On July 1, 2004, Ibushi made his professional wrestling debut for Dramatic Dream Team (DDT), losing to Kudo. On June 25, 2006, he lost to Danshoku Dino in a match for and spent most of 2006 competing in multiple tag team matches. In 2007 Ibushi's fortunes fared better and began to win more matches, including defeating BxB Hulk in a joint promotion event between DDT and Dragon Gate. Also in 2007 Ibushi defeated Madoka to win the vacant Independent World Junior Heavyweight Championship. In February 2008, Ibushi defeated Tanomusaku Toba to retain the Independent World Junior Heavyweight Championship and win the Ironman Heavymetalweight Championship. He would lose the Ironman championship to Danshoku Dino. Ibushi would defeat Kudo in the final of Next KO-D Openweight Championship one day tournament and then lost to the champion Dick Togo a month later.
Ibushi made his debut in Dragondoor on its debut show on July 19, 2005, taking part in Taiji Ishimori's Babyface team along with Milanito Collection a.t. and Little Dragon. They were pitted in a handicap match against Aagan Iisou (Shuji Kondo, Takuya Sugawara and Yasshi), but they were defeated. Ibushi then teamed up with Ishimori to take part in the Aquamarine Cup tag tournament, beating at the first round a team of Aagan Iisou (Toru Owashi and Shogo Takagi) but being eliminated at the second by another (Kondo and Yasshi). After wrestling in the short-lived promotion for some months, Ibushi did a special apparition in its last show, figuring as a new member of Italian Connection (Milano Collection A.T. and Berlinetta Boxer) under the name of "Ibushino", in parody to Yossino, to defeat Aagan Iisou.
After Dragondoor folded, Ibushi was revealed as a part of its new incarnation, El Dorado Wrestling. He wrestled in El Dorado debut show on April 24, 2006, teaming with Ishimori and Jumping Kid Okimoto in a losing effort against Aagan Iisou and their new member Pineapple Hanai, later known as Ken45º. He got his revenge in El Dorado's first big show, teaming up with El Blazer and Milanito Collection a.t. to defeat Kondo, Yasshi and Ken45º after a miscommunication among those. In late 2006, Ibushi teamed with Milano Collection AT to take part in Treasure Hunters Tag Tournament and reached the finals before being knocked out by Dick Togo and Shuji Kondo. Ibushi and Kagetora won a number one condership match for the UWA World Tag Team Championship and went on to win the championships by defeating Tokyo Gurentai (Mazada and Nosawa Rongai) and would later vacate the championships due to inactivity. Ibushi gained a total of four points in Greatest Golden League 2008 which was not enough to progress out of block A and to the semi final.
It was announced on January 26, 2008, that Ibushi would be competing for Ring of Honor in the United States. On April 11, 2008, in Boston he made his debut in a match against Davey Richards, a match in which he was cheered as a winner despite losing. During his brief tour of ROH, he wrestled against Claudio Castagnoli and teamed with Austin Aries against The Briscoe Brothers only to come up on the losing end. His last appearance of his U.S. tour of ROH ended with a singles victory over El Generico. Ibushi competed for ROH during the promotion's second tour of Japan, teaming with Kenta against Naomichi Marufuji and Katsuhiko Nakajima in a tag team match. It was announced on April 6, 2008, that Ibushi would be competing for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla in Burbank, CA. However, Ibushi would end up injured before his scheduled appearance, and was forced to miss the PWG event. On March 27, 2009, Ibushi made his debut for Philadelphia based Chikara at the promotions annual King of Trios tournament where he formed a team with Kudo and Michael Nakazawa. After his team was eliminated in the first round by Equinox, Lince Dorado and Helios, he went on to wrestle in the Rey de Voladores tournament over the next two days. On March 29, Ibushi defeated Player Dos to win the tournament and become the 2009 Rey de Voladores.
In May and June 2009 Ibushi participated in the Best of the Super Juniors Tournament held by NJPW. Ibushi fought the likes of Koji Kanemoto, Taichi Ishikari and Jyushin Thunder Liger, before losing in the semi-finals to Prince Devitt. Ibushi was a participant in Pro Wrestling Noah's NTV Cup with tag team partner Atsushi Aoki and advanced to the finals before losing to Yoshinobu Kanemaru and Kotaro Suzuki.
