AEW Star Previously Considered Retirement: “I Can’t Move As Much As In The Past”

AEW Star Previously Considered Retirement:

AEW star Kota Ibushi has revealed that there was a point where he considered walking away from wrestling altogether.

Prior to signing with AEW, Ibushi was a member of the New Japan roster and suffered a shoulder injury in the 2021 G1 Climax final, forcing his match with Kazuchika Okada to end via referee stoppage. Not competing until March 2023, Ibushi would make 2 appearances at GCW events before eventually signing with All Elite Wrestling later in the year.

Following the debut at Blood and Guts and subsequent matches, many who are familiar and unfamiliar with the work of Ibushi have been somewhat underwhelmed by his performances so far, with some speculating that a retirement may be announced soon by the 41-year-old wrestler due to injuries.

The AEW star will return to Japan in January 2024, where he will compete at the NOAH pay-per-view The New Year against Naomichi Marufuji. Speaking with Pro Wrestling NOAH, Ibushi was asked about a potential retirement and when that might be:

As for that, I’m not sure when it will be over for me either. I’m not the type to set my own time frame, so I want to do as much as I can. But…well…if I can’t do it anymore, if there is no more demand, I think it’s the end. If there is no more demand, I ask them to cut me off immediately. I’m the type of person who says that if I find out, I’ll quit immediately. Conversely, Mr. Marufuji is the type who decides. He has five years left. I hope I can play a role in that time,”

Also in the interview, the shoulder injury that kept the former IWGP Heavyweight Champion sidelined for over a year was discussed. Ibushi admitted that the shoulder injury has severely affected his mobility and he is unable to perform in the way that he used to. In regard to his next steps, Ibushi stated that when there is no more demand for him to compete then that is where his in-ring journey will end:

“(I thought about retiring because) my shoulder injury was the biggest thing. I can’t move as much as in the past, as everyone wants me to. I have to use different techniques there. Of course, with my career, I can change things by doing different things, but if someone says, “That’s not what we want to see,” then that’s the end of me. That’s the end of the road for me. So in my case, it could end tomorrow. It could be a year from now, or it could be 10 years from now. I don’t know. When there is no more demand, it’s the end,”

Major AEW Name Also Discusses Retirement

With injuries accumulating amongst the veteran performers in wrestling, many top names have either hinted or explicitly stated that their in-ring careers are coming to an end very soon. One top AEW star who has been open about this is Bryan Danielson, who addressed that the end is nearing for his time in the ring.

Translated quotes obtained via Fightful.