Kota Ibushi has announced that he is now feeelance and will not be re-signing his dual deal with NJPW and DDT. He will instead be starting something called "Ibushi Pro-Wrestling Kenkyuoju (Research)". Ibushi has also been cleared to compete after his initial injury was not as bad as first feared. Ibushi will return to the ring on March 21st for DDT. No word on wether or not he will continue to work for NJPW as a freelance competitor, but NJPW president Sugabayashi said that the door is open for him when the time is right. Ibushi cited his reason for not re-signing was the work load of working for two companies became too much.
On the happier side of the news, New Japan has signed Michael Elgin as a regular.
NJPW also announced the brackets and first round matches for the New Japan Cup, set to start on March 3rd:
*Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Bad Luck Fale
*Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Michael Elgin
*Togi Makabe vs. Tama Tonga
*Yuji Nagata vs. Hirooki Goto
*Tomoaki Honma vs. Satoshi Kojima
*Toru Yano vs. Yujiro Takahashi
*Tomohiro Ishii vs. EVIL
*Tetsuya Naito vs. YOSHI-HASHI
Also on that show will be Katsuyori Shibata & KUSHIDA vs Kazuchika Okada & Kazushi Sakuraba.
The quarter-finals take place on March 4th with the semi-finals and final on March 12th.
NJPW released this video introducing the new young lions that will take part in the first ever Lions Gate Project:
The show, which features wrestlers from Pro Wrestling NOAH, will be live on NJPW World on February 25th with the following card:
*Takumi Honjo's Debut Match: Takumi Honjo vs. Shuhei Taniguchi
*Teruaki Kanemitsu & Hirai Kawato vs. Hitoshi Kumano & Kaito Kiyomiya
*David Finlay vs. Taiji Ishimori
*Jay White vs. Yoshinari Ogawa
*Manabu Nakanishi vs. Quiet Storm
*Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima vs. Captain NOAH & Genba Hirayanagi
*Juice Robinson vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima
*Yuji Nagata vs. Mitsuhiro Kitamiya
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