New Japan Pro Wrestling have today unveiled the new IWGP World Heavyweight Title belt.
The title replaces the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental titles held by Kota Ibushi, with Ibushi oficially unifying the belts earlier this month.
The new belt was unveiled in ring at Road to Sakura Genesis, with Ibushi set to defend the title for the first time against Will Ospreay at Sakura Genesis on April 4, 2021.
Predictably, the new design has received mixed reactions online, but with the previous titles belts heralded as some of the best designed in pro-wrestling, any change was likely to garner some amount of negative reaction.
The new design honours title belts from NJPW’s past, with the second and third IWGP Heavyweight Title belts, and the Intercontinental Title referenced in the new design.
Ibushi’s last defence of the previous titles came against El Desperado at the NJPW 49th Anniversary Show on March 4, 2021. Ibushi kicked off his reign as dual-champion at Wrestle Kingdom night one, when he defeated Tetsuya Naito for the straps.