IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship
The IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship (IWGPジュニアヘビー級王座 IWGP juniahebī-kyū ōza) is a professional wrestling junior heavyweight championship owned by the New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) promotion. "IWGP" is the acronym of NJPW's governing body, the International Wrestling Grand Prix (インターナショナル・レスリング・グラン・プリ intānashonaru resuringu guran puri). Only wrestlers under the junior heavyweight weight-limit may hold the championship. NJPW currently controls two junior heavyweight championships: the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship and the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship. The weight-limit for the tag team title is 100 kg (220 lb); it is assumed that this title has the same weight-limit.
|IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship|
|Promotion||New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW)|
|Date established||February 6, 1986|
|Current champion(s)||Will Ospreay|
|Date won||June 9, 2019|
The title was introduced on February 6, 1986, at a NJPW show.
From August 5, 1996, until November 5, 1997, the title was part of the J-Crown, or J-Crown Octuple Unified Championship. The J-Crown was an assembly of eight different championships from several different promotions. It was created on August 5, 1996, when The Great Sasuke won an eight-man tournament. The IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship, the British Commonwealth Junior Heavyweight Championship, the NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship, the NWA World Welterweight Championship, the UWA World Junior Light Heavyweight Championship, the WAR International Junior Heavyweight Championship, the WWA World Junior Light Heavyweight Championship, and the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship were the eight championships that were involved. On November 5, 1997, then-champion Shinjiro Otani vacated all J-Crown belts but the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship after the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) retook control of its Light Heavyweight title, effectively ending the J-Crown.
Overall, there have been 83 reigns shared among 38 wrestlers. Title changes happen mostly at NJPW-promoted events, as it has only changed hands at non-NJPW events twice. Reigns 36 and 37 occurred on World Championship Wrestling's Nitro television program, when Juventud Guerrera defeated Jushin Thunder Liger on November 29, 1999, and on December 6, 1999, when Liger retrieved the championship by defeating Guerrera's stand-in Psychosis. The inaugural champion was Shiro Koshinaka, who defeated The Cobra on February 6, 1986, in the finals of a tournament. Liger holds the record of most reigns, with 11. At 628 days, Liger's sixth reign is the longest in the title's history. Liger, with a combined 11 reigns, holds the record for most days as champion at 2,245. Guerrera's only reigns holds the record for shortest reign at one week. With 11 successful defenses, Minoru Tanaka's reign under the ring name "Heat" had the most during a single reign. Over his 11 reigns, Liger successfully defended the title 31 times, the most of any champion. With zero, El Samurai's second reign, Hiroshi Hase's second reign, Tiger Mask's fourth and sixth reigns, Liger's fourth reign, Guerrera's only reign, Pegasus Kid's only reign, Low Ki's third reign, Kushida's first and fourth reigns, Bushi's only reign, Will Ospreay's first reign and Marty Scurll's only reign are all tied for least successful defenses. Hiromu Takahashi suffered a neck injury during his match with Dragon Lee at the G1 Special in San Francisco, and the injury forced NJPW to vacate the title. Will Ospreay defeated Dragon Lee at Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-jo Hall to become the new champion.
