|IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship|
The IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship (IWGP US ヘビー王座 IWGP US Hebī Ōza) is quaternary singles championship in the New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) promotion. "IWGP" is the acronym of NJPW's governing body, the International Wrestling Grand Prix. The title was announced on May 12, 2017, with the inaugural champion crowned on the weekend of July 1 and 2, 2017, during NJPW's G1 Special in USA shows in Long Beach, California. The title became NJPW's eighth active championship.
Overview[edit | edit source]
Background[edit | edit source]
On May 12, 2017, during the third night of the War of the Worlds tour, co-produced by New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) and Ring of Honor (ROH), NJPW United States Ambassador George Carroll announced the creation of the IWGP United States Championship. The following day, NJPW revealed the title's official name as the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship. The title is part of an American expansion plan, which NJPW had made public in the months prior to the announcement. Plans had been made to run extended tours in the United States with California as the base, starting in 2018. The plan was a direct response to WWE taking four wrestlers from NJPW in January 2016. Tetsuya Naito noted how the new title had the exact same concept as the IWGP Intercontinental Championship, which had been established during NJPW's May 2011 U.S. tour, promoted in conjunction with Jersey All Pro Wrestling (JAPW). NJPW chairman Naoki Sugabayashi stated that he wanted the title to be defended at future NJPW events in the U.S. as well as events held by ROH. The title belt was made red to distinguish it from the black IWGP Heavyweight Championship belt and the white IWGP Intercontinental Championship belt.
Championship tournament[edit | edit source]
The first champion would be crowned in a tournament on the weekend of July 1 and 2, 2017, during NJPW's G1 Special in USA shows in Long Beach, California. Though it was originally announced that the tournament would be contested in a round-robin format, Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter later reported that the tournament would in fact take place in a single-elimination format, stating that there had been a "mistake in the translation". Jay Lethal was the first participant announced for the tournament on May 12. On May 18, Hangman Page was officially added to the tournament. The other six participants as well as the bracket of the tournament, confirmed as a single-elimination tournament, were revealed on June 12. Kenny Omega went on to defeat Tomohiro Ishii in the finals to become the inaugural IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion.
|Zack Sabre Jr.||10:04|
|Zack Sabre Jr.||Pin|
Establishment[edit | edit source]
Since its creation, the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship has been defended in both Japan and the United States with the first Japanese defense taking place on September 24, 2017, at Destruction in Kobe and the first stateside defense taking place on October 15, 2017, at Global Wars: Chicago. In November 2017, after it had been announced that WWE wrestler Chris Jericho would be challenging for the title at Wrestle Kingdom 12 in Tokyo Dome, Omega stated that the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship had already surpassed the IWGP Intercontinental Championship as the number two championship in NJPW. The promotion ranks the title in the second tier, behind both the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championships and alongside the NEVER Openweight Championship. On July 7 at G1 Special in San Francisco, Juice Robinson became the first American wrestler to hold the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship. On June 5, Jon Moxley became the second American wrestler to hold the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship. He would vacate the title, after being unable to wrestle in a scheduled championship defense at King of Pro-Wrestling on October 14, due to travel issues arising from Typhoon Hagibis.
Title history[edit | edit source]
|1||Kenny Omega||1||July 2, 2017||Long Beach, California, United States||210 Days||4||Defeated Tomohiro Ishii in a tournament final to become the first champion.|
|2||Jay White||1||January 28, 2018||Sapporo, Japan||160 Days||3|
|3||Juice Robinson||1||July 7, 2018||Daly City, California, United States||86 Days||0|
|4||Cody||1||September 30, 2018||Long Beach, California, United States||96 Days||0|
|5||Juice Robinson||2||January 4, 2019||Tokyo, Japan||152 Days||3|
|6||Jon Moxley||1||June 5, 2019||Tokyo, Japan||131 Days||0|
|—||Vacated||—||October 14, 2019||—||—||—||Vacated after Moxley was unable to wrestle in a scheduled championship defense at King of Pro-Wrestling due to travel issues arising from Typhoon Hagibis.|
|7||Lance Archer||1||October 14, 2019||Tokyo, Japan||82 Days||1||Defeated Juice Robinson in a decision match to win the vacant championship.|
|8||Jon Moxley||2||January 4, 2020||Tokyo, Japan||385+||2|
Combined reigns[edit | edit source]
|†||Indicates the current champion|
|4||Jon Moxley †||2||2||516+|
Gallery[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- ja:ケニー・オメガ (in Japanese). New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Archived from the original on 2017-07-03. Retrieved on 2017-07-02.
