World Heavyweight Championship
PromotionNew Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW)
Date established1972
First champion(s)Karl Gotch
Final champion(s)Karl Gotch
Most reignsKarl Gotch
(2 reigns)
Shortest reignAntonio Inoki
(6 days)

The World Heavyweight Championship (世界ヘビー級王座, sekai hebī-kyū ōza), also referred to as the Real World Championship was a championship established and promoted by New Japan Pro-Wrestling.[1] Karl Gotch was billed as a first champion by New Japan Pro-Wrestling. It used the belt (or belt replica) of American Wrestling Alliance (Ohio)'s AWA World Heavyweight Championship,[a] which was held by Karl Gotch from September 11, 1962 to September 7, 1964.[2] The title was successfully defended only once, by Antonio Inoki against Red Pimpernel on day 12 of New Golden Series on October 9, 1972.[3] Karl Gotch was the final champion in his second reign,[4] winning the title from Antonio Inoki on October 10, 1972.[5]

Title history

Over the championship's one-year history, there were only two reigns between two champions. Karl Gotch was the inaugural champion with most reigns, at two times. Gotch was also the final champion.

No. Overall reign number
Reign Reign number for the specific champion
Days Number of days held
Defences Number of successful defences
N/A Unknown information
(NET) Championship change took place "no earlier than" the date listed
No. Champion Championship change Reign statistics Notes Ref.
Date Event Location Reign Days Defences
1 Karl Gotch January 13, 1972
N/A N/A 1 N/A 0 Recognized as a champion by NJPW using the belt (or its replica) of AWA World Heavyweight Championship.
2 Antonio Inoki October 4, 1972 New Golden Series Tokyo, Japan 1 6 1 Won the title via count-out. Lou Thesz was the special guest referee. [6][7]
3 Karl Gotch October 10, 1972 New Golden Series Osaka, Japan 2 N/A 0 [5]
Deactivated October 10, 1972
The championship was abandoned without any formal announcement.

See also


  1. ^ Not to be confused with the AWA World Heavyweight Championship promoted by the Verne Gagne's American Wrestling Alliance.


  1. ^ "チャンピオン・ベルト・ギャラリー 新日本プロレス". (in Japanese). Retrieved 2020-12-12.
  2. ^ "AWA World Heavyweight Title (Indiana / Ohio / Colorado)". Retrieved 2020-03-26.
  3. ^ "NJPW New Golden Series - Tag 12 « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". Retrieved 2020-08-11.
  4. ^ " - SPECIALIST: List of Deceased Wrestlers for 2007 with Details (Updated as needed)". Retrieved 2020-03-26.
  5. ^ a b "NJPW New Golden Series - Tag 13 « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". Retrieved 2020-03-26.
  6. ^ "NJPW New Golden Series - Tag 10 « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". Retrieved 2020-06-11.
  7. ^ "NJPW Sumo Hall Show (Oct '72) at Old Sumo Hall - Kuramae Kokugikan wrestling results - Internet Wrestling Database". Retrieved 2020-06-11.
Sporting positions Preceded byFirst New Japan Pro-Wrestling's top heavyweight championship 1972 Succeeded byNWF Heavyweight Championship