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International Wrestling Enterprise
AcronymIWE
Founded1966
DefunctSeptember 30, 1981
HeadquartersTokyo, Japan
Founder(s)Isao Yoshihara
ParentTokyo Broadcasting System

International Wrestling Enterprise (国際プロレス興行;, Kokusai Puroresu Kogyō) was a professional wrestling promotion in Japan from 1966 to 1981.[1] Founded by Isao Yoshihara, it was affiliated with the American Wrestling Association in the United States and also had tie-ins with promotions in Canada[2] and Europe. In 1972, it became the first Japanese promotion to bring European wrestler André the Giant to the country.[3] The promotion cooperated with All Japan Pro Wrestling and later, New Japan Pro-Wrestling;[4] the three promotions later came together for an interpromotional event, organized by Tokyo Sports, held at Budokan Hall on August 26, 1979.[5]

When IWE closed its doors in 1981,[6] Inoue, Hara, Tsurumi, and Fuyuki joined All Japan Pro Wrestling, while Kimura, Hamaguchi and Teranishi joined New Japan Pro-Wrestling as a stable that formed the first "invasion" angle in history, later copied by the Japanese UWF, Japan Pro-Wrestling, and the nWo in WCW in America. The promotion is also credited for making Rusher Kimura a major star in Japanese Puroresu and holding Japan's first steel cage match.[3] Isao Yoshihara eventually became a booker in New Japan, until his death in 1985.

Roster

Championships recognized by IWE

IWE's governing body was called the International Wrestling Alliance and administered the following titles:[7]

Near the end of IWE's existence, it billed a World Wrestling Union title, supposedly based in Germany, to give a push to wrestler Ashura Hara:

Before the IWA system was created, IWE recognized the Trans-World Wrestling Alliance titles:

See also American Wrestling Association for the AWA World titles.

International Wrestling Promotion (revival)

In 1994, Goro Tsurumi formed a promotion called IWA Kakutō Shijuku (IWA格闘志塾, International Wrestling Alliance Fighting Hope Training School), but in 1997 he renamed the promotion International Wrestling Promotion (国際プロレス・プロモーション Kokusai puroresu promotion). The only recognizable name in the promotion is Tsurumi himself; the rest of the roster uses masked identities. Wrestlers from other independents have been invited to participate, including Shoji Nakamaki and Yukihide Ueno.

Championships recognized by IWP

See also

References

  1. ^ International Wrestling Enterprise history at Puroresu.com
  2. ^ Laflamme, Steve (2004). "Int'l Wrestling - Montreal #10 Page #2". KayfabeMemories.com. Regional Territories: Int'l Wrestling - Montreal. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
  3. ^ a b Schramm, Chris (2007). "SLAM! Wrestling: "Master of the Steel Cage" Rusher Kimura dead at the age of 68". SLAM! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
  4. ^ "New Japan Pro Wrestling". Promotions. OnlineWorldofWrestling.com. 2007. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
  5. ^ Horie, Masanori (May 15, 2000). "Nippon Budokan". View From the Rising Sun. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
  6. ^ History of Puroresu - 1981 at Puroresu.com
  7. ^ International Wrestling Enterprise titles at Wrestling-Titles.com
  8. ^ "IWA World Heavyweight Title (IWE)". Wrestling-Titles.com. Puroresu Dojo. 2003. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
  9. ^ "IWA World Mid-Heavyweight Title (IWE)". Wrestling-Titles.com. Puroresu Dojo. 2003. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
  10. ^ "IWA World Tag Team Title (IWE)". Wrestling-Titles.com. Puroresu Dojo. 2003. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
  11. ^ "WWU World Junior Heavyweight Title (IWE)". Wrestling-Titles.com. Puroresu Dojo. 2003. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
  12. ^ "TWWA World Heavyweight Title (IWE)". Wrestling-Titles.com. Puroresu Dojo. 2003. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
  13. ^ "TWWA World Tag Team Title (IWE)". Wrestling-Titles.com. Puroresu Dojo. 2003. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
  14. ^ "IWA World Heavyweight Title (Kokusai Pro)". Wrestling-Titles.com. Puroresu Dojo. 2003. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
  15. ^ "IWA World Mid-Heavyweight Title (Kokusai Pro)". Wrestling-Titles.com. Puroresu Dojo. 2003. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
  16. ^ "IWA World Middleweight Title (Kokusai Pro)". Wrestling-Titles.com. Puroresu Dojo. 2003. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
  17. ^ "IWA World Tag Team Title (Kokusai Pro)". Wrestling-Titles.com. Puroresu Dojo. 2003. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
  18. ^ "IWA World Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Title (Kokusai Pro)". Wrestling-Titles.com. Puroresu Dojo. 2003. Retrieved 25 August 2012.