IWGP United States Championship
The IWGP United States (Heavyweight) Championship (USヘビー級王座 US hebī-kyū ōza) is a professional wrestling championship owned by 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. Being a professional wrestling championship, the title is won as a result of a match with a predetermined outcome. The current champion is Juice Robinson, who is in his second reign.
|IWGP United States Championship|
The IWGP United States Championship belt
(May 2017 — present)
|Promotion||New Japan Pro-Wrestling|
|Date established||May 12, 2017|
|Current champion(s)||Juice Robinson|
|Date won||January 4, 2019|
IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship
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 exactly the same concept as the IWGP Intercontinental Championship, which had been established during NJPW's May 2011 United States 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 United States 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.
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 champion.
|Zack Sabre Jr.||10:04|
|Zack Sabre Jr.||Pin|
Since its creation, the IWGP United States 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. After it had been announced in November 2017 that former WWE wrestler Chris Jericho would be challenging for the title at Wrestle Kingdom 12 in Tokyo Dome, Omega stated that the title 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.
As of May 25, 2019, there have been four different champions. The inaugural champion was Kenny Omega, who is also the longest reigning champion at 210 days with four successful title defenses and the oldest champion at 34 years old. Jay White was the youngest champion at 25 years old. Juice Robinson has the most reigns with two, and his first reign is also the shortest at 85 days with no successful title defenses.
|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||Kenny Omega||July 2, 2017||G1 Special in USA||Long Beach, California||1||210||4||Defeated Tomohiro Ishii in the finals of an eight-man tournament to become the inaugural champion.|||
|2||Jay White||January 28, 2018||The New Beginning in Sapporo||Sapporo, Japan||1||160||3|
|3||Juice Robinson||July 7, 2018||G1 Special in San Francisco||Daly City, California||1||85||0|
|4||Cody||September 30, 2018||Fighting Spirit Unleashed||Long Beach, California||1||96||0|
|5||Juice Robinson||January 4, 2019||Wrestle Kingdom 13 in Tokyo Dome||Tokyo, Japan||2||141+||3|
As of May 25, 2019.
|†||Indicates the current champion|
|1||Juice Robinson †||2||3||226+|
- "G1 Special in USA". New Japan Pro-Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved July 2, 2017.
- Currier, Joseph (May 12, 2017). "NJPW to crown first IWGP United States Champion in Long Beach". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved May 12, 2017.
- ケニー・オメガ. New Japan Pro-Wrestling (in Japanese). Archived from the original on July 3, 2017. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
- Fiorvanti, Tim (January 2, 2017). "What to watch for at New Japan Pro Wrestling's Wrestle Kingdom 11". ESPN. Archived from the original on January 3, 2017. Retrieved May 12, 2017.
- Johnson, Mike (May 12, 2017). "New Japan announces new championship, unveils belt". Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved May 12, 2017.
- 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!!. New Japan Pro-Wrestling (in Japanese). May 13, 2017. Archived from the original on May 13, 2017. Retrieved May 13, 2017.
- Meltzer, Dave (April 10, 2017). "April 10, 2017 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Wrestlemania 33 review, WWE financials, more". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California. pp. 29–31. ISSN 1083-9593.
- 新日本、７月のロス興行はＷＷＥへ「反撃ののろし」. Nikkan Sports (in Japanese). January 5, 2017. Retrieved May 12, 2017.
- 【新日本】内藤ＩＣベルト破壊！ ＵＳ王座新設に怒り爆発. Tokyo Sports (in Japanese). May 19, 2017. Retrieved May 19, 2017.
- Johnson, Mike (January 5, 2011). "New Japan to institute new belt in United States, NYC location and more NJPW in the States news". Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved May 19, 2017.
- Fiorvanti, Tim (July 2, 2017). "The ultimate guide to New Japan Pro Wrestling's 'G1 Special in USA' shows". ESPN. Retrieved August 4, 2017.
- Meltzer, Dave (May 15, 2017). "Daily Update: Tanahashi injury, Strowman, Twitter feuds". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved May 16, 2017.
- 『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！. New Japan Pro-Wrestling (in Japanese). May 19, 2017. Archived from the original on May 19, 2017. Retrieved May 19, 2017.
- 【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！. New Japan Pro-Wrestling (in Japanese). June 12, 2017. Archived from the original on June 12, 2017. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
- Meltzer, Dave; Rose, Bryan (June 12, 2017). "NJPW announces matches for Long Beach shows". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
- Fontaine, Paul; Currier, Joseph (July 2, 2017). "NJPW G1 Special live results: The first IWGP US Champion is crowned". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
- "G1 Special in USA". New Japan Pro-Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved July 1, 2017.
- Rose, Bryan (September 23, 2017). "NJPW Destruction in Kobe live results: Kenny Omega vs. Juice Robinson". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved November 11, 2017.
- Meltzer, Dave; Currier, Joseph (October 15, 2017). "ROH Global Wars Chicago live results: Kenny Omega vs. Yoshi-Hashi". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved November 11, 2017.
- 【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！. Tokyo Sports (in Japanese). November 11, 2017. Retrieved November 11, 2017.
- "History -Champions-". New Japan Pro-Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved November 11, 2017.