- Fiorvanti, Tim 2017-01-02. What to watch for at New Japan Pro Wrestling's Wrestle Kingdom 11 . ESPN. Archived from the original on 2017-01-03. Retrieved on 2017-05-12.
- Currier, Joseph 2017-05-12. NJPW to crown first IWGP United States Champion in Long Beach . Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved on 2017-05-12.
- Johnson, Mike 2017-05-12. New Japan announces new championship, unveils belt . Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved on 2017-05-12.
- ja:7月のロサンゼルス大会を前に“IWGP USヘビー級王座”の新設がアナウンス！ ROHのリング上でベルトがお披露目!! (in Japanese). New Japan Pro-Wrestling (2017-05-13). Archived from the original on 2017-05-13. Retrieved on 2017-05-13.
- Meltzer, Dave (April 10, 2017). "April 10, 2017 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Wrestlemania 33 review, WWE financials, more". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California: 29–31. ISSN 1083-9593.
- ja:新日本、７月のロス興行はＷＷＥへ「反撃ののろし」 (in Japanese). Nikkan Sports (2017-01-05). Retrieved on 2017-05-12.
- ja:【新日本】内藤ＩＣベルト破壊！ ＵＳ王座新設に怒り爆発 (in Japanese). Tokyo Sports (2017-05-19). Retrieved on 2017-05-19.
- Johnson, Mike 2011-01-05. New Japan to institute new belt in United States, NYC location and more NJPW in the States news . Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved on 2017-05-19.
- Fiorvanti, Tim 2017-07-02. The ultimate guide to New Japan Pro Wrestling's 'G1 Special in USA' shows . ESPN. Retrieved on 2017-08-04.
- Meltzer, Dave 2017-05-15. Daily Update: Tanahashi injury, Strowman, Twitter feuds . Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved on 2017-05-16.
- ja:『G1 Special in USA』ロス大会“初日”を、現地時間・7月1日（土）、アメリカ国内でAXS TV で生中継！ 4大タイトル戦、USヘビー級王座決定トーナメントも正式決定！ (in Japanese). New Japan Pro-Wrestling (2017-05-19). Archived from the original on 2017-05-19. Retrieved on 2017-05-19.
- ja:【ロス2連戦の“USヘビー級王座決定トーナメント”詳細が決定！】 1回戦でケニーvsエルガン！ 内藤vs石井！ ジュースvsザック！ リーサルvsペイジ！ (in Japanese). New Japan Pro-Wrestling (2017-06-12). Archived from the original on 2017-06-12. Retrieved on 2017-06-12.
- NJPW announces matches for Long Beach shows . Wrestling Observer Newsletter (2017-06-12). Retrieved on 2017-06-12.
- NJPW G1 Special live results: The first IWGP US Champion is crowned . Wrestling Observer Newsletter (2017-07-02). Retrieved on 2017-07-02.
- G1 Special in USA (in Japanese). New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Retrieved on 2017-07-01.
- G1 Special in USA (in Japanese). New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Retrieved on 2017-07-02.
- Rose, Bryan 2017-09-23. NJPW Destruction in Kobe live results: Kenny Omega vs. Juice Robinson . Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved on 2017-11-11.
- ROH Global Wars Chicago live results: Kenny Omega vs. Yoshi-Hashi . Wrestling Observer Newsletter (2017-10-15). Retrieved on 2017-11-11.
- ja:【新日本】ケニーが主張 １・４東京ドームのＵＳ王座戦をＷメーンに！ (in Japanese). Tokyo Sports (2017-11-11). Retrieved on 2017-11-11.
- History -Champions- (in Japanese). New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Retrieved on 2017-11-11.
- G1 Special in San Francisco . New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Retrieved on 2018-06-22.
- Rose, Bryan 2019-10-14. Moxley, Sabre off NJPW KOPW due to travel issues, US title now vacant . Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved on 2019-10-14.