New Championship revealed in Korakuen
Tuesday, March 30 saw the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship revealed to a worldwide audience for the very first time. With a design that evokes every step of IWGP history, the new richest prize will be on the line Sunday at Sakura Genesis, as Kota Ibushi defends against New Japan Cup winner Will Ospreay.
The reveal ceremony saw each individual aspect of the new championship’s design explained. The key tenets behind the design are reflecting the history of both the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championship, as well as taking flight in the world on the wings of Fighting Spirit.
The history of the four generations of IWGP Heavyweight Championship are acknowledged through its center plate. The upper part of the belt had a radial design which recalls the original circular IWGP Heavyweight design, while the upper profile of the belt carries the second generation IWGP ‘crown’ motif.
On the plate itself, we see a pair of wings which represent those on the third generation title belt, while the central Lion Mark brings to mind that on the fourth generation Heavyweight belt. Meanwhile, the title’s side plates evoke the IWGP Intercontinental Championship design.