On June 1, 2010, Ibushi entered his second Best of the Super Juniors tournament. After winning his block with six victories out of seven matches, Ibushi defeated Ryusuke Taguchi to advance to the semifinals of the tournament, where he was once again defeated by Prince Devitt. On October 11, 2010, Ibushi returned to New Japan at Destruction '10 and teamed with his regular DDT partner Kenny Omega to defeat Apollo 55 (Prince Devitt and Ryusuke Taguchi) for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship, after Ibushi pinned Devitt. As a result of the pinfall victory, Ibushi was granted a shot at Devitt's IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship at New Japan's biggest event of the year, Wrestle Kingdom V in Tokyo Dome on January 4, 2011. At the event Ibushi was unsuccessful in his attempt to win the title. On January 23 at Fantastica Mania 2011, a New Japan and Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre co–promoted event in Tokyo, Ibushi and Omega lost the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship back to Devitt and Taguchi. On May 26, Ibushi entered New Japan's 2011 Best of the Super Juniors tournament. After losing his first two round robin stage matches, Ibushi came back with a six match win streak to finish first in his block and advance to the semifinals of the tournament. On June 10, Ibushi first defeated Davey Richards in the semifinals and then Ryusuke Taguchi in the finals to win the 2011 Best of the Super Juniors tournament and earn a shot at Prince Devitt's IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship. On June 18 at Dominion 6.18, Ibushi defeated Prince Devitt to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship for the first time. Ibushi made his first defense of the title on July 24, defeating Devitt in a rematch at a DDT event, and his second on August 1, defeating Devitt's tag team partner Ryusuke Taguchi. Ibushi then attempted to repeat Devitt's feat of holding both of New Japan's Junior Heavyweight Championships simultaneously, but on August 14, the Golden☆Lovers failed in their attempt to regain the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship from Apollo 55. On September 12, Ibushi was stripped of both the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship and the KO-D Tag Team Championship, after he was sidelined with a dislocated left shoulder.
Ibushi made his return at a DDT event on May 4, 2012, losing to El Generico. On June 24, Ibushi defeated Yuji Hino to win DDT's KO-D Openweight Championship for the second time. On August 18, Ibushi defeated Kenny Omega in the main event of DDT's 15th anniversary event in Nippon Budokan to retain the KO-D Openweight Championship. On September 30, Ibushi lost the title to El Generico. On October 3, Ibushi won the third annual DDT48 general election and, as a result, earned an immediate rematch with El Generico. Ibushi received his rematch on October 21, but was again defeated by El Generico. On May 26, Ibushi, Gota Ihashi and Kenny Omega defeated the Monster Army (Antonio Honda, Daisuke Sasaki and Yuji Hino) to win the KO-D 6-Man Tag Team Championship. Their reign lasted 28 days, before they lost the title back to the Monster Army, now represented by Honda, Hino and Hoshitango. On August 18 at DDT's annual Ryōgoku Peter Pan event, Ibushi faced New Japan representative and reigning IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada in a losing effort in a special non-title match. On January 26, 2014, Ibushi and Kenny Omega defeated Yankii Nichokenju (Isami Kodaka and Yuko Miyamoto) and Konosuke Takeshita and Tetsuya Endo in a three-way match to win the KO-D Tag Team Championship. On April 12, Ibushi and Omega became double champions in DDT, when they teamed with Daisuke Sasaki to defeat Team Drift (Keisuke Ishii, Shigehiro Irie and Soma Takao) for the KO-D 6-Man Tag Team Championship. Their reign, however, lasted only 22 days, before they lost the title to Shuten-dōji (Kudo, Masa Takanashi and Yukio Sakaguchi) on May 4. On September 28, Ibushi and Omega lost the KO-D Tag Team Championship to Konosuke Takeshita and Tetsuya Endo. On February 15, 2015, Ibushi won the KO-D Openweight Championship for the third time, defeating Harashima. He lost the title back to Harashima on April 29. On August 23, Ibushi won the KO-D Tag Team Championship for the fifth time, when he and Daisuke Sasaki defeated Daisuke Sekimoto and Yuji Okabayashi for the title. They vacated the title on November 2, when Ibushi was sidelined indefinitely with a cervical disc herniation.
On October 7, 2013, Ibushi, along with Naoki Sugabayashi and Sanshiro Takagi, representatives of both DDT and New Japan, held a press conference to announce that he had signed a dual contract with both promotions; three years with DDT and one year with New Japan, making him the first Wrestler to have such a contract and officially have two home promotions. Ibushi wrestled his first match under a New Japan contract on October 14 at King of Pro-Wrestling, where he, Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma were defeated in a six-man tag team match by Bullet Club (Prince Devitt, Bad Luck Fale and Karl Anderson). Returning to the junior heavyweight division, Ibushi then began chasing Devitt for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship. On January 4, 2014, at Wrestle Kingdom 8 in Tokyo Dome, Ibushi defeated Devitt to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship for the third time. Ibushi made his first successful title defense against El Desperado on February 11 at The New Beginning in Osaka. On March 6, Ibushi main evented New Japan's 42nd anniversary event, losing to Kazuchika Okada in the annual non-title match between the IWGP Junior Heavyweight and IWGP Heavyweight champions. On April 3, Ibushi made his second successful defense of the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship against Nick Jackson. Three days later at Invasion Attack 2014, Ibushi and El Desperado unsuccessfully challenged Nick and his brother Matt, The Young Bucks, for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship. Ibushi's third defense of the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship took place on May 3 at Wrestling Dontaku 2014, where he defeated Ryusuke Taguchi. On May 25 at Back to the Yokohama Arena, Ibushi unsuccessfully challenged Tomohiro Ishii for the NEVER Openweight Championship. On June 21 at Dominion 6.21, Ibushi successfully defended the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship against the winner of the 2014 Best of the Super Juniors, Ricochet. On July 4, Ibushi lost the title to Kushida in his fifth defense. During the match, Ibushi suffered a concussion, which forced him to pull out of the 2014 G1 Climax. On October 3, it was announced that Ibushi, now billed as a permanent heavyweight Wrestler, had signed a one-year extension to his NJPW contract.