|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||Shiro Koshinaka||February 6, 1986||New Year Dash 1986||Tokyo, Japan||1||102||1||Koshinaka defeated The Cobra in a tournament final to become the first champion.|||
|2||Nobuhiko Takada||May 19, 1986||IWGP Champion Series 1986||Tokyo, Japan||1||123||6|
|3||Shiro Koshinaka||September 19, 1986||Challenge Spirit 1986||Fukuoka, Japan||2||317||2|
|—||Vacated||August 2, 1987||—||—||—||—||—||Koshinaka vacated the championship due to injuring his right ankle.|
|4||Kuniaki Kobayashi||August 20, 1987||Summer Night Fever In Kokugikan||Tokyo, Japan||1||129||1||Kuniaki Kobayashi defeated Nobuhiko Takada to win the vacant championship.|||
|5||Hiroshi Hase||December 27, 1987||Year End in Kokugikan 1987||Tokyo, Japan||1||152||3|
|6||Owen Hart||May 27, 1988||IWGP Champion Series 1988||Sendai, Japan||1||28||1|
|7||Shiro Koshinaka||June 24, 1988||IWGP Champion Series 1988||Osaka, Japan||3||265||6|
|8||Hiroshi Hase||March 16, 1989||Big Fight Series||Yokohama, Japan||2||70||0|
|9||Jushin Liger||May 25, 1989||Battle Satellite 1989 In Osaka Dome||Osaka, Japan||1||77||2|||
|10||Naoki Sano||August 10, 1989||New Japan Pro Wrestling||Tokyo, Japan||1||174||2|
|11||Jushin Thunder Liger||January 31, 1990||New Spring Gold Series 1990||Osaka, Japan||2||200||1||Previously known as Jushin Liger.|
|12||Pegasus Kid||August 19, 1990||New Japan Pro Wrestling||Tokyo, Japan||1||74||0|||
|13||Jushin Thunder Liger||November 1, 1990||Dream Tour 1990||Tokyo, Japan||3||165||2|
|—||Vacated||April 15, 1991||—||—||—||—||—||Liger vacated the championship so a new champion could be decided in the Top of the Super Juniors tournament.|
|14||Norio Honaga||April 30, 1991||Explosion Tour 1991||Tokyo, Japan||1||43||2||Honaga defeated Jushin Thunder Liger in the finals of the Top of the Super Juniors tournament.|
|15||Jushin Thunder Liger||June 12, 1991||Fighting Connection ~ Ultra-High And Mighty Declaration II ~||Tokyo, Japan||4||58||0|
|16||Akira Nogami||August 9, 1991||Violent Storm in Kokugikan||Tokyo, Japan||1||88||1|
|17||Norio Honaga||November 5, 1991||Tokyo 3 Days Battle||Tokyo, Japan||2||95||1|
|18||Jushin Thunder Liger||February 8, 1992||NJPW Fighting Spirit 1992||Sapporo, Japan||5||139||3|
|19||El Samurai||June 26, 1992||Masters Of Wrestling||Tokyo, Japan||1||149||3|
|20||Último Dragón||November 22, 1992||Wrestling Scramble 1992||Tokyo, Japan||1||43||1|||
|21||Jushin Thunder Liger||January 4, 1993||Fantastic Story in Tokyo Dome||Tokyo, Japan||6||628||5|
|—||Vacated||September 24, 1994||—||—||—||—||—||Liger vacated the championship due to fracturing his left ankle.|
|22||Norio Honaga||September 27, 1994||G1 Climax Special 1994||Osaka, Japan||3||145||6||Honaga defeated Wild Pegasus in a tournament final to win the vacant championship.|
|23||Koji Kanemoto||February 19, 1995||Fighting Spirit 1995||Tokyo, Japan||1||73||2|||
|24||Sabu||May 3, 1995||Wrestling Dontaku 1995||Fukuoka, Japan||1||42||1|
|25||Koji Kanemoto||June 14, 1995||Fighting Spirit Legend||Tokyo, Japan||2||204||2||This match was also for Kanemoto's UWA World Welterweight Championship.|
|26||Jushin Thunder Liger||January 4, 1996||Wrestling World 1996||Tokyo, Japan||7||116||2|
|27||The Great Sasuke||April 29, 1996||Battle Formation||Tokyo, Japan||1||165||5||On August 5, 1996, Sasuke won an 8-man tournament to form the J-Crown, an octuple-belt championship that includes the IWGP Junior Heavyweight title; these titles were still considered separate, but were defended together.|
|28||Último Dragón||October 11, 1996||Osaka Crush Night||Osaka, Japan||2||85||7|
