Back in April 2019, New Japan Pro-Wrestling announced they and Michael Elgin had mutually agreed to part ways after his contract expired on March 31, 2019.
The situation may not have been as simple as initially described, though. Fightful Select recently reported that several people within NJPW told them Elgin was actually fired by the promotion. They did not divulge why the former IWGP Intercontinental Champion was sacked, however.
Within the same report, Fightful Select noted that Elgin told those close to him and people within IMPACT Wrestling that he decided to leave NJPW because Tama Tonga was unsafe when hitting him with a chair during the G1 Climax. Elgin also criticised Tonga and said he only received a push in New Japan because his father is Haku.
The former IMPACT wrestler has since tweeted about the report, writing: "I really am staying away from negativity. But I want to be clear, I said and I quote. His chair shots were unsafe, which caused me issues in the tricep and elbow. Never said he was. Also never said anything about his push. I asked for my release. Have my emails/contract for 2020.
"The actual reason I left NJPW was to work on home life, more importantly my son who was born a month after I debuted for NJPW. As much as I loved japan, and was very fortunate and thankful for my time with njpw I simply needed to put my son first. I feel NJPW helped me grow leaps And bounds as a wrestler. I got to share the ring with so many amazing wrestlers, Ishii, Goto, Naito, Okada, The bucks, Kenny and so many more are some of the best wrestlers I ever got to wrestle, or see live. I have zero negative things to say about the company or the wrestlers."
He later went into more detail about the chair shots from Tama Tonga, adding: "I rushed with my response, but let me go into detail of why I said these chair shots were unsafe. 1. It was decided that I would be pushed off the top rope, and the 3 would lay the boots to me for a DQ finish. No chair was discussed. 2. I don't care about chairs, but proper Technique of a chair shot to the back, is in the upper shoulder blade part of the back. This is where the most surface is, and when hit across the correct part of the back it absorbs a lot of the impact lessening the pain. The first chair shots were low on my back, which I Turned to say hit me properly. Which then was replied to with "someone in the office told me to be rough with the chair". During this, you see me grab my elbow and tricep. Which I've had to see the doc 3 times for since then. So yes, I DID say these chairshots were unsafe."
Elgin currently finds himself out of professional wrestling following allegations during the Speaking Out movement. He was employed by IMPACT Wrestling at the time and the promotion subsequently suspended him and announced he wouldn't appear on any future programming.