NJPW revealed the brand new IWGP World Heavyweight Championship belt at an event today at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan.
The new championship is the result of the unification of the IWGP Heavyweight Championship and IWGP Intercontinental Championship, which was announced earlier this month.
The title will apparently have a brand new lineage, with the first champion being Kota Ibushi. At the ceremony, Ibushi handed over his IWGP Heavyweight Championship and IWGP Intercontinental Championship belts and was given the new title.
— 新日本プロレスリング株式会社 (@njpw1972) March 30, 2021
✨The IWGP World Heavyweight Championship.✨
— njpwworld (@njpwworld) March 30, 2021
NJPW explained some of the aspects of the new design:
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.
Going into more detail on the center plate we see the concept of flight into the world at large. The Lion Mark in the upper center represents the sun above the Earth below. Flames emanating from the sun are those of the Fighting Spirit, which is also represented by a sword piercing the world below from top to bottom. Five gems around the central globe represent the continents, as well as NJPW’s five decades of history. Each gem is set in a fang like position, bringing to mind a lion gripping the world in its teeth, while wings emanating from the globe represent taking flight into the world.