Kota Ibushi (飯伏幸太 Ibushi Kōta, born May 21, 1982) is a Japanese professional wrestler, who is currently signed to the WWE where he performs on the NXT brand and is a former NXT Champion. He started his career with the Dramatic Dream Team (DDT) promotion in 2004 and over the next eleven years became a three-time KO-D Openweight Champion, five-time KO-D Tag Team Champion and a two-time KO-D 6-Man Tag Team Champion. In 2009, Ibushi started working for New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) and eventually signed with the promotion in 2013. In NJPW, he is a former three-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion and a one-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion. He resigned from both DDT and NJPW in February 2016 and has since been performing in several different organisations including WWE as a freelancer.
Professional wrestling career
Dramatic Dream Team / DDT Pro-Wrestling (2004–2016)
Other promotions (2004–2006)
Dragondoor and El Dorado Wrestling (2005–2008)
American promotions (2008–2010)
New Japan Pro Wrestling (2009–2017)
WWE (2016, 2017–present)
Cruiserweight Classic (2016)
On June 13, 2016, Ibushi was announced as a participant in WWE's Cruiserweight Classic tournament. The tournament kicked off on June 23 with Ibushi defeating Sean Maluta in his first round match. On July 13, Ibushi made his NXT in-ring debut, defeating Buddy Murphy at NXT tapings. The following day, Ibushi defeated Cedric Alexander in his second round match in the Cruiserweight Classic. On July 15, Pro Wrestling Torch reported that Ibushi had signed an NXT contract with WWE. In an interview published July 25, Ibushi admitted he had been offered a contract, but denied having signed it. On August 26, Ibushi defeated Brian Kendrick to advance to the semifinals of the Cruiserweight Classic. On September 14, Ibushi was eliminated from the tournament in the semifinals by eventual winner T.J. Perkins. Afterwards, Pro Wrestling Torch went back on their earlier report and stated that Ibushi had not agreed to a WWE contract beyond the tournament, which was a factor in him losing the semifinal match. On September 29, WWE announced that Ibushi would be teaming up with NXT's Hideo Itami in the upcoming Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. When Itami was injured, Ibushi was paired up with T.J. Perkins. The two entered the tournament on October 13, defeating Lince Dorado and Mustafa Ali in their first round match. Later that same day, they were eliminated from the tournament in the second round by Alexander Wolfe and Sawyer Fulton.
Ibushi returned to WWE at NXT TakeOver: San Antonio where he attacked Jay Lethal after Lethal had successfully defended his NXT Championship against Bobby Roode thus establishing him as a heel. On the February 1, 2017 episode of NXT Lethal faced Roode for the NXT Championship but the match ended in a no contest after Ibushi attacked both. The following week Roode and Ibushi faced off against Lethal for the NXT Championship which Lethal retained by pinning Roode. On the March 22, 2017 episode of NXT Ibushi defeated Roode, Eric Young and Tye Dillinger in a fatal four-way to become number one contender to the NXT Championship at NXT TakeOver: Orlando. At the event Ibushi pinned Lethal thus becoming champion and ending Lethal's record breaking reign at 298 days.
Corkscrew 630° senton – 2005
Golden Star Press (No-handed springboard corkscrew 450° splash) – 2005–2007
Golden Star Press 2007 (Springboard corkscrew 450° splash, with theatrics) – 2007
Kamigoye (Double wrist-lock knee strike to a kneeling opponent) – 2017–present
Last Ride Powerbomb (Elevated sitout powerbomb) – 2012–present