Today In Pro Wrestling History (Jan 5): An Intercontinental Title Emerges in the Far East

Today in Pro Wrestling History: On January 5, 2011, New Japan Pro Wrestling made a significant announcement, commissioning the new IWGP Intercontinental Championship.

This decision coincided with NJPW’s planned United States tour, titled “NJPW Invasion Tour 2011: Attack on East Coast,” scheduled for May, with stops in Rahway, New Jersey, New York City, and Philadelphia.

During this tour, a tournament was held to crown the inaugural Intercontinental Champion, which was won by MVP on May 15th in Philadelphia.

Today In Pro Wrestling History (Jan 5): An Intercontinental Title Emerges in the Far East

Today In Pro Wrestling History January 5
Shinsuke Nakamura’s reign caused the Japanese wrestling scene to flourish.

Initially, the IWGP Intercontinental Championship was regarded as a secondary title, akin to WWE’s Intercontinental Championship. However, over time, it has gained prestige, with some viewing it as nearly equal to the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.

Initially perceived as a midcard title, it gained importance during Shinsuke Nakamura’s reign, starting in 2012. Nakamura, a former IWGP Heavyweight Champion, helped elevate the championship’s status by defending it internationally. His reign saw the title change hands outside of NJPW for the first time.

The championship’s prestige peaked when its match received top billing over the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at Wrestle Kingdom 8 in 2014.

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