Kota Ibushi didn't have the easiest time on top in New Japan Pro-Wrestling.
The Golden Star finally became god at Wrestle Kingdom 15 after he defeated Tetsuya Naito for the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Double Championship and he would defend the titles until the 49th Anniversary Show. The belts were then unified into the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship, a move which was widely criticised, and Ibushi went on to lose the title to Will Ospreay at Sakura Genesis.
Ibushi was also dealing with a foot injury throughout his title reign and he revealed during an interview on NJPW's website that he either sprained his foot or tore a ligament during the Tokyo Dome match with Naito.
"It was that first match with Naito, January 4. I think it was when I took a Frankensteiner off the top, and just landed right on my instep. So I think it either sprained or tore a ligament. It's an injury soccer players get from time to time; I was told it's best not to move it for three months, but then I had Jay White the very next night. I got to the building early the next day and got it patched up and treated well enough to just about wrestle," Ibushi said.
Ibushi ultimately didn't take the recommended three months off and he had treatment so he could work around the injury while champion. The Golden Star also noted the injury still isn't much better and he's having to train around it because he can't run like he normally would be able to.