Prior to the start of his professional wrestling career, Ibushi practiced karate, winning a shinkarate K-2 tournament in 2003. In 2006, Ibushi was planning on making his K-1 MAX debut, but it was cancelled after his opponent was injured. On November 11, 2014, Ibushi announced he would be making his shoot boxing debut in an exhibition match on November 30. The match with Ibushi's fellow DDT Wrestler Michael Nakazawa ended in a draw.
Ibushi would make his return after the G1 and at Power Struggle on November 8, attacked Shinsuke Nakamura after his match, issuing a challenge for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. Ibushi received his shot at the title on January 4, 2015, at Wrestle Kingdom 9 in Tokyo Dome, but was defeated by Nakamura. On March 5, Ibushi entered the 2015 New Japan Cup, defeating IWGP Tag Team Champion Doc Gallows in his first round match. After defeating Toru Yano in the second round on March 8, Ibushi first defeated Tetsuya Naito in the semifinals and then Hirooki Goto in the finals on March 15 to win the tournament and earn the right to challenge for the singles heavyweight title of his choosing. Following the final match, Ibushi announced he had decided to challenge A.J. Styles for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. The match took place on April 5 at Invasion Attack 2015 and saw Styles retain his title. From July 20 to August 14, Ibushi took part in the 2015 G1 Climax. He failed to advance from his block with a record of four wins and five losses, scoring big wins over former IWGP Heavyweight Champion A.J. Styles and reigning NEVER Openweight Champion Togi Makabe. As a result, Ibushi received a shot at the NEVER Openweight Championship on September 23 at Destruction in Okayama, but was defeated by Makabe. On November 2, NJPW announced that Ibushi was sidelined indefinitely due to cervical disc herniation. In February 2016, Ibushi announced his resignation from NJPW.
On October 10, 2016, Ibushi returned to NJPW, taking part in a dark match prior to the King of Pro-Wrestling event. Ibushi wrestled the match as the masked character "Tiger Mask W", based on the anime series of the same name, defeating Red Death Mask. The following day, NJPW announced that Tiger Mask W would return to the promotion in January 2017. Tiger Mask W returned on January 4, 2017, defeating Tiger the Dark at Wrestle Kingdom 11 in Tokyo Dome. On February 5, after successfully defending the IWGP Heavyweight Championship against Minoru Suzuki, Kazuchika Okada brought up Tiger Mask W as his next possible opponent, leading to a program between the two heading into NJPW's 45th anniversary show. On March 1, Tiger Mask W teamed with Tiger Mask to defeat Okada and Gedo in a tag team match. On March 6 at the 45th anniversary show, Tiger Mask W was defeated by Okada in a non-title main event.
On June 20, NJPW announced Ibushi, under his real name, as a participant in the 2017 G1 Climax. NJPW billed this as Ibushi's return to the company after two and a half years, not acknowledging his stint as Tiger Mask W. Ibushi finished the tournament on August 11 with a record of five wins and four losses, failing to advance from his block. On November 5 at Power Struggle, Ibushi unsuccessfully challenged Hiroshi Tanahashi for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. On January 4, 2018, Kota Ibushi defeated Cody at Wrestle Kingdom 12. Kota Ibushi was then attacked by Cody at New Year Bash after losing a match to the Bullet Club, where Kenny Omega saves Kota Ibushi from Cody. Returning the favor, Kota Ibushi reunited with Kenny Omega at The New Beginning at Sapporo 2018 after saving Kenny, who was involved in an altercation with other Bullet Club members Cody and Hangman Page. At Honor Rising: Japan Night 2 on February 28th, the Golden☆Lovers won their return match as a team against Cody and Marty Scurll. After the match, Ibushi and Omega were confronted by The Young Bucks and challenged to a match at Strong Style Evolved on March 25th, which the Golden☆Lovers won.