The first-ever match between Kota Ibushi and Mike Bailey has been announced for Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport 9 on Thursday, March 30 during WrestleMania 39 Weekend.
As noted, it was revealed on Tuesday that Ibushi is a free agent as of February 1, and that he has major interest from several top companies. NJPW issued a statement to confirm his departure, wishing him well in his future endeavors. This came after it was announced that Ibushi would be making his GCW debut at The Collective 2023, for Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport 9 and Joey Janela’s Spring Break 7, but no opponents had been named.
In an update, Barnett took to Twitter last night to announce Ibushi vs. Speedball for his big WrestleMania 39 Weekend event in Los Angeles, which will be held at the Ukrainian Cultural Center along with the GCW Collective. It will air live on FITE. Below is footage of Speedball issuing the challenge.
“It didn’t take long for someone to step up to the challenge of @ibushi_kota. Like lightning, “Speedball”, has thrown his glove down and declared WAR. Kota Ibushi vs ‘Speedball’ Mike Bailey. Only at Josh Barnett’s: Bloodsport Tickets available now!,” Barnett wrote in the tweet seen below.
Joey Janela has also confirmed that Ibushi will appear at his Spring Break 7 event during the same weekend, which is scheduled for the following day, Friday, March 31. Bailey was also announced for that show, going up against AAA Mega Champion El Hijo del Vikingo, but Ibushi’s opponent has not been named.
Ibushi has been out of action with a shoulder injury since losing to current IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada in the NJPW G1 Climax Finals on October 21, 2021.
Below is the aforementioned video:
It didn’t take long for someone to step up to the challenge of @ibushi_kota.
Like lightning, “Speedball”, has thrown his glove down and declared WAR.
Kota Ibushi vs “Speedball” Mike Bailey.
Only at Josh Barnett’s: Bloodsport
Tickets available now! pic.twitter.com/hL1lEObrkP
— 𝕿𝖍𝖊 𝖂𝖆𝖗𝖒𝖆𝖘𝖙𝖊𝖗 (@JoshLBarnett) February 1, 2023
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