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A look at the top wrestling titles in Japan(IWGP)

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Suicidal Dragon View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Suicidal Dragon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: A look at the top wrestling titles in Japan(IWGP)
    Posted: 14/August/2007 at 00:18
As the topic title says, this will cover some of the top titles in Japan, starting with the IWGP Heavyweight Title. I aim to also talk about AJPW's Triple Crown, NOAH's GHC Heavyweight TItle, and the other titles in New Japan, All Japan, and NOAH. Let's start out with the IWGP Heavyweight Title.





The IWGP Heavyweight TItle


Status: Top belt in New Japan Pro Wrestling, considered one of the most prestigious titles in wrestling history.


Notable holders: Antonio Inoki, Vader, Kensuke Sasake, Masahiro Chono, Shinya Hashimoto, Yuji Nagata, Shinsuke Nakamura, Great Muta, Brock Lesnar


Current Champion: Yuji Nagata


Famous Title Matches: Inoki vs. Masa Saito(Inoki wins belt, becoming first champion), Vader vs. Hashimoto(Vader wins belt, becoming first American to do so), Muta vs. Riki Chosu(Muta wins belt for the first time), Hashimoto vs. Muta(Hashimoto ends Muta's year long reign, and wins the belt for the first time), Chono vs. Chosu(Chono wins belt for the first and only time), Lesnar vs. Chono vs. Kazuyuki Fujita(first time belt is defended in three way, Lesnar wins title).



Place in wrestling history: The IWGP Heavyweight TItle has been active since 1988, making it one of wrestling's longest active titles(if that makes sense), and because of that, it's still considered to be one of the most prestigious titles in wrestling. Given its long history, it's amazing that the belt hasn't been defended outside of Japan, and is rarely(if ever) defended outside of New Japan itself. All who have held the title have been fighting champions(sans Bob Sapp, and to an extent, Lesnar). Aside from those two, you'll be hard pressed to find a former champion that wasn't worthy of holding the belt.



Recent history: The last two years have been a living nightmare for New Japan and the IWGP Heavyweight Title. When Lesnar refused to defend against Hiroshi Tanahashi, he also kept their new belt, and kept calling himself the true IWGP Heavyweight Champion. The belt itself was finally taken from Lesnar when Kurt Angle won it in June(though the belt itself has no championship value), and is now in possession of it. Former champion Shinsuke Nakamura actually challenged Angle(or whoever would possess the belt) to wrestle him for the belt, but a separated shoulder put that plan on hold. However, look for Angle to face off against someone from New Japan, possibly even Yuji Nagata himself. No matter who he faces, the belt will likely be headed back to New Japan very soon.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SKITCOMIC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14/August/2007 at 00:38
I hope the belt heads back soon. As much as I like the novelty of a company recognizing another company's championship it does two things. First it devalues the secondary title. Kurt Angle with the belt does nothing for it other than prove another company was stronger and took the belt to prove it. It also swells Kurt Angle's head to a much bigger size.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suicidal Dragon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14/August/2007 at 21:26
GHC Heavyweight Title


Current Status: Top title in Pro Wrestling NOAH, quickly becoming one of Japan's most prestigious titles


Notable Holders: Mitsuharu Misawa(first champ), Jun Akiyama, Kenta Kobashi, Takeshi Rikio, Naomichi Marufuji


Current Champion: Mitsuharu Misawa


Famous Matches: Misawa vs. Takayama(Misawa wins title, becomes first champ), Akiyama vs. Misawa(Akiyama wins belt, winning his first singles title), Misawa vs. Kobashi(Kobashi wins title), Kobashi vs. Akiyama(five star match, Kobashi retains), Rikio vs. Kobashi(Rikio wins, ends Kobashi's two year reign), Marufuji vs. Akiyama(Marufuji wins belt, becoming only Jr. Heavyweight to do so), Marufuji vs. Nigel McGuinness(first defense of title outside of NOAH), Marufuji vs. KENTA(first time main eventing a NOAH show, MOTYC).


Place in Wrestling History: After Misawa left All Japan, and took pretty much the entire roster(save two wrestlers), Pro Wrestling NOAH took off. For the first six months of its existence, no title was present. Misawa held a tournament, and won it, becoming the first champion. He would lose it three months later to Jun Akiyama, which was Akiyama's first singles title victory. However, the belt is remembered primarily for Kobashi's two year reign, where he made 13 successful title defenses, more than any other champion to date. Since his reign, the title scene has been in a state of semi-chaos, first going to Rikio, who failed(anyone would have), and then to Akira Taue for two months before Akiyama won it again. Marufuji beat him for it before losing it to Misawa, who now enjoys a third reign.



Recent History: Misawa won the belt for the third time in December, and has made four successful title defenses since winning it. Right away in January, he faced off against Takeshi Morishima, whom he defeated. Since then, he defended the title against Takuma Sano, Bison Smith, and Akira Taue. His next defense will be in September, against the winner of the current tourament to declare the number one contender.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suicidal Dragon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17/August/2007 at 02:45
Triple Crown Title

 
 
 
Current Status: Top title in All Japan Pro Wrestling, and considered by many to be the most prestigious title in wrestling history. 

 
 
Notable Holders: Jumbo Tsuruta, Stan Hansen, Steve Williams, Mitsuharu Misawa, Kenta Kobashi, Toshiaki Kawada, Akira Taue, Shinya Hashimoto, Vader, Great Muta, Satoshi Kojima


 
Current Champion: Minoru Suzuki 


 
Famous Matches: Jumbo vs. Hansen 1989(Jumbo wins, creates the Triple Crown Title), Misawa vs. Hansen 1992(Misawa wins title for the first time), Misawa vs. Kawada(1994, considered by some to be the greatest match of all time), Misawa vs. Kobashi(Jan. 1997, considered by many to be the greatest match of all time), I could list them all day, really.

 
 
Place in Wrestling History: Created in 1989 by Jumbo Tsuruta, this title has since become possibly the most prestigious title in wrestling history. Everyone who has won the title has been a fighting champion, and the title matches are almost always ranked quite high. Many of pro wrestling's best have at one time or another held the Triple Crown Title.


 
Recent History: All Japan's worst fear was realised last September when Minoru Suzuki won the Triple Crown. Suzuki, one of the most arrogant and disrespectful heels in Japan, as well as the world, dethroned Taiyo Kea to win the belt. Suzuki has been a fighting champion, defeating past champions such as Kojima, Kawada, and Mutoh. However, Kensuke Sasake is scheduled to face Suzuki for the title, and he means business, as he's debuting two new moves.
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