|29||Jushin Thunder Liger||January 4, 1997||Wrestling World 1997||Tokyo, Japan||8||183||4||Liger lost the WAR International Junior Heavyweight Championship from the J-Crown on June 6, 1997, but continued to defend the other 7 belts.|
|30||El Samurai||July 6, 1997||Summer Struggle 1997||Sapporo, Japan||2||35||0|
|31||Shinjiro Otani||August 10, 1997||The Four Heaven in Nagoya Dome||Nagoya, Japan||1||181||5||On November 5, 1997, Otani vacated all J-Crown belts but the IWGP Junior Heavyweight title after the WWF retook control of its Light Heavyweight title, effectively ending the J-Crown.|
|32||Jushin Thunder Liger||February 7, 1998||Fighting Spirit 1998||Sapporo, Japan||9||403||8|||
|33||Koji Kanemoto||March 17, 1999||Hyper Battle 1999||Hiroshima, Japan||3||164||3|
|34||Kendo Kashin||August 28, 1999||Jingu Climax||Tokyo, Japan||1||44||1|
|35||Jushin Thunder Liger||October 11, 1999||Final Dome||Tokyo, Japan||10||49||1|
|36||Juventud Guerrera||November 29, 1999||Nitro||Denver, Colorado||1||7||0|
|37||Jushin Thunder Liger||December 6, 1999||Nitro||Milwaukee, Wisconsin||11||227||3||Psychosis replaced Guerrera in the match due to Guerrera suffering a fractured right arm.|
|38||Tatsuhito Takaiwa||July 20, 2000||Summer Struggle 2000||Sapporo, Japan||1||101||2|||
|39||Minoru Tanaka||October 29, 2000||Get a Right!!||Kobe, Japan||1||264||2|||
|40||Masayuki Naruse||July 20, 2001||Dome Quake||Sapporo, Japan||1||80||1|
|41||Tokimitsu Ishizawa/Kendo Kashin||October 8, 2001||Indicate of Next||Tokyo, Japan||2||116||2||Won the title under the name Tokimitsu Ishizawa, but defended it under the name Kendo Kashin.|||
|—||Vacated||February 1, 2002||—||—||—||—||—||Kashin left NJPW and returned the title to the IWGP Executive Committee.|||
|42||Minoru Tanaka||February 16, 2002||Fighting Spirit 2002||Tokyo, Japan||2||153||3||Defeated Masahito Kakihara to win the championship.|||
|43||Koji Kanemoto||July 19, 2002||Summer Fight Series 2002||Sapporo, Japan||4||278||6|||
|44||Tiger Mask||April 23, 2003||Strong Energy 2003||Hiroshima, Japan||1||153||4|||
|—||Vacated||September 23, 2003||—||—||—||—||—||The championship was vacated so it could be contested for in a battle royal.|
|45||Jado||October 13, 2003||Ultimate Crush||Tokyo, Japan||1||62||1||Jado defeated Dick Togo, El Samurai, Gedo, Heat, Jushin Thunder Liger, Katsushi Takemura, Koji Kanemoto, Masahito Kakihara, Masayuki Naruse and Tiger Mask in a battle royal to win the vacant championship.|||
|46||Heat||December 14, 2003||Battle Final 2003||Nagoya, Japan||3||387||11||Previously known as Minoru Tanaka.|||
|47||Tiger Mask||January 4, 2005||Toukon Festival: Wrestling World||Tokyo, Japan||2||277||3|
|48||Black Tiger||October 8, 2005||Toukon Souzou New Chapter||Tokyo, Japan||1||134||1||This match was also for Black Tiger's NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship.|
|49||Tiger Mask||February 19, 2006||Acceleration||Tokyo, Japan||3||73||1||This match was also for Black Tiger's NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship.|||
|50||Koji Kanemoto||May 3, 2006||New Japan Cup 2006 Special||Fukuoka, Japan||5||235||1|||
|51||Minoru||December 24, 2006||Battle Xmas! Catch the Victory||Tokyo, Japan||4||194||4||Previously known as Minoru Tanaka/Heat.|
|52||Ryusuke Taguchi||July 6, 2007||New Japan Soul C.T.U Farewell Tour||Tokyo, Japan||1||155||4|||
|53||Wataru Inoue||December 8, 2007||New Japan Alive||Osaka, Japan||1||191||3|||
|—||Vacated||June 16, 2008||—||—||—||—||—||The championship was vacated when Inoue moved to the heavyweight division.|
