NWA International Junior Heavyweight Championship

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Hajime Ohara as NWA International Junior Heavyweight Champion.

The NWA International Junior Heavyweight Championship started in 1979. It was formed by a split in lineage from the NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship caused by the first retirement of champion Nelson Royal the same year. The first champion, Steve Keirn, was recognized as World champion only by Florida, Los Angeles, and New Japan Pro Wrestling. This version was eventually taken to the latter promotion by Tatsumi Fujinami, who already held the WWF Junior Heavyweight Championship.

In 1981, champion Chavo Guerrero Sr. left NJPW to go back to the United States, only to come back to Japan under the banner of All Japan Pro Wrestling, where a year later, it was renamed the International Junior Heavyweight Championship to avoid confusion and (along with being given a new belt design) in general line with AJPW's NWA titles. The championship became the cornerstone of AJPW's junior heavyweight division until its eventual replacement by the World Junior Heavyweight Championship, which kept the belt design.[1]

In March 2007, after over two decades of inactivity, Toryumon Mexico reactivated the championship, using the belt that was used prior to November 1982.

Title history[edit]

#: Name(s): Reigns: Date: Location: Notes:
1 Steve Keirn 1 December 10, 1979 Los Angeles, California, United States Defeated Chavo Guerrero in a decision match to be recognized as NWA World Junior Heavyweight Champion in Los Angeles.
2 Tatsumi Fujinami 1 February 1, 1980 Sapporo, Japan Also held the WWF Junior Heavyweight Championship, but defended them separately.
3 Mike Graham 1 February 15, 1980 Hollywood, Florida, United States Recognized as World Champion in Florida.[2]
4 Tatsumi Fujinami 2 April 4, 1980 Kawasaki, Japan
Vacated on July 2, 1980 when Fujinami was injured.
5 Kengo Kimura 1 July 2, 1980 Kita Kyushu, Japan Defeated Bret Hart in a decision match.
6 Chavo Guerrero 1 October 3, 1980 Tokyo, Japan
7 Gino Hernandez 1 February 27, 1981 Houston, Texas, United States
8 Chavo Guerrero 2 September, 1981 n/a
9 Atsushi Onita 1 March 7, 1982 Charlotte, North Carolina, United States Billed as International champion in Jim Crockett Promotions.
10 Sangre Chicana 1 April 11, 1982 Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico Recognized as World champion in Empresa Mexicana de Lucha Libre.
11 Atsushi Onita 2 April 30, 1982 Mexico City, Mexico
The title held up on July 30, 1982, after a match against Chavo Guerrero that ended in a no decision. The National Wrestling Alliance and All Japan Pro Wrestling rename the title the NWA International Junior Heavyweight Championship. Onita and Guerrero had several rematches.
12 Atsushi Onita 3 November 4, 1982 Tokyo, Japan Defeated Chavo Guerrero in rematch.
Vacated on April 15, 1983 when Onita broke his leg during a match against Hector Guerrero.
13 Chavo Guerrero 3 May 26, 1983 Tenryu, Japan Defeats Ultra Seven in tournament final.[3]
14 Mighty Inoue 1 February 26, 1984 Osaka, Japan
15 Dynamite Kid 1 June 8, 1985 Takamatsu, Japan
16 Kuniaki Kobayashi 1 June 13, 1985 Koga, Japan
17 Tiger Mask II 1 August 31, 1985 Tokyo, Japan
Vacated on June 1986 when Tiger Mask graduates to the heavyweight division. The title was replaced with World Junior Heavyweight Championship.
18 Hirooki Goto 1 March 4, 2007 Mexico City, Mexico Defeated Shocker in a tournament final to revive the title for Toryumon Mexico and is awarded the pre-1982 belt.
Vacated on September 7, 2007 when Goto graduates to the heavyweight division.
19 Super Delfin 1 November 9, 2008 Osaka, Japan Defeated Último Dragón in a decision match to revive title.
20 Último Dragón 1 November 22, 2008 Tokyo, Japan
21 Hajime Ohara 1 December 14, 2008 Mexico City, Mexico
22 Mineo Fujita 1 October 1, 2009 Tokyo, Japan Won the title at Dradition Pro Wrestling's Dream Impact IV.
23 Ultimo Dragon 2 July 19, 2010 Tokyo, Japan Defeats Fujita and Hajime Ohara in a three-way dance. Also wins AJPW World Junior Heavyweight Championship on December 15, 2013, but defends titles separately.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 
  2. ^ Hoops, Brian (February 15, 2017). "On this day in pro wrestling history (Feb 15): Eddie Guerrero wins the WWE Championship". Wrestling Observer Figure Four Online. Retrieved February 15, 2017. 
  3. ^ F4W Staff (May 26, 2015). "On this day in pro wrestling history (May 26): Dick the Bruiser & Crusher beat Larry Hennig & Harley Race in a nine fall death match, Tiger Mask wins WWF Jr. Heavyweight gold". Wrestling Observer Figure Four Online. Retrieved February 11, 2017. 

External links[edit]