Kota Ibushi made a triumphant return to the square circle by defeating the leader of Los Ingobernables de Japón and current IWGP Intercontinental Champion, Tetsuya Naito, in their New Japan Cup match-up.

Back in January, Ibushi was injured at Wrestle Kingdom. He suffered a concussion in his match against Will Ospreay.

In one of the best matches so far this year, things got out of hand as Naito and Ibushi hammered on each other with palm strike after palm strike. Naito punished Ibushi though with a Tombstone Piledriver on the ring apron and then Gloria back inside the ring. Ibushi avoided a Destino by turning Naito around into a reverse package piledriver.

Naito is ready to Tombstone Ibushi. Photo: NJPW.

Naito clobbered Ibushi with a DDT, however, Ibushi countered with a running clothesline. Red Shoes slapped a two count after Ibushi gave Naito a Last Ride. Ibushi kicked out of a Destino, blocked another with a high kick to the head. Naito kicked out of a Bomaye.

An Ibushi Driller and Kamigoye ended Naito’s run in the tournament.

Ibushi will face Zack Sabre Jr. in Round Two.

In other New Japan Cup matches:

Ryusuke Taguchi beat Hiroyoshi Tenzan with a roll-up.

Hiroshi Tanahashi made Shota Umino tap to the clover leaf lock.

Zack Sabre Jr. made Evil submit.

In other matches:

Suzuki-gun (Taka Michinoku and Minoru Suzuki) beat Yota Tsuji and Satoshi Kojima. Michinoku made Tsuji submit.

Manabu Nakanishi, Yuji Nagata, Juice Robinson and Yoshi-Hashi defeated Bullet Club (Taiji Ishimori, Hikuleo, Bad Luck Fale and Chase Owens). Juice pinned Hikuleo with Pulp Friction. Nagata and Juice danced to celebrate.

Los Ingobernables de Japon (Shingo Takagi, Bushi and Sanada) beat Ren Narita, Tomoaki Honma and Hirookj Goto. Narita was pinned with Shingo’s Pumping Bomber.

Suzuki-gun (Taichi, Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Lance Archer) beat Chaos (Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano and Will Ospreay). Toru Yano got Killer Bombed.

Michael Elgin, Colt Cabana and Mikey Nicholls defeated Toa Henare, Togi Makabe and Kazuchika Okada. Nicholls pinned Henare with the Mikey Bomb.