NJPW Unveils New IWGP World Heavyweight Title Belt Design

A new era means a new IWGP World Heavyweight Championship belt in NJPW...

Kota Ibushi new belt
NJPW

New Japan Pro Wrestling has just unveiled its new IWGP World Heavyweight Championship belt design.

Kota Ibushi's shiny new strap was revealed at today's Road to Sakura Genesis show in Korakuen Hall. Here's what it looks like:-

IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
NJPW

The new strap is a sharp detour from the old design, with its rounder plates and more visible black leather. Its central plate is supposedly designed to resemble a crown (and the more obtuse "concept of flight"), though it looks dangerously close to one of the most loathed title belts in modern wrestling history, the old WWE Divas Title.

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Ibushi is set to defend the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship against Will Ospreay at Sakura Genesis this Sunday, 4 April. This comes following Ospreay's victory over Shingo Takagi in this year's New Japan Cup final.

The IWGP World Heavyweight Title comes following NJPW's controversial decision to merge its Intercontinental and old Heavyweight straps. Those old championships had been tethered together since Tetsuya Naito became New Japan's first double champion at Wrestle Kingdom 14 in January 2020, with Ibushi capturing them by beating Naito at this year's WK event, before successfully defending against Jay White the following evening.

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WhatCulture's Senior Wrestling Reporter, Presenter and Editor. Formerly Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @andyhmurray.