|Ironman Heavymetalweight Championship|
|Date established||June 29, 2000|
The Ironman Heavymetalweight Championship (Japanese: アイアンマンヘビーメタル級王座, Hepburn: Aianman Hebīmetaru-kyū Ōza) is a professional wrestling championship created and promoted by the Japanese promotion CyberFight in its DDT Pro-Wrestling (DDT) brand. Open to anyone, regardless of gender or DDT employment status, the championship is defended "24/7", as in any time, anywhere, as long as a referee is there to confirm the win. Because of this rule, not only is the championship winnable regardless of gender or number of individuals (in case of a common pinfall or submission), it is also available to "unconventional" champions such as animals or inanimate objects, with title changes regularly occurring outside of regular shows, often with videos posted on the promotion's social media accounts. The title is currently vacant.
The championship was introduced on the June 29, 2000 TV taping, during which Poison Sawada Black created the title and awarded it to himself. It was created as a parody of the defunct WWE Hardcore Championship, which also had a "24/7 rule". The title is often defended during a 10-minute battle royal, with the current holder not being allowed to leave the match until the end of the time limit; as per 24/7 rules, the championship can change hands during, and not only as the result, of the match. Unlike its name and similarly titled championships, it is not specific to Iron Man matches.
On November 2, 1998, Mr. McMahon awarded Mankind the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) Hardcore Championship. As Mankind and hardcore wrestling became more popular with audiences, the Hardcore Championship became a more serious title. Its popularity led competitor World Championship Wrestling (WCW) to create its own Hardcore Championship, a move followed by numerous independent promotions. When Crash Holly won the belt on February 22, 2000, he introduced the "24/7 rule" that the belt was to be defended at all times as long as a referee was present.
On June 29, 2000, Poison Julie Sawada introduced the Ironman Heavymetalweight Championship in DDT as a parody of the WWF Hardcore title and recognized himself as the first champion. The championship belt design features three glittery silver plates on a black leather strap which has a snake skin pattern on the back. The central plate features brass knuckles surrounded by chains in the center. The word "IRONMAN" is written along the edge of the top half and the word "CHAMPION", though partially erased by years of wear and tear, is written along the bottom edge. The two side plates, on either side of the central plate, are rectangular and identically state "24 HOURS" ("24" in silver bordered with black; "HOURS" in red). After the unveiling, Mitsunobu Kikuzawa demanded he had a look at the title belt. He then used it to attack Sawada and pinned him to become the second champion.
The 1,000th Ironman Heavymetalweight Champion was crowned on April 29, 2014, when the title belt itself became the champion by pinning Sanshiro Takagi.
Main article: List of Ironman Heavymetalweight Champions
As of September 1, 2022[update], there have been 1,550 officially recognized reigns between 392 different human individuals, 7 teams and 44 inanimate objects and animals. The record for most reigns is held by Shinobu, who won it 216 times, including by trading the title back-and-forth with 215-time champion Yuko Miyamoto a total of 303 times on the same night. Danshoku Dino holds the record for longest combined reign with at least 448 days and counting (the exact date of when he won his tenth title is uncertain). Masa Takanashi's sixth reign is the longest singular reign at 333 days. Only 147 individuals have held the title for longer than a day. The title has occasionally been won by unusual means, such as an auction for the belt, rock–paper–scissors, and even a title change that occurred in a dream.
Non-wrestlers to have held the title include AV idol Nao Saejima, TV personality LiLiCo, J-pop idols Akari Suda, Kaori Matsumura, Yuki Arai, Rise Shiokawa, Aika Sawaguchi, Misaki Natsumi, Momomi Wagatsuma and Lingling, Tokyo Metropolitan Assemblyman Shinichiro Kawamatsu, a cat named Bunny, a monkey, a three-time champion ladder, Vince McMahon's Hollywood Walk of Fame star, a copy of The Young Bucks' autobiography Killing the Business, and the title belt itself.
As of March 2021, there have been over 1,500 title changes for the belt, which has been won by numerous male and female wrestlers and non-wrestlers, including children, animals, entire audiences and inanimate objects.