Emphasis mine. Translation annotations will be given in [] or with footnotes. All original tweets and statements © their authors. Translations mine. If you have any information or suggestions, contact me on Twitter. Keep things civil. Use your head. Thanks.

October 2021

During the finals of the G1 tournament last year, Ibushi dislocates his shoulder after a Phoenix Splash. Ibushi tweets:

“G1 CLIMAX Finals
I’m grateful to everyone who came to watch, all the wrestlers, and the referee who made the right decision in that space at the end.
It was my own fault in the end that I couldn’t go all the way. Okada Kazuchika showed his true strength…I lost, utterly.
Right now I’m not in a situation where I can say this, but
One day, somewhere, It’s my dream…[to see the] continuation of this again
I won’t give up!”

A couple days later, it’s officially announced by New Japan that Ibushi suffered a dislocation of the right shoulder (which had been dislocated previously in 2011), and that it will take 2 months to heal completely.

Ibushi adds to that:

“As the announcement of the results of the examination says, it was a dislocation of the right anterior shoulder joint, bone fracture and damage to the joint labrum.
This time I’m going to do this without an operation, and heal as soon as possible, but without hurry, and fight in front of everyone again.
A dislocation and bone fracture will take 2 months to heal so my time is limited, but look forward to a new and changed Ibushi Kôta!!
I won’t give up!
Rest easy”

February 2022

Then, 4 months later, in February of this year, New Japan announces Ibushi as a participant in the New Japan cup, in which he is to face O-Khan in the first round on March 6th.

Days prior, on his newly-created Instagram, Ibushi had posted:

“Pretty [big] difference between the left and the right shoulder!
I wonder if this is the reason why the pain won’t go away quite yet.
#GoingTo[let things heal]Completely”

Shortly after the announcement, Ibushi tweets: “Hmmm, I see.”

Although it was at that time unclear what he was referring to, and speculation about his tweets ran wild, the timing seemed to connect it to the New Japan Cup announcement, and it read rather tempered regardless, instead of celebratory.

I also want to add that, between the statement about his dislocation and the announcement of his in-ring return by New Japan, there was never an official statement correcting the recovery time, which by February had long since passed the original prognosis. The only source of information for concerned fans around this time were episodes of Ibushi’s podcast, in which he repeatedly insisted he was going to take his proper time with recovery and not rush himself to get back sooner than when he was absolutely ready to (you can read my summations of (most of these) episodes on my site, for example here).

Ibushi also has to get a new phone around this time, since he accidentally destroyed his old one. I only note this here because it’ll become relevant and possibly illuminating later down the line.

Anyway, a week after the announcement of Ibushi’s in ring return, New Japan retracts it and states that Ibushi’s return has been postponed for the time being. In the statement on their website, it is said that the original announcement of his participation was made in accordance with the “strong wishes of [Ibushi] himself“, and that he was “on his route to a [timely] recovery at first”, but that the decision to not let him participate after all came “after repeated discussions with hospital and medical staff”, and that New Japan “informed Ibushi of this decision”.

On the same day, Ibushi also tweets:

“I’m sorry everyone. I’m really sorry.
About my return. It’s been like this since last year but
there is only one thing I want to say. There’s so much I want to say but can’t.
I never intended for anything like this to happen.
Your only friend is yourself!!