Trophy becomes a belt for the new year
First established in 2020 by Kazuchika Okada, the KOPW title has seen its holders defend their status through the year before the new calendar sees a new champion contested for. From Toru Yano in 2020 and 2021, to Shingo Takagi in 2022, its holders have seen fans vote on stipulations never before seen in NJPW, and often never anywhere else either!
Yet the trophy that represents the KOPW holder status has not always been treated with prestige an respect! From spray paintings to utter demolition and DIY recreation, it’s fair to say that the KOPW holder was in need of something longer lasting. From 2023, the holder will have the KOPW Championship belt!
A New Japan Ranbo on January 4 will determine who qualifies to be the first holder of this new belt. Who will emerge as its first holder, and what happens to KOPW in 2023?