There are many who believe that Kota Ibushi only lost the WWE Cruiserweight Classic because he refused to sign a contract with WWE, and they’re most likely correct. However, hope of seeing more of Ibushi in WWE was rekindled when he was revealed as part of a team with Hideo Itami in the upcoming NXT Dusty Rhodes Memorial Tag Team Classic. Unfortunately, Itami still hasn’t actually signed a full-time deal with WWE, and in a recent interview, he said (through a translator) that it’s definitely not in the cards:
“Zero chance. Absolutely not. But these one-shot deals are an absolute plus for all concerned. If I can be the precedent for this kind of deal, it opens the doors for a lot of Japanese talent in WWE.”
It’s easy to see Ibushi’s perspective on this, as he’s one of the most in-demand wrestlers in the world, and still has guaranteed big money matches remaining in Japan. And if he can do all that while still having WWE willing to feature him on TV whenever he has time for them, so much the better, right? This way, Ibushi gets to work wherever he wants, WWE gets to feature one of the hottest prospects in the world occasionally, and North Americans get to watch Ibushi wrestle. It’s the very definition of win-win-win! This whole thing has shown an incredibly relaxed attitude from WWE towards featuring a talent on TV who isn’t actually under contract, which is surprising, but there’s no doubt that the company will continue to harbor hopes that they can pin Ibushi down sometime in the future.