Kota Ibushi Requests NJPW Unify IWGP Heavyweight & Intercontinental Titles


Kota Ibushi defeated Tetsuya Naito to win the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championships at Wrestle Kingdom 15 (Day 1). He successfully defended the titles against Jay White at Wrestle Kingdom 15 (Day 2).

During a backstage press conference following Day 2, Kota Ibushi requested that NJPW unify the two championships. “The IWGP Intercontinental Championship is the greatest belt there is,” said Ibushi. “The IWGP Heavyweight Championship is the strongest belt there is. I want to unify these titles.”

Ibushi continued, “I want it to be both the greatest and the strongest. Nobody has challenged for just one of these titles. Then what does a double championship mean? I want to unify them. Then I will make my ultimate dreams come true.”

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You can watch Kota Ibushi‘s comments about unification in the video player below:

IWGP Intercontinental Championship

The IWGP Intercontinental Championship was brought into the promotion in 2011. MVP defeated Toru Yano in the finals of a tournament to become the first champion. Since then, 14 other wrestlers have held the title.

Shinsuke Nakamura is the all-time leader in several categories related to the Intercontinental title. He’s held the title 5x and defended it 17 times over 901 combined days as champion.

The IWGP World Heavyweight Championship and the Intercontinental Championship have been defended together since Wrestle Kingdom 14 last year. Naito defeated Jay White at WK14 Night 1 to win the Intercontinental title. On Night 2, he defeated IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada to capture that belt as well.

Since the belts have been defended together, dual title holders have included EVIL, Naito, and now Ibushi.

(H/T to Fightful for the transcribed quotes)