IWGP Heavyweight Championship (original version)
The original version of IWGP Heavyweight Championship (IWGPヘビー級王座 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.
|IWGP Heavyweight Championship|
|Promotion||New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW)|
|Date established||June 2, 1983|
|Date retired||May 11, 1987|
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 debuted in 1987 (replacing this version) and is defended regularly.
The inaugural champion was determined in the 1983 edition of the IWGP League, a 10-man round-robin tournament. Wrestlers from several promotions worldwide participated. Participants included 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. Inoki 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 #1 contender to the championship.
In 1986, Inoki vacated the title, because he wanted to compete in the IWGP League. Therefore, the 1986 edition was the first to crown a new Champion since the 1983 edition. Inoki won the 1986 League, and became champion for the second time.
In 1987, the title was deactivated and replaced by the current IWGP Heavyweight Championship, which was awarded to the winner of the IWGP League 1987. The current championship is defended regularly, rather than as part of a tournament. The current championship's lineage does not acknowledge the champions of the deactivated title.
|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||Hulk Hogan||June 2, 1983||IWGP League 1983||Tokyo, Japan||1||378||0||Hogan defeated Antonio Inoki via knockout in the IWGP League 1983 final, becoming the first champion.|||
|2||Antonio Inoki||June 14, 1984||N/A||Tokyo, Japan||1||701||2||Inoki won the IWGP League 1984 becoming the no. 1 contender to the championship held by Hogan.|||
|—||Vacated||May 16, 1986||—||—||—||—||—||Inoki gives up the championship, because he wanted compete in the IWGP League again.|||
|3||Antonio Inoki||June 19, 1986||IWGP League 1986||Tokyo, Japan||2||326||0||Inoki defeated Dick Murdoch in the IWGP League 1986 final.|||
|—||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 2016-02-01.
- "INTERNATIONAL WRESTLING GRAND PRIX CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT". Wrestling-Titles.com. Retrieved 2019-02-09.
- "The 1st International Wrestling Grand Prix Championship Tournament". Wrestling-Titles.com. Retrieved 2019-02-09.