Last week it was announced after Ibushi defeated Naito that the IWGP World and Intercontinental championships have been unified. Ibushi will be awarded a new IWGP World Championship prior to his first official title defense at Sakura Genesis on April 4. Since Wrestle Kingdom 14, have been held by the same wrestler. At first Tetsuya Naito defended them together for the next year before losing them for a brief time to Evil before regaining the championships. Naito just dropped the gold to the Ibushi at Wrestle Kingdom 15 earlier this year and after defeating Naito at the end of February he's gotten his wish. Prior to the match Ibushi had shown his desire to unify both championships while Naito wanted to split the World and Intercontinental titles back up again.
In addition to the new belt design that will arrive on April 4, the IWGP World Title will bring forward the title lineages of the belts it replaces. This will officially close the book on the lineages of the IWGP World Title and Intercontinental championships. Capping the title history of both titles at thirty four and ten years respectively. In my opinion, it is never a bad idea for a company to scale back on championships to avoid oversaturation. Either way it is an interesting way to bring a new era into existence for one of wrestling's top promotions.
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