The WWE Universe got introduced to Kota Ibushi in the Cruiserweight Classic. He was instantly the favourite going in, and also the fan-favourite among the Full Sail local fans. When he got knocked out in the semi-finals by the eventual winner of the tournament, TJ Perkins, it came as quite a shock to all.
Before, throughout, and even after the CWC, WWE has constantly been trying to pursue a contract with Ibushi. Many believed that had he signed the contract; he would have been a lock to win the Cruiserweight Classic tournament.
Ibushi does drop by time and again in NXT like he did for the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, a live event and a few appearances. Here is a Twitter update which shows a screenshot of the translated text of what Ibushi said on his current deal with WWE.
Ibushi announced in February this year that he had resigned from New Japan Pro Wrestling. However, last month, he had come back under a different persona, and a mask known as “Tiger Mask W”, and New Japan Pro Wrestling announced that Tiger Mask W, would be returning to the promotion in January of 2017.
Perhaps just on time for the January 4th Tokyo Dome show.
It is quite clear that WWE has a huge desire to sign Ibushi, whether it is for NXT or the Raw Cruiserweight division, or both. Another international prospect, Zack Sabre Jr, said he wants to achieve certain things outside WWE before eventually signing.
It is not known whether Ibushi ever plans to sign a long-term deal with WWE, but it looks like his immediate goal is the betterment of Japanese Wrestling.
Relieve a snippet from the match that has been widely considered the best of the CWC.
Here you can see Kota Ibushi explaining why T.J Perkins was the perfect partner for him for the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, after Hideo Itami, his original partner, got injured.