believe it was only myself and Hiromu in the junior heavyweights who wrestled both nights. I wrestled for about 80 minutes all told, but since then I haven’t really done anything. I have a little bit of trouble with my foot, but apart from that I’ve finally been able to take a break.”

Kota Ibushi releases first comments as IWGP Double Champion

Addressing his immediate future in NJPW, Ibushi spoke about his first challenger. “After the match on the fifth, SANADA came out to challenge me,” Ibushi recalled. “I’m more than happy to accept that ‘gift.’ That match is official, now, right? I’m looking forward to it.” When journalists pushed him to speak more about SANADA, he said, “I’ve wrestled him a lot. I don’t have much I can say, he doesn’t have any flaws, there’s no gaps in his game, he’s perfect. But maybe his weakness is he has no weakness.”

Big Plans For The IWGP Championships?

The most interesting thing Kota said, however, relates to his title belts themselves. “Last year, these belts were defended together, right? One belt didn’t change hands without the other,” Ibushi began. “So if we take these two and make them one belt, that makes you the strongest and the best, all in one. Maybe not everyone can see it right now, but there’s no doubt in my mind, it’d make for something awesome. I have a big plan for this. So I’ll say it again, on the record. I want these two belts to be one.”

As Ibushi’s segment of the press conference came to a close, he spoke about his feelings on winning both championships.

“I can only say how happy I am. It’s really a dream come true. It’s really been, since my debut, just… It’s been a hard road.”

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