Kazuchika Okada held a press conference yesterday in which he and NJPW announces the creation of the King Of Pro-Wrestling Championship. Unlike the other NJPW championships, the King of Pro-Wrestling Championship is not represented by a belt. Instead, the KOPW championship will be a trophy awarded at the end of the year.
The tournament to determine the inaugural champion will take place over two nights. On August 26th, eight wrestlers will compete in 4 singles matches in Kouraken Hall. Each wrestler will present a stipulation for their match. Then, fans will vote on which stipulation the match will be contested under. The winners of the 4 singles matches will advance to a 4-way match on August 29th at Summer Struggle in Jingu Stadium. The winner of this 4-way match will become inaugural King Of Pro-Wrestling Champion. The KOPW champion will defend the title until the end of the year, with stipulations voted on by the fans. At the end of the year, the final holder of the title will receive that year’s King of Pro-Wrestling trophy and the process starts again.
A new title!
An unprecedented announcement!
— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) July 28, 2020
NJPW Announces King Of Pro-Wrestling Championship
New Japan Pro-Wrestling has not announced any of the 8 men who will compete on August 26th. However, we can trust that Okada will be involved. During the press conference, Okada seemed very excited about the new championship. He said of the new championship “[it is] completely different from what we’ve expected from IWGP titles, and from NJPW.” Later, the 5-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion added “there are all kinds of rules. Two out of three falls, ladder, steel cage matches, it could be anything.”
Currently, New Japan Pro-Wrestling recognizes 5 active singles championships. A 6th might seem like a lot, but there are some problems with championship scenes right now. Jon Moxley is unable to defend his IWGP United States championship due to travel restrictions. Additionally, the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental championships are unified around EVIL’s waist at the moment. The KOPW title will fill those spaces for now, but NJPW will likely alter the format in coming years. Still, the addition of the new championship opens many possibilities for fresh, unique matches in NJPW.
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