In a development that has the professional wrestling community buzzing, AEW’s own Jon Moxley is slated to vie for the prestigious distinction of becoming the first-ever IWGP Global Heavyweight Champion. The highly anticipated showdown is set to unfold at NJPW’s Wrestle Kingdom 18 event on January 4, where Moxley will square off against Will Ospreay and David Finlay in a match that promises high stakes and intense competition.
Originally, the match was intended for Ospreay’s IWGP United States and United Kingdom Championships. The situation took an unexpected turn when Finlay decimated both titles, leaving fans in suspense about what would be at stake for the competitors. In response, NJPW made a significant announcement, revealing that the match will be contested for a newly minted championship: the IWGP Global Heavyweight Championship.
Chairman Naoki Sugabayashi of NJPW elaborated on the decision’s background, stating that since the inauguration of the IWGP US Heavyweight Championship in July 2017, the title quickly became emblematic of NJPW’s competition in the USA. Having been defended in Japan as well, it gained acclaim among Japanese wrestling enthusiasts. The recent introduction of the IWGP UK Championship, though, spawned some confusion regarding both titles’ statuses. This led to the creation of the IWGP Global Heavyweight Championship, which amalgamates and expands upon the roles of the US and UK Championships.
With NJPW strategically aiming to amplify its global presence by 2024, the organization opted for a title that would resonate with their international expansion plans across Europe, Asia, and Oceania. Discussions to revive the defunct IWGP Intercontinental Championship occurred, but the name “IWGP Global Heavyweight” was ultimately selected for its aptitude in representing an elevated level of global involvement.
Consequently, the stage is set for Ospreay, Moxley, and Finlay to battle for the honor of becoming the inaugural IWGP Global Heavyweight Champion on January 4. This bout is likely to be Ospreay’s last as a full-time NJPW performer, with signs pointing towards his AEW debut in February.
As the wrestling world looks ahead to Wrestle Kingdom 18 and the unfolding of this historic match, fans are encouraged to join the conversation and stay updated on the latest shifts within the industry. This momentous event not only signifies a competitive pinnacle for the athletes involved but also highlights the evolving landscape of professional wrestling on a global scale.