New Japan Pro Wrestling
International Wrestling Grand Prix
World Heavyweight Title Holders
Champions
Date
Circumstances
Antonio Inoki
June 12th, 1987
Inoki became the first champion by defeating Masa Satio in the tournament finals. Inoki vacated the championship on May 2nd, 1988, due to a broken foot.
Tatsumi Fujinami
May 8th, 1988
Fujinami became the new champion by defeating Big Van Vader. The championship was held up on May 27th, 1988, after a match between Fujinami and Riki Choshu ended in a No-Contest.
Tatsumi Fujinami(2nd)
June 24th, 1988
Fujinami regained the championship by defeating Riki Choshu in the rematch. The title was vacated April 5th, 1989, for a tournament.
Big Van Vader
April 24th, 1989
Vader became the new champion by defeating Shinya Hashimoto in the tournament finals.
Salman Hashimikov
May 25th, 1989
 
Riki Choshu
July 12th, 1989
 
Big Van Vader(2nd)
August 10th, 1989
 
Riki Choshu(2nd)
August 19th, 1989
 
Tatsumi Fujinami(3rd)
December 26th, 1990
 
Big Van Vader(3rd)
January 17th, 1991
 
Tatsumi Fujinami(4th)
March 4th, 1991
 
Riki Choshu(3rd)
January 4th, 1992
 
The Great Muta
Keiji Mutoh
August 16th, 1992
 
Shinya Hashimoto
September 20th, 1993
 
Tatsumi Fujinami(5th)
April 4th, 1994
 
Shinya Hashimoto(2nd)
May 1st, 1994
 
Keiji Mutoh(2nd)
May 3rd, 1995
 
Nobuhiko Takada
January 4th, 1996
 
Shinya Hashimoto(3rd)
April 29th, 1996
 
Kensuke Sasaki
August 31st, 1997
 
Tatsumi Fujinami(6th)
April 4th, 1998
 
Masahiro Chono
August 8th, 1998
Chono was forced to vacate the championship on September 21st, 1998, due to injuries.
Scott Norton
September 23rd, 1998
Norton became the new champion by defeating Yuji Nagata in a singles match.
Keiji Mutoh(3rd)
January 4th, 1999
 
Genichiro Tenryu
December 10th, 1999
 
Kensuke Sasaki(2nd)
January 4th, 2000
Sasaki vacated the belt on October 9th, 2000, after losing a non-title match to Toshiaki Kawada.
Kensuke Sasaki(3rd)
January 4th, 2001
Sasaki regained the championship by defeating Toshiaki Kawada in the tournament finals.
Scott Norton(2nd)
March 17th, 2001
 
Kazuyuki Fujita
April 9th, 2001
Fujita was forced to vacate the championship in December 2001, due to injuries.
Tadao Yasuda
February 16th, 2002
Yasuda became the new champion by defeating Yuji Nagata in the tournament finals.
Yuji Nagata
April 5th, 2002
 
Yoshihiro Takayama
May 2nd, 2003
 
Hiroyoshi Tenzan
November 3rd, 2003
 
Shinsuke Nakamura
December 9th, 2003
Nakamura was forced to vacate the championship in January 2004, due to injuries.
Hiroyoshi Tenzan(2nd)
February 15th, 2004
Tenzan became the new champion by defeating Genichiro Tenryu in the tournament finals.
Kensuke Sasaki(4th)
March 12th, 2004
 
Bob Sapp
March 28th, 2004
Sapp was forced to vacate the championship in May 2004, due to him leaving Japan.
Kazuyuki Fujita(2nd)
June 5th, 2004
Fujita became the new champion by defeating Hiroshi Tanahashi in a singles match.
Kensuke Sasaki(5th)
October 9th, 2004
 
Hiroyoshi Tenzan(3rd)
December 12th, 2004
 
Satoshi Kojima
February 20th, 2005
 
Hiroyoshi Tenzan(4th)
May 14th, 2005
 
Kazuyuki Fujita(3rd)
July 18th, 2005
 
Brock Lesnar
October 8th, 2005
Lesnar became champion by winning a "Three Way" Match over Kazuyuki Fujita and Masahiro Chono. Lesnar was stripped of the championship on July 15th, 2006, due to contractual issues.
Hiroshi Tanahashi
July 17th, 2006
Tanahashi became the new champion by defeating Giant Bernard in the tournament finals.
Yuji Nagata(2nd)
April 13th, 2007
 
Hiroshi Tanahashi(2nd)
October 8th, 2007
 
Shinsuke Nakamura(2nd)
January 4th, 2008
Nakamura defeated Kurt Angle in a singles match on February 17th, 2008, which unified Nakamura's title and Angle's disputed IWGP Title (which he won from Brock Lesnar).
Keiji Mutoh(4th)
April 27th, 2008
 
Hiroshi Tanahashi(3rd)
January 4th, 2009
 
Manabu Nakanishi
May 6th, 2009
 
Hiroshi Tanahashi(4th)
June 20th, 2009
Tanahashi was forced to vacate the championship on August 17th, 2009, due to an eye socket fracture injury.
Shinsuke Nakamura(3rd)
September 27th, 2009
Nakamura became the new champion by defeating Togi Makabe in a singles match.
Togi Makabe
May 3rd, 2010
 
Satoshi Kojima(2nd)
October 11th, 2010
 
Hiroshi Tanahashi(5th)
January 4th, 2011
 
Kazuchika Okada
February 12th, 2012