Title Tuesday #4: IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship

IWGPJHC

Hello ladies and gentlemen, I am your host, the Baumeister.  For many of us, we judge how good a wrestler’s legacy is based on how many titles they have, or haven’t won in their careers.  But, what about the heritage of those titles? That’s where we are going to look at here.  Not just who won the championship, where they won and how long they held it, but also interesting information unique to that championship’s history.

This week’s featured championship: IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship

 

  1. Shiro Koshinaka: Won February 6, 1986 at NJPW New Year Dash 1986-Day 27 in Tokyo, Japan, defeating The Cobra in a tournament final.  Held the title for 102 days.
  2. Nobuhiko Takada: Won May 19, 1986 at NJPW IWGP Champion Series 1986-Day 4 in Tokyo, Japan. Held the title for 123 days.
  3. Shiro Koshinaka (2): Won September 19, 1986 at NJPW Challenge Spirit 1986-Day 14 in Fukuoka, Japan. Held the title for 317 days.
    1. Vacated the title August 2, 1987 after injuring his right ankle. Title is vacant for 18 days.
    2. First title change outside of Tokyo.
  4. Kuniaki Kobayashi: Won August 20, 1987 at NJPW Summer Fever in Kokugikan-Day 2 in Tokyo, Japan, defeating Nobuhiko Takada in a tournament final. Held the title for 129 days.
  5. Hiroshi Hase: Won December 27, 1987 at NJPW Year End in Kokugikan 1987 in Tokyo, Japan. Held the title for 152 days.
  6. Owen Hart: Won May 27, 1988 at NJPW IWGP Champion Series 1988-Day 5 in Sendai, Japan. Held the title for 28 days.
    1. First gaijin to win the championship.
  7. Shiro Koshinaka (3): Won June 24, 1988 at NJPW IWGP Champion Series 1988-Day 28 in Osaka, Japan. Held the title for 265 days.
  8. Hiroshi Hase (2): Won March 16, 1989 at NJPW Big Fight Series-Day 15 in Yokohama, Japan. Held the title for 70 days.
  9. Jushin Liger: Won May 25, 1989 at NJPW Battle Satellite 1989 in Osaka, Japan. Held the title for 77 days.
    1. Defended the title in a European Rules Match vs Black Tiger (Mark Rocco) July 12, 1989 at NJPW @ Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium in Osaka, Japan.
  10. Naoki Sano: Won August 10, 1989 at NJPW @ Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan. Held the title for 174 days.
  11. Jushin Liger (2): Won January 31, 1990 at NJPW @ Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium in Osaka, Japan. Held the title for 200 days.
  12. Pegasus Kid (Chris Benoit): Won August 19, 1990 at NJPW @ Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan. Held the title for 74 days.
  13. Jushin Liger (3): Won November 1, 1990 at NJPW Dream Tour 1990 in Tokyo, Japan. Held the title for 165 days.
    1. Vacated the title April 15, 1991 for the Top of the Super Juniors Tournament. Title is vacant for 15 days.
  14. Norio Honaga: Won April 30, 1991 at NJPW Explosion Tour-Day 12 in Tokyo, Japan, defeating Jushin Liger in the Top of the Super Juniors tournament final. Held the title for 43 days.
  15. Jushin Liger (4): Won June 12, 1991 at NJPW Fighting Connection~Ultra High and Mighty Declaration II in Tokyo, Japan. Held the title for 58 days.
  16. Akira Nogami: Won August 9, 1991 at NJPW Violent Storm in Kokugikan-Day 1 in Tokyo, Japan. Held the title for 88 days.
  17. Norio Honaga (2): Won November 5, 1991 at NJPW Tokyo 3Days BattleDay 3 in Tokyo, Japan. Held the title for 95 days.
  18. Jushin Liger (5): Won February 8, 1992 at NJPW Fighting Spirit 1992-Day 7 in Sapporo, Japan. Held the title for 138 days.
    1. Was also the WCW World Light Heavyweight Champion. Held the WCW World Light Heavyweight Championship for 66 days until losing it to Brian Pillman on February 29, 1992 at WCW SuperBrawl II in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
