On Day 2 of NJPW Satsuma no Kuni, Kota Ibushi made his return to in-ring action for the first time since losing the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship. In the main event of the evening, The Golden Star teamed up with his former tag team partner Hiroshi Tanahashi for a match against The United Empire.
The team of Ibushi and Tanahashi faced the duo of Jeff Cobb and Aaron Henare who not too long ago was introduced as the newest member of The United Empire.
After a hard-fought match with Cobb and Henare, it was The Golden Star who secured the victory for his team, upon his return to action. A brutal Kamigoye from Kota Ibushi saw the former world champion pin Henare for the win.
However, after the match, Kota Ibushi made a big statement. Instead of engaging in instant celebrations with Tanahashi, the former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion challenged Jeff Cobb to a singles match.
Cobb, who waited at ringside for Ibushi's comments, immediately accepted the challenge. A match between the two men is now likely to occur at a future NJPW show, as it remains to be seen when the promotion officially announces the date for Ibushi vs. Cobb.
Kota Ibushi lost the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship at Sakura Genesis
At the Sakura Genesis 2021 show, Kota Ibushi lost the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship to the New Japan Cup winner Will Ospreay. The Commonwealth Kingpin's surprise win over Ibushi made him the first British holder of NJPW's top championship.
Immediately after Kota Ibushi's loss at Sakura Genesis, the inaugural IWGP World Heavyweight Champion was targeted by Jeff Cobb. Ospreay's fellow United Empire stablemate hit a Tour of the Islands on Ibushi to add further insult to injury.
Ibushi, however, hasn't forgotten about Cobb's actions and now wants to get back in the win column by taking out the former NEVER Openweight Champion and initiate his road back to capturing the IWGP World Heavyweight Title.