According to recent comments made by Kota Ibushi, he turned down AEW’s offer in late 2018. He also told Japanese media outlet, ShuPru, that he hasn’t spoken to Kenny Omega since Wrestle Kingdom.
NJPW commentator, Chris Charlton, provided some translations of the article.
“The second I went, that would be the end of my wrestling career, I thought,” Charlton translated Ibushi’s comments as.
“What I realized (talking to AEW) was I really don’t care about money,” he continued. “‘(Kenny and I) haven’t spoken since Wrestle Kingdom. I think he wanted me in his corner in the main event but after what happened (concussion in his match against Ospreay) he was worried and said I should leave early. After that..”
Ibushi continued to say AEW wanted him to move to the United States.
“AEW said they just want me in their ring in some form. The ideal for them was for me to move to America and be there full time. I turned them down just after Wrestle Kingdom.”
Ibushi continued to say that if he went to AEW he feels it would be the end of his career.
“If I went it would be the end of my career. There wouldn’t be anywhere else to go after that. No step up, nothing left to do. That would be the last step to make, and after that things would just go down. Great money, but I want to keep developing.”
Ibushi says he was in negotiations with AEW at the end of last year. ‘The second I went, that would be the end of my wrestling career, I thought’
— chris charlton (@reasonjp) February 20, 2019