TokyoSports is reporting that the IWGP Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship is no more. The title belt, created in 2011 as a secondary heavyweight title for NJPW, had been defended alongside the IWGP Heavyweight Championship since Wrestle Kingdom 14. That night the two belts were merged into a situation known as the “IWGP Double Gold,” in which both belts are defended at the same time. They will now merge into a singular IWGP World Heavyweight Championship.
At Sunday’s NJPW Castle Attack, Tetsuya Naito attempted to break the Intercontinental Title away from the double gold, in an unsuccessful challenge to current champion Kota Ibushi. Ibushi has been talking about unifying the belts for some time, but Naito wanted one last shot at the belt that he has quite literally tried to destroy at times.
NJPW is set to hold a press conference on NJPWWorld.com at 1am EST. They will likely address the situation further, as well as the upcoming New Japan Anniversary Event, and the New Japan Cup Tournament. This year’s New Japan Cup will likely determine the first challenger for the newly named championship.
New Japan Pro-Wrestling will be hosting a press conference today at 3PM JST.
Fans and members of the media are invited to watch live for free on @njpwworld
— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) March 1, 2021