|IWGP Heavyweight Championship (original version)|
The original version of IWGP Heavyweight Championship (IWGPヘビー級選手権 IWGP hebī-kyū ōza) was a professional wrestling world heavyweight championship owned by the New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) promotion. "IWGP" is the initialism of NJPW's governing body, the International Wrestling Grand Prix.
The title was introduced in 1983 for the winner of the IWGP League 1983. Since then, the championship was defended annually against the winner of the IWGP League of the year. The current IWGP Heavyweight Championship arrived only on 1987 (replacing the old version) and is defended regularly.
To determinate the first champion, the championship was on the line in the 1983 edition of the IWGP League, a 10-man round-robin tournament, where participated wrestlers from any corner of the world, including World Heavyweight Champions from other international promotions (such as Canek, at the time UWA World Heavyweight Champion or Otto Wanz, at the time CWA World Heavyweight Champion).
Since then, the championship was defended annually against the winner of the IWGP League of the year. Antonio Inoki won the title in 1984 and successfully defended it in 1985 against Andrè the Giant (IWGP League winner of 1985) and Hulk Hogan. Hogan was the only challenger that didn't win the tournament to become the no. 1 contender to the championship.
In 1986, Inoki chooses to leave the title, because he wanted to participate in the IWGP League again. So, 1986 edition would have crowned a new IWGP Heavyweight Champion, as happened in 1983 edition. Inoki won again and became champion for the second time.
|1||Hulk Hogan||1||June 2, 1983||326 Days||Tokyo||0||Inoki defeated Masa Saito in a tournament final.|
|2||Antonio Inoki||1||June 14, 1984||701 Days||Tokyo||2||Inoki won the IWGP League 1984 becoming the no. 1 contender to the championship held by Hogan. Inoki defeated Hogan and won the championship for the first time.|
|—||Vacated||—||May 16, 1986||—||—||—||Inoki gives up the championship because he wanted to compete in the IWGP League again.|
|3||Antonio Inoki||1||June 19, 1986||326 Days||Tokyo||0||Inoki defeated Dick Murdoch in the IWGP League 1986 final, becoming the champion for the second time.|
|—||Deactivated||—||May 11, 1987||—||—||—||The championship was deactivated and replaced by the current IWGP Heavyweight Championship, that was awarded to the winner of the IWGP League 1987.|
|Rank||Champion||No. of reigns||Combined|
- ↑ WK9 101: The Intro . Global Force Wrestling. Retrieved on 2016-02-01.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 INTERNATIONAL WRESTLING GRAND PRIX CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT . Wrestling-Titles.com. Retrieved on 2019-02-09.
- ↑ The 1st International Wrestling Grand Prix Championship Tournament . Wrestling-Titles.com. Retrieved on 2019-02-09.