  19. El Samurai: Won June 26, 1992 at NJPW Masters of Wrestling-Day 8 in Tokyo, Japan. Held the title for 149 days.
  20. Ultimo Dragon: Won November 22, 1992 at NJPW Wrestling Scramble 1992-Day 11: Battle Zone Space I in Tokyo, Japan. Held the title for 43 days.
  21. Jushin Liger (6) Won January 4, 1993 at NJPW Fantastic Story in Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan. Held the title for 628 days.
    1. Holds the record for longest individual title reign.
    2. Vacated the title September 24, 1994 due to a left ankle injury. Title is vacant for 3 days.
  22. Norio Honaga (3): Won September 27, 1994 at NJPW G1 Climax Special 1994-Day 9 in Osaka, Japan, defeating Wild Pegasus (Chris Benoit) in a tournament final. Held the title for 145 days.
  23. Koji Kanemoto: Won February 19, 1995 at NJPW Fighting Spirit 1995-Day 16 in Tokyo, Japan. Held the title for 73 days.
    1. Won the UWA World Welterweight Championship April 16, 1995, defeating Shinjiro Otani at NJPW Battle Rush-Day 3: Grand Cross 2 in Hiroshima, Japan.
  24. Sabu: Won May 3, 1995 at NJPW Wrestling Dontaku 1995 in Fukuoka Dome in Fukuoka, Japan. Held the title for 42 days.
  25. Koji Kanemoto (2): Won June 14, 1995 at NJPW Fighting Spirit Legend-Day 16 in Tokyo, Japan. Held the title for 204 days.
    1. Was the UWA World Welterweight Champion. Held the UWA World Welterweight Championship for 159 days until losing it to Gran Hamada at NJPW G1 Climax Special 1995-Day 6 in Nagoya, Japan.
    2. First title defense outside of NJPW at WCW Starrcade 1995-“World Cup of Wrestling” in Nashville, TN vs Alex Wright on December 27, 1995.
  26. Jushin Liger (7): Won January 4, 1996 at NJPW Wrestling World 1996 in Tokyo, Japan. Held the title for 116 days.
  27. The Great Sasuke: Won April 29, 1996 at NJPW Battle Formation in Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan. Held the title for 165 days.
    1. On August 5, 1996, Sasuke won the J-Crown Tournament to be crowned the first J-Crown Champion (8 championships in all)
      1. Defeated NWA World Junior Heavyweight Champion Masayoshi Motegi in the 1st Round at NJPW G1 Climax 1996-Day 1
      2. Defeated WWE Light Heavyweight Champion/WWA World Junior Light Heavyweight Champion El Samurai at NJPW G1 Climax 1996-Day 3
      3. Defeated WAR International Junior Heavyweight Champion/UWA World Junior Light Heavyweight Champion/NWA World Welterweight Champion/British Commonwealth Junior Heavyweight Champion Ultimo Dragon at NJPW G1 Climax-Day 4
    2. First title defense in Michinoku Pro at Michinoku Pro @ Yahaba Townsman Gymnasium in Yahaba, Japan July 21, 1996 vs Shiryu
  28. Ultimo Dragon (2): Won October 11, 1996 at WAR Osaka Crush Night in Osaka, Japan. Held the title for 85 days.
    1. Part of the J-Crown
    2. First time the title had changed hands on a non NJPW-branded show.
    3. Defended the title at Inoki Festival in Yoyogi in Tokyo, Japan December 1, 1996 vs Gran Naniwa
    4. First title defense in Wrestle Dream Factory (WDF) vs Masayoshi Motegi at a WDF show in Kumagaya, Japan December 20, 1996.
    5. Won the WCW Cruiserweight Championship December 29, 1996 at WCW Starrcade 1996 in Nashville, TN. Held the WCW Cruiserweight Championship for 23 days before losing it to Dean Malenko at WCW Clash of the Champions XXXIV in Milwaukee, WI.
  29. Jushin Liger (8): Won January 4, 1997 at NJPW Wrestling World 1997 in Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan. Held the title for 183 days.
    1. Part of the J-Crown.
    2. Lost the WAR International Junior Heavyweight Championship at WAR @ Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan to Yuji Yasuraoka on June 6, 1997, in which that title was the only one on the line from the J-Crown listing.
  30. El Samurai (2): Won July 6, 1997 at NJPW Summer Struggle 1997-Day 12 in Sapporo, Japan. Held the title for 35 days.
    1. Part of the J-Crown
