What was two is now one in NJPW, as the company has unified the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championships. NJPW chairman Naoki Sugabayashi has confirmed to Tokyo Sports (per PWInsider that the two titles are now unified to form the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship.
NJPW is set to hold a press conference this morning, in which it is possible that they will address the unification of the titles. Both titles, as well as the new World Heavyweight Championship, are/were held by Kota Ibushi who won them at Wrestle Kingdom 15.
The IWGP Intercontinental Championship ends an almost ten year-run, having been instituted in May of 2011. The IWGP Heavyweight Title, meanwhile, had a lineage in its current (until now) form that went back to June of 1987.
PWInsider reports that El Desperado will face Kota Ibushi at New Japans Anniversary Event on March 4, but that will be a non-title match. Ibushi will have his first defense of the new title against the winner of the New Japan Cup.
New Japan Pro-Wrestling will be hosting a press conference today at 3PM JST.
Fans and members of the media are invited to watch live for free on @njpwworld
— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) March 1, 2021