New Japan Pro Wrestling

New Japan Pro Wrestling
New Japan Pro-Wrestling
Acronym NJPW
Founded June 1972
Style Strong Style
Headquarters Japan
Founder(s) Antonio Inoki
Owner(s) Yuke's

New Japan Pro-Wrestling (新日本プロレス Shin Nihon Puroresu?) (NJPW) is a major professional wrestling promotion in Japan, founded by Antonio Inoki in June 1972 and owned by Yuke's since 2005, when Inoki sold the promotion. Naoki Sugabayashi is the current President of the promotion and has held that position from 2007.[1] Owing to its TV program aired on TV Asahi, it is the largest wrestling promotion in Japan and one of the largest in the world. From its creation in 1972 until 1986, NJPW was a member of the National Wrestling Alliance. NJPW is known for openly engaging in working agreements with various MMA and pro wrestling promotions around the world, including: World Wrestling Entertainment, World Championship Wrestling, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, WAR, Ring of Honor, PRIDE Fighting Championships, and Jersey All Pro Wrestling[1] and various other MMA and pro wrestling promotions. NJPW's biggest event of the year is the January 4th at the Tokyo Dome, an event they have held each year since 1992. On January 4, 2011, New Japan Pro Wrestling officially announced their first tour of the United States in May 2011, when they held shows in Rahway, New Jersey on May 13, New York City on May 14 and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on May 15. As part of the tour, NJPW introduced a new title, the IWGP Intercontinental Championship.[2]

Contents

History

Originally founded by Antonio Inoki in 1972, New Japan Pro Wrestling, also known as "Shin Nihon Puroresu", is considered the top promotion in Japan and is comparable to WWE in the United States in terms of popularity and size in Japan. They promote events throughout Japan with their biggest event being their annual blowout show held every year on January 4 at the Tokyo Dome, which is Japan's version of WWE's annual WrestleMania event. In the past they have worked with WWE, WCW and NWA among others and currently have working agreements with Mexican Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) and American Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) promotions, additionally they occasionally do cross-promotion matches with other Japanese promotions, currently they are doing such a program with Pro Wrestling Noah. The promotion is currently owned by Japanese media/entertainment company Yuke's. Antonio Inoki is no longer affiliated with NJPW.

The promotion also has its own governing body, the International Wrestling Grand Prix (IWGP). Thus all the promotion's titles are referred to as IWGP Championships. They currently have five titles: Heavyweight, Junior Heavyweight, Tag Team, Junior Heavyweight Tag Team and Intercontinental, which was introduced in May 2011 during the promotion's first ever tour of the United States. They also hold several tournaments each year, including G1 Climax, G1 Climax Tag League, New Japan Cup and Best of the Super Juniors.

The promotion debuted a new series called NEVER in August 2010, designed to be a series of events spotlighting younger up-and-coming talent and feature more outsider participation in the promotion.

Roster

See: New Japan Pro Wrestling roster

Current Championships

The championships recognized by NJPW are called International Wrestling Grand Prix (IWGP).

Championship Current champion(s) Held since
IWGP Heavyweight Championship Hiroshi Tanahashi January 4, 2011[3]
IWGP Tag Team Championship Bad Intentions
(Giant Bernard and Karl Anderson)
June 19, 2010[4]
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship Prince Devitt September 19, 2011[5]
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship No Remorse Corps
(Davey Richards and Rocky Romero)
October 10, 2011[6]
IWGP Intercontinental Championship Masato Tanaka October 10, 2011[7]

Annual tournaments

Tournament Last winner Last held Type Created Notes
G1 Climax Shinsuke Nakamura 02011-08-14 August 14, 2011 Open weight 1991 NJPW's biggest annual tournament, primarily for heavyweights but there is no official weight limit[Note 1]
G1 Climax Tag League Suzuki Army
(Lance Archer and Minoru Suzuki)
02011-11-06 November 6, 2011 Tag team 1991 NJPW's annual tag team tournament.[Note 2]
New Japan Cup Yuji Nagata 02011-03-20 March 20, 2011 Open weight 2005  
Best of the Super Juniors Kota Ibushi 02011-06-10 June 10, 2011 Junior Heavyweight 1988 Annual tournament featuring top Junior Heavyweights from all over the world.
Super J Cup Naomichi Marufuji 02009-12-23 December 23, 2009 Junior Heavyweight 1994 Sporadic tournament featuring top Junior Heavyweights from all over the world, Tournament has been hosted by other promotions than NJPW as well.
Super J Tag League Jado and Gedo 02010-11-13 November 13, 2010 Junior Heavyweight Tag Team 2010 Tournament created in 2010, may be an annual event for NJPW.[Note 3]
Young Lion Cup Hirooki Goto 2005 Rookies 1985 Tournament that is not held every year.[Note 4]
J Sports Crown 6 Man Openweight Tag Team Tournament Apollo 555
(Hirooki Goto, Prince Devitt and Ryusuke Taguchi)
June 23, 2011 Six man tag team 2010

Footnotes

  1. ^ Before the G1 Climax, NJPW had had an annual single tournament since 1974 under various names: the World League (1974-77), the Madison Square Garden (MSG) League (1978-82), the International Wrestling Grand Prix (IWGP) League (1983-87) and the World Cup Tournament (1989).
  2. ^ Before the G1 Climax Tag league, NJPW had had an annual Tag tournament since 1980 under various names: the Madison Square Garden (MSG) Tag League (1980-85) and the Japan Cup Tag League (1986-87).
  3. ^ NJPW has previously held similar tournaments for Junior Heavyweight Tag Teams, the first being the Junior Heavyweight Super Grade Tag League in 1996, won by Eddie Guerrero as Black Tiger II and The Great Sasuke. They also held the G1 Junior Tag League in 2001: it was won by El Samurai and Jushin Thunder Liger. On May 8, 2010, NJPW also held a one night, single elimination tournament, under the name Super J Tag Tournament 1st, which was won by El Samurai and Koji Kanemoto.
  4. ^ In 1974 and 1975 NJPW held the "Karl Gotch Cup" a similar style rookie wrestler tournament.

References

  1. ^ a b "New Japan Pro Wrestling comes to the U.S.". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. October 3, 2010. http://www.f4wonline.com/content/view/17790/. Retrieved October 4, 2010. 
  2. ^ Caldwell, James (January 5, 2011). "NJPW News: New Japan to introduce new title on U.S. tour, officially announces dates & venues for "Invasion" tour". Pro Wrestling Torch. http://pwtorch.com/artman2/publish/Other_News_4/article_46541.shtml. Retrieved January 5, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Heavy weight class" (in Japanese). New Japan Pro Wrestling. http://www.njpw.co.jp/data/list_category.php?cat=1. Retrieved September 19, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Heavy tag weight class" (in Japanese). New Japan Pro Wrestling. http://www.njpw.co.jp/data/list_category.php?cat=3. Retrieved September 19, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Jr. Heavy weight class" (in Japanese). New Japan Pro Wrestling. http://www.njpw.co.jp/data/list_category.php?cat=2. Retrieved September 19, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Jr. Heavy tag weight class" (in Japanese). New Japan Pro Wrestling. http://www.njpw.co.jp/data/list_category.php?cat=4. Retrieved September 19, 2011. 
  7. ^ "InterContinental champion" (in Japanese). New Japan Pro Wrestling. http://www.njpw.co.jp/data/list_category.php?cat=6. Retrieved September 19, 2011. 

External links


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