|54||Tiger Mask||July 8, 2008||New Japan Trill||Tokyo, Japan||4||75||0||Tiger Mask defeated Prince Devitt in a tournament final to win the vacant championship.|||
|55||Low Ki||September 21, 2008||New Japan Generation||Kobe, Japan||1||105||1|||
|56||Tiger Mask||January 4, 2009||Wrestle Kingdom III in Tokyo Dome||Tokyo, Japan||5||223||4|||
|57||Místico||August 15, 2009||G1 Climax 2009: New Lords, New Laws||Tokyo, Japan||1||85||2|||
|58||Tiger Mask||November 8, 2009||Destruction '09||Tokyo, Japan||6||57||0|||
|59||Naomichi Marufuji||January 4, 2010||Wrestle Kingdom IV in Tokyo Dome||Tokyo, Japan||1||166||5|||
|60||Prince Devitt||June 19, 2010||Dominion 6.19||Osaka, Japan||1||364||7|
|61||Kota Ibushi||June 18, 2011||Dominion 6.18||Osaka, Japan||1||85||2|
|—||Vacated||September 12, 2011||—||—||—||—||—||The championship was vacated after Ibushi was sidelined with a shoulder injury.|||
|62||Prince Devitt||September 19, 2011||Kantaro Hoshino Memorial Show||Kobe, Japan||2||227||4||Devitt defeated Kushida to win the vacant championship.|
|63||Low Ki||May 3, 2012||Wrestling Dontaku 2012||Fukuoka, Japan||2||87||1|||
|64||Kota Ibushi||July 29, 2012||Last Rebellion||Tokyo, Japan||2||71||2|
|65||Low Ki||October 8, 2012||King of Pro-Wrestling||Tokyo, Japan||3||34||0|
|66||Prince Devitt||November 11, 2012||Power Struggle||Osaka, Japan||3||419||4|
|67||Kota Ibushi||January 4, 2014||Wrestle Kingdom 8 in Tokyo Dome||Tokyo, Japan||3||181||4|
|68||Kushida||July 4, 2014||Kizuna Road 2014||Tokyo, Japan||1||79||0|
|69||Ryusuke Taguchi||September 21, 2014||Destruction in Kobe||Kobe, Japan||2||105||2|
|70||Kenny Omega||January 4, 2015||Wrestle Kingdom 9 in Tokyo Dome||Tokyo, Japan||1||182||3|
|71||Kushida||July 5, 2015||Dominion 7.5 in Osaka-jo Hall||Osaka, Japan||2||80||1|
|72||Kenny Omega||September 23, 2015||Destruction in Okayama||Okayama, Japan||2||103||1|
|73||Kushida||January 4, 2016||Wrestle Kingdom 10 in Tokyo Dome||Tokyo, Japan||3||257||5|
|74||Bushi||September 17, 2016||Destruction in Tokyo||Tokyo, Japan||1||49||0|
|75||Kushida||November 5, 2016||Power Struggle||Osaka, Japan||4||60||0|
|76||Hiromu Takahashi||January 4, 2017||Wrestle Kingdom 11 in Tokyo Dome||Tokyo, Japan||1||158||4|
|77||Kushida||June 11, 2017||Dominion 6.11 in Osaka-jo Hall||Osaka, Japan||5||120||2|
|78||Will Ospreay||October 9, 2017||King of Pro-Wrestling||Tokyo, Japan||1||27||0|
|79||Marty Scurll||November 5, 2017||Power Struggle||Osaka, Japan||1||60||0|
|80||Will Ospreay||January 4, 2018||Wrestle Kingdom 12 in Tokyo Dome||Tokyo, Japan||2||156||3||This was a four-way match, also involving Hiromu Takahashi and Kushida.|
|81||Hiromu Takahashi||June 9, 2018||Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-jo Hall||Osaka, Japan||2||72||2|
|—||Vacated||August 20, 2018||—||—||—||—||—||The championship was vacated after Takahashi suffered a neck injury.|
|82||Kushida||October 8, 2018||King of Pro-Wrestling||Tokyo, Japan||6||88||0||Kushida won the vacant title in a match against Marty Scurll.|
|83||Taiji Ishimori||January 4, 2019||Wrestle Kingdom 13 in Tokyo Dome||Tokyo, Japan||1||92||2|
|84||Dragon Lee||April 6, 2019||G1 Supercard||New York City, U.S.||1||64||1||This was a three-way match, also involving Bandido.|
|85||Will Ospreay||June 9, 2019||Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-jo Hall||Osaka, Japan||3||190+||3|
As of December 16, 2019.
|†||Indicates the current champion|
- A. ^ Each wrestler's total number of days as champion is ranked highest to lowest; wrestlers with the same number are tied for that certain rank.
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