NWF Heavyweight Championship

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NWF Heavyweight Championship
Nwf-h.png
Details
PromotionNational Wrestling Federation
New Japan Pro-Wrestling
Date established1970
Date retiredJanuary 4, 2004
Other name(s)
NWF World Heavyweight Championship[1]

The NWF Heavyweight Championship was a professional wrestling championship used as part of the National Wrestling Federation and later New Japan Pro-Wrestling.

History[edit]

The NWF (National Wrestling Federation) Heavyweight Championship was created by wrestling promoter Pedro Martinez for his NWF promotion in New York in 1970. The title was mainly defended in the New York/Eastern Canada area, until then-champion Johnny Powers took the belt with him on a tour of Japan with Tokyo Pro Wrestling. Powers would eventually lose the title to Antonio Inoki, who would take the belt with him when he founded New Japan Pro-Wrestling.

Inoki became the wrestler most associated with the title due to his high profile defenses of the title, defeating the likes of Stan Hansen, André the Giant, Tiger Jeet Singh, and Ernie Ladd while champion. Recognized as a four-time NWF Heavyweight champion, between the years of 1973 and 1983, Inoki was champion for all but six months. Inoki's fourth reign was actually due to the decision to hold up the championship, following a defense against Stan Hansen on April 17, 1981 that ended in a no contest. Inoki later regained the title on April 23, 1981 by defeating Hansen in a rematch. He retired the NWF title immediately after the match due to his desire to enter the 1983 IWGP League.[2]

As part of a NJPW storyline, the NWF Heavyweight championship was revived in August 2002. Mixed martial arts fighter Kazuyuki Fujita held a tournament to crown a new champion to rival the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. The tournament participants were announced to be wrestlers with a background in MMA, including Fujita, Yoshihiro Takayama, Tsuyoshi Kosaka, and Tadao Yasuda. Takayama won the tournament on January 4, 2003, beating Kosaka with a knee kick in the finals to become the first champion in over two decades. Takayama later lost the NWF Championship to Shinsuke Nakamura exactly a year later to unify the NWF and IWGP titles. Nakamura formally announced his vacating of the NWF Heavyweight title on January 5, 2004, retiring the belt for a second time during its history.[3]

Title history[edit]

Key
No. Overall reign number
Reign Reign number for the specific champion
Days Number of days held
N/A Unknown information
(NLT) Championship change took place "no later than" the date listed
No. Champion Championship change Reign statistics Notes Ref.
Date Event Location Reign Days
1 Johnny Powers 1970 (NLT) Live event Los Angeles, California 1 [Note 1] Defeated Freddie Blassie to become inaugural champion.  
2 Waldo Von Erich November 20, 1971 Live event Akron, Ohio 1 18    
3 Dominic DeNucci December 8, 1971 Live event Buffalo, New York 1 28    
4 Waldo Von Erich January 5, 1972 Live event Buffalo, New York 2 156    
5 Ernie Ladd June 9, 1972 Live event Cleveland, Ohio 1 15    
6 Abdullah the Butcher June 24, 1972 Live event Akron, Ohio 1 [Note 2]    
7 Victor Rivera September 1972 (NLT) Live event N/A 1 [Note 3]    
8 Abdullah the Butcher October 1972 (NLT) Live event N/A 2 [Note 4]    
9 Johnny Valentine October 19, 1972 Live event Cleveland, Ohio 1 49    
Vacated December 7, 1972 After a match against Johnny Powers, Valentine left the NWF in January 1973
10 Jaques Rougeau January 24, 1973 Live event Buffalo, New York 1 [Note 5] Defeated Waldo Von Erich in finals of tournament for the vacant title.  
11 Johnny Valentine August 1973 (NLT) Live event N/A 2 [Note 6]  
12 Johnny Powers October 1973 (NLT) Live event N/A 2 [Note 7] Powers took the title to Japan for a tour with Tokyo Pro Wrestling  
13 Antonio Inoki December 10, 1973 World Title Challenge Series Tokyo, Japan 1 429   [4]
Vacated February 12, 1975 Inoki vacated the title as refusal of an NWF ordered defense against Tiger Jeet Singh.
14 Tiger Jeet Singh March 13, 1975 Big Fight Series Hiroshima, Japan 1 105 Singh defeats Inoki for the vacant title. [5]
15 Antonio Inoki June 26, 1975 Golden Fight Series Tokyo, Japan 2 1,688 Ordered by the NWA to stop referring to belt as a world title at annual NWA meeting on August 7, 1976.
16 Stan Hansen February 8, 1980 New Year Golden Series Tokyo, Japan 1 55   [6]
17 Antonio Inoki April 3, 1980 Big Fight Series Tokyo, Japan 3 434  
Vacated April 17, 1981 Big Fight Series II Kagoshima, Japan Vacated after a defense against Stan Hansen ends in a no contest. [7]
18 Antonio Inoki April 23, 1981 Big Fight Series II Tokyo, Japan 4 [Note 8]   [8]
Deactivated 1981 Inoki vacated the title following the match to enter the NJPW IWGP League.  
19 Yoshihiro Takayama January 4, 2003 Wrestling World 2003 Tokyo, Japan 1 365 Defeated Tsuyoshi Kosaka in a tournament for the vacant title.  
20 Shinsuke Nakamura January 4, 2004 Wrestling World 2004 Tokyo, Japan 1 12 Nakamura officially unifies NWF title with the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.  
Unified January 5, 2004 Championship merged with IWGP Heavyweight Championship, no longer promoted as a separate title

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ The exact date the championship was won is uncertain, which means that the reign lasted between 324 and 688 days.
  2. ^ The exact date the championship was lost is uncertain, which means that the reign lasted between 1 and 98 days.
  3. ^ The exact date the championship was won is uncertain, which means that the reign lasted between 1 and 98 days.
  4. ^ The exact date the championship was won is uncertain, which means that the reign lasted between 1 and 47 days.
  5. ^ The exact date the championship was won is uncertain, which means that the reign lasted between 1 and 218 days.
  6. ^ The exact date the championship was won is uncertain, which means that the reign lasted between 1 and 319 days.
  7. ^ The exact date the championship was won is uncertain, which means that the reign lasted between 1 and 319 days.
  8. ^ The exact date the championship was won is uncertain, which means that the reign lasted between 1 and 15 days.

References[edit]

  1. ^ IWGP王者・中邑の対戦相手は“帝王”高山善廣!/1月4日東京ドーム公開記者会見. New Japan Pro-Wrestling (in Japanese). 2009-12-12. Retrieved 2017-08-25.
  2. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  3. ^ Tanabe, Hisaharu. "N.W.F. Heavyweight Title". Wrestling-Titles.com. Retrieved 2007-06-26.
  4. ^ "World Title Challenge Series 1973 - Day 9". Cagematch. Retrieved May 19, 2018.
  5. ^ "NJPW Big Fight Series 1975 - Day 20". Cagematch. Retrieved May 19, 2018.
  6. ^ "NJPW New Year Golden Series 1980 - Day 31". Cagematch. Retrieved May 19, 2018.
  7. ^ "NJPW/WWF Big Fight Series II - Day 13". Cagematch. Retrieved May 19, 2018.
  8. ^ "NJPW/WWF Big Fight Series II - Day 15". Cagematch. Retrieved May 19, 2018.

External links[edit]