Kota Ibushi is a young 6-year veteran of puroresu and one of the most popular stars of the DDT promotion as well as one of the rising stars of puroresu. While he calls DDT and it’s comedic style home he’s a serious wrestler who also has competed in other promotions and around the world. His vast array of high-flying moves and technical skills, among other things, have earned him the well-deserved nickname “Independent Genius”.
Ibushi debuted in July 2004 and got pushed fairly quickly thanks to a combination of high-flying skills, charisma and good looks. He won the DDT KO-D Tag League in 2005, which led to his first KO-D Tag Team Championship, a reign that lasted nearly 5 months. This was followed by an excursion to Mexico, where he competed in the Toryumon promotion and won the Young Dragon’s Cup. Upon his return, he began to further branch out-in 2007 he made appearances in NOAH and reached the finals of the Jr. Heavyweight Tag League with Naomichi Marufuji and although he did not win he received much praise for his efforts. Shortly after this, Ibushi won a tournament to win the just-revived Independent Jr. Heavyweight Championship, travelling to independent promotions throughout Japan to defend the title as well as defending the title in DDT. His reign lasted just short of 1 year, during which time he also won the UWA Tag Team Title. He also made appearances in the US starting in 2008, competing in both the Ring Of Honor and CHIKARA promotions. Ibushi returned to CHIKARA in 2009, competing in the annual King Of Trios tournament and, after being eliminated early on, came back to win the annual Rey De Voladores event.
2009 has also been Ibushi’s breakout year in DDT. After a second KO-D Tag Team Title reign, his career moment came in August, when he beat HARASHIMA in an instant classic to win his first KO-D Openweight Championship. Since then he has defended the title in DDT while continuing to represent the promotion in other promotions, both indies and the major federations (primarily NOAH). He looks to be poised to lead DDT into 2010 and beyond as it’s top young star.
Ibushi made another appearance in the US in 2010 in a new promotion called EVOLVE Wrestling. Ibushi has also competed in Real Japan as Sammy Lee Jr., wearing a black & yellow mask and matching trunks. He also was chosen to compete in the 2010 New Japan Best Of The Super Junior tournament, making a very strong showing before coming up just short in the tournament’s final rounds.
In 2011 Ibushi proved his previous BOSJ performance was no fluke, as he won the prestigious Jr. Heavyweight showcase for the first time.
Stats & Info:
Weight: 180 pounds/82 kg
Experience: 6 years
Finishing move: Phoenix Splash
Current affiliation: DDT
Ring entrance theme: “27” by Breaking Point
1-time IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Champion
1-time KO-D Openweight Champion
2-time KO-D Tag Team Champion
3-time DDT Iron Man Heavymetalweight Champion
1-time Independent Jr. Heavyweight Champion
1-time UWA Tag Team Champion
2005 KO-D Tag League
2006 Young Dragon’s Cup
2008, 2009 KO-D Openweight Title Contendership Tournament
2009 Rey De Voladores
2011 Best Of The Super Junior
2009 Tokyo Sports Grand Prix Technique Award
Ring entrance music: