Following Kota Ibushi’s victory over Tetsuya Naito at this weekend’s ‘Castle Attack’ event, NJPW have announced the official unification of the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championships.
Since Wrestle Kingdom 14 in January 2020, the two titles have effectively been defended as one with Ibsushi defeating Naito to win both belts at this year’s Wrestle Kingdom 15.
Ibushi himself has previously called for the titles to be officially unified with his Castle Attack opponent, Naito, taking the opposite position. Sunday’s match was specifically for the Intercontinental Championship only and was seen as Naito’s opportunity to pull the destinies of the two belts apart.
After his failure to do so, NJPW president Naoki Sugabayashi announced the unification at a post-event press conference and the new title will officially be known as the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship.
The Intercontinental Championship was introduced in 2011 and was first held by current WWE star MVP.
A new belt will be created to represent the unified championship and Ibushi’s first defence will take place on April 4th against the winner of the New Japan Cup.