  31. Shinjiro Otani: Won August 10, 1997 at NJPW The Four Heaven in Super Dome in Nagoya, Japan. Held the title for 181 days.
    1. Vacated the remaining J-Crown titles November 5, 1997. after the WWE reclaimed the WWE Light Heavyweight Championship.
  32. Jushin Liger (9): Won February 7, 1998 at NJPW Fighting Spirit 1998-Day 10 in Sapporo, Japan. Held the title for 403 days.
  33. Koji Kanemoto (3): Won March 17, 1999 at NJPW Hyper Battle 1999-Day 12 in Hiroshima, Japan. Held the title for 164 days.
  34. Kendo Kashin: Won August 28, 1999 at NJPW Jingu Climax in Tokyo, Japan. Held the title for 44 days.
  35. Jushin Liger (10): Won October 11, 1999 at NJPW Final Dome in Tokyo, Japan. Held the title for 49 days.
    1. First title defense in CMLL vs Shocker at CMLL Super Viernes in Mexico City, Mexico on November 26, 1999.
  36. Juventud Guerrera: Won November 29, 1999 at WCW Nitro #219 in Denver, Colorado. Held the title for 7 days.
    1. Holds the record for the shortest title reign.
    2. First title change outside of Japan/inside the United States.
  37. Jushin Liger (11): Won December 6, 1999 at WCW Nitro #220 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Held the title for 227 days.
    1. Defeated Psicosis instead of Guerrera after Guerrera fractured his right arm.
    2. Holds the record for the most title reigns (11)
  38. Tatsuhito Takaiwa: Won July 20, 2000 at NJPW Summer Struggle 2000-Day 20 in Sapporo, Japan. Held the title for 101 days.
  39. Minoru Tanaka: Won October 29, 2000 at NJPW Get a Right!!-Day 13 in Kobe, Japan. Held the title for 264 days.
  40. Nasayuki Naruse: Won July 20, 2001 at NJPW Dome Quake in Sapporo, Japan. Held the title for 80 days.
  41. Kendo KaShin (2): Won October 8, 2001 at NJPW Indicate of Next in Tokyo, Japan. Held the title for 131 days.
    1. Left NJPW to go to All Japan Pro Wrestling, seemingly vacating the title.
  42. Minoru Tanaka (2): Won February 16, 2002 at NJPW Fighting Spirit 2002-Day 10 in Tokyo, Japan, defeating Masahito Kakihara to win the title. Held the title for 153 days.
  43. Koji Kanemoto (4): Won July 19, 2002 at NJPW Summer Fight Series-Day 20~Sapporo Toukon Memorial Day-Day 1 in Sapporo, Japan. Held the title for 278 days.
  44. Tiger Mask IV: Won April 23, 2003 at NJPW Strong Energy 2003-Day 5 in Hiroshima, Japan. Held the title for 153 days.
    1. Vacated the title September 23, 2003 for a battle royal. Title is vacant for 20 days.
  45. Jado: Won October 13, 2003 at NJPW Ultimate Crush II in Tokyo, Japan in a 11 man battle royal. Held the title for 62 days.
  46. Minoru “Heat” Tanaka (3): Won December 14, 2003 at NJPW Battle Final 2005-Day 15in Nagoya, Japan.  Held the title for 387 days.
    1. First defense at the American New Japan Dojo at New Japan Dojo Toukon II in Hollywood, California March 6, 2004 vs American Dragon (Daniel Bryan)
  47. Tiger Mask IV (2): Won January 4, 2005 at NJPW Toukon Festival-Wresting World 2005 in Tokyo, Japan. Held the title for 277 days.
  48. Black Tiger (Rocky Romero): Won October 8, 2005 at NJPW Toukon Souzou New Chapter in Tokyo, Japan. Held the title for 134 days.
    1. Black Tiger was also the NWA World Junior Heavyweight Champion when he won the title.
  49. Tiger Mask IV (3): Won February 19, 2006 at NJPW Circut2006 Acceleration-Day 15 in Tokyo, Japan. Held the title for 73 days.
    1. Also won the NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship. Held the NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship for 446 before losing it to Mike Quackenbush on May 11, 2007.
  50. Koji Kanemoto (5): Won May 3, 2006 at NJPW New Japan Cup 2006 Special-Day 2 in Fukuoka, Japan. Held the title for 235 days.
  51. Minoru Tanaka (4): Won December 24, 2006 at NJPW Battle Xmas!-Catch the Victory in Tokyo, Japan. Held the title for 194 days.
