IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
|IWGP World Heavyweight Championship|
|Promotion||New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW)|
|Date established||March 1, 2021|
|Current champion(s)||Kazuchika Okada|
|Date won||January 4, 2023|
The IWGP World Heavyweight Championship (IWGP世界ヘビー級王座, IWGP Sekai hebī-kyū ōza) is a professional wrestling world heavyweight championship owned by the New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) promotion. "IWGP" is the acronym of NJPW's governing body, the International Wrestling Grand Prix (インターナショナル・レスリング・グラン・プリ, intānashonaru resuringu guran puri). The championship was created on March 1, 2021 by the unification of the IWGP Heavyweight Championship and the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. The current champion is Kazuchika Okada, who is in his second reign.
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In 2019, when he was IWGP Intercontinental Champion, Tetsuya Naito declared his intention of making history by becoming the first to hold the IWGP Heavyweight Championship and the Intercontinental Championship at the same time. By the end of the year, Jay White, who had won the Intercontinental Championship from Naito, and Kota Ibushi, who was the next challenger for the Heavyweight Championship, also expressed the same desire. After a fan vote, it was decided that Naito, White, Ibushi, and Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada would compete at Wrestle Kingdom 14 on January 4–5, 2020, where one would end up with both titles. Naito achieved the feat to become the first "Double Champion" and the two titles were defended together since (apart from one time). During 2020, Naito said his original intention was for the titles to be defended separately. He requested for this, or otherwise for the titles to be unified, but no change happened. 
After Ibushi won the titles from Naito at Wrestle Kingdom 15 on January 4, 2021, he expressed his desire for the titles to be unified. On March 1, 2021, with Ibushi still champion, the unification of the titles to create the new IWGP World Heavyweight Championship was officially announced, with Ibushi as the inaugural World Heavyweight Champion. After the announcement, Ibushi, who was scheduled to face El Desperado at the NJPW 49th Anniversary Show on March 4, 2021 in a non-title match, requested for the match to be for the Double Championship. His request was granted with the title unification delayed until after the match, of which the winner would be final Double Champion and, therefore, the inaugural World Heavyweight Champion. Ibushi won the match.
With the announcement of the new championship was the announcement of a new championship belt. Until the new belt was ready, Ibushi continued to hold the old IWGP Heavyweight and IWGP Intercontinental Championship belts. The new belt was eventually revealed and presented to the champion Ibushi in a presentation ceremony on March 30, 2021. Its design incorporated the past belt designs of the two old titles.
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As of March 7, 2023, there have been six reigns shared among five wrestlers with one vacancy. Kota Ibushi was the inaugural champion, had the shortest reign at 31 days, and is also the oldest champion, winning the title at 38 years and 255 days old. Kazuchika Okada has most reign with two. Will Ospreay was the youngest at 27. Shingo Takagi had the longest reign at 211 days and three successful title defenses.
Kazuchika Okada is the current champion in his record-setting second reign. He defeated Jay White on January 4, 2023 at Wrestle Kingdom 17 in Tokyo, Japan.
|No.||Overall reign number|
|Reign||Reign number for the specific champion|
|Days||Number of days held|
|Defenses||Number of successful defenses|
|+||Current reign is changing daily|
|No.||Champion||Championship change||Reign statistics||Notes||Ref.|
|1||Kota Ibushi||March 4, 2021||49th Anniversary Show||Tokyo, Japan||1||31||0||After Ibushi, who was the reigning IWGP Heavyweight and IWGP Intercontinental Champion, successfully defended both titles against El Desperado at the event, they were unified into the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship, with Ibushi as the inaugural champion.|||
|2||Will Ospreay||April 4, 2021||Sakura Genesis||Tokyo, Japan||1||46||1|||
|—||Vacated||May 20, 2021||—||—||—||—||—||The championship was vacated due to Will Ospreay suffering a neck injury.|||
|3||Shingo Takagi||June 7, 2021||Dominion 6.6 in Osaka-jo Hall||Osaka, Japan||1||211||3||Defeated Kazuchika Okada to win the vacant championship.|||
|4||Kazuchika Okada||January 4, 2022||Wrestle Kingdom 16
|5||Jay White||June 12, 2022||Dominion 6.12 in Osaka-jo Hall||Osaka, Japan||1||206||2|||
|6||Kazuchika Okada||January 4, 2023||Wrestle Kingdom 17||Tokyo, Japan||2||62+||2|||
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As of March 7, 2023.
|†||Indicates the current champion|
|1||Kazuchika Okada †||2||6||221+|
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Source: "IWGP World Heavyweight Championship", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, March 1st), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IWGP_World_Heavyweight_Championship.
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Chaos (professional wrestling)
IWGP Intercontinental Championship
King of Pro-Wrestling (2014)
Power Struggle (2015)
Los Ingobernables de Japon
Invasion Attack 2016
Dominion 6.19 in Osaka-jo Hall
King of Pro-Wrestling (2016)
The New Beginning in Osaka (2017)
Dominion 6.11 in Osaka-jo Hall
IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship
G1 Special in USA
King of Pro-Wrestling (2017)
Power Struggle (2017)
- ^ "WK9 101: The Intro". Global Force Wrestling. Retrieved February 1, 2016.
- ^ なんと挑戦者が握手を要求!? 内藤vsタイチのインターコンチネンタル王座調印式は、不気味な静けさの“挑発”合戦！【公開調印式】 (in Japanese). New Japan Pro-Wrestling. February 1, 2019. Retrieved March 31, 2021.
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- ^ 菅林会長が、IWGPヘビー＆IWGPインターコンチネンタル王座を統一した、“IWGP世界ヘビー級王座”の新設を発表！ 王者・飯伏はデスペラードとの“二冠王座戦”を要求！【3.1一夜明け会見】 (in Japanese). New Japan Pro-Wrestling. March 1, 2021. Retrieved March 31, 2021.
- ^ 【3月4日（木）日本武道館、メインはタイトル戦に変更！】飯伏とデスペラードが二冠王座戦で激突！ 『NJC』1回戦で内藤とオーカーンが注目の初対決！ 因縁勃発の小島とコブが激突！ (in Japanese). New Japan Pro-Wrestling. March 1, 2021. Retrieved March 31, 2021.
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- ^ "【注目！】"IWGP世界ヘビー級ベルト"がついにお披露目！ 3月30日（火）後楽園ホール大会の試合前、飯伏幸太選手への"贈呈式"を実施！" (in Japanese). New Japan Pro-Wrestling. March 26, 2021. Retrieved March 28, 2021.
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- Championship history on official website (in Japanese)
- Championship history on official website (in English)
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