  52. Ryusuke Taguchi: Won July 6, 2007 at NJPW 35th Anniversary Tour~Circuit2007 New Japan Soul~CTU Farewell Tour~Day 1 in Tokyo, Japan. Held the title for 155 days.
    1. First title defense at Pro Wrestling KAGEKI’s KAGEKI KAGEKI 10th Anniversary~Hakata Estrella in Hakata, Japan October 7, 2007 vs Azteca.
  53. Wataru Inoue: Won December 8, 2007 at NJPW 35th Anniversary Tour~Circuit2007 New Japan Alive-Day 7 in Tokyo, Japan. Held the title for 191 days.
    1. Vacated the title June 16, 2008 after Inoue moved to the Heavyweight division. Title is vacant for 22 days.
  54. Tiger Mask IV (4): Won July 8, 2008 at NJPW New Japan Trill-Day 4 in Tokyo, Japan, defeating Prince Devitt in a tournament final. Held the title for 75 days.
  55. Low Ki: Won September 21, 2008 at NJPW Circuit2008 New Japan Generation-Day 11 in Kobe, Japan. Held the title for 105 days.
  56. Tiger Mask IV (5): Won January 4, 2007 at NJPW Wrestle Kingdom III in Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan. Held the title for 223 days.
  57. Mistico: Won August 15 ,2009 at NJPW G1 Climax 2009~New Lords, New Laws~Day 7 in Tokyo, Japan. Held the title for 85 days.
  58. Tiger Mask IV (6): Won November, 8, 2009 at NJPW Destruction ’09 in Tokyo, Japan. Held the title for 57 days.
  59. Naomichi Marufuji: Won January 4, 2010 at NJPW Wrestle Kingdom IV in Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan. Held the title for 166 days.
  60. Prince Devitt: Won June 19, 2010 at NJPW Dominion 6.19 in Osaka, Japan. Held the title for 364 days.
    1. First NJPW-branded American title defense at NJPW Invasion Tour 2011~Attack on East Coast~Day 2 in New York City, NY May 14, 2011 vs Low Ki
  61. Kota Ibushi: Won June 18, 2011 at NJPW Dominion 6.18 in Osaka, Japan. Held the title for 85 days.
    1. Vacated the title September 12, 2011 due to a shoulder injury. Title is vacant for 7 days.
    2. First title defense in Dramatic Dream Team at DDT Ryogoku Peter Pan in Tokyo, Japan July 24, 2011 vs Prince Devitt
  62. Prince Devitt (2): Won September 19, 2011 at NJPW G1 Climax Special 2011-Day 11  in Kobe, Japan, defeating Kushida. Held the title for 227 days.
  63. Low Ki (2): Won May 3, 2012 at NJPW Wrestling Dontaku 2012 in Fukuoka, Japan. Held the title for 87 days.
  64. Kota Ibushi (2): Won July 29, 2012 at NJPW40th Anniversary Last Rebellion in Tokyo, Japan. Held the title for 71 days.
  65. Low Ki (3): Won October 8, 2012 at NJPW 4oth Anniversary King of Pro Wrestling 2012 in Tokyo, Japan. Held the title for 34 days.
  66. Prince Devitt (3): Won November 11, 2012 at NJPW 4oth Anniversary Power Struggle 2012 in Osaka, Japan. Held the title for 419 days.
  67. Kota Ibushi (3): Won January 4, 2014 at NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 8 in Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan. Held the title for 181 days.
  68. Kushida: Won July 4, 2014 at NJPW Kizuna Road 2014-Day 3 in Tokyo, Japan. Held the title for 79 days.
  69. Ryusuke Taguchi: Won September 21, 2014 at NJPW Destruction in Kobe in Kobe, Japan. Held the title for 105 days.
  70. Kenny Omega: Won January 4, 2015 at NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 9 in Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan. Held the title for 182 days.
  71. Kushida (2): Won July 5, 2015 at NJPW Dominion 7.5 in Osaka-jo Hall in Osaka, Japan. Held the title for 80 days.
  72. Kenny Omega (2); Won September 23, 2015 at NJPW Destruction in Okayama in Okayama, Japan. Held the title for 103 days.
  73. Kushida (3): Won January 4, 2016 at NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 10 in Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan. Held the title for 53 days.

Thanks for reading! Is this one of your favorite titles? Is there a title you want to see here? Let me know in the comments below.  Until next time, I am the Baumeister.

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