NJPW was founded back in 1972. Antonio Inoki was the founder of the promotion
and served as President until 1989. While it started off as a member of the National
Wrestling Alliance or NWA, NJPW soon left. The promotion would be affiliated with
them once more in the early 90s and late 2000s for brief periods of time.
NJPW might be one of WWE’s biggest competitors in the present day, but they have
also worked with WWE in the past, as well as with TNA, WCW, GFW, and others.
The biggest event of NJPW takes place at the very beginning of the year at the
Tokyo Dome. It is known as Wrestle Kingdom and has often been known as the
WrestleMania of NJPW. Wrestle Kingdom has seen some of the best matches to
ever be hosted by the company, including last year’s debut for Chris Jericho in a
match against Kenny Omega. The event acts as an end or beginning to the year’s
There are several other competitions as well, but a tournament they host called the
G1 Climax, is possibly their second biggest event in the whole year. The tournament
is contested in two blocks in a round robin format, and takes place of the course of
two whole weeks. The winner then gets the chance to compete for the IWGP
Heavyweight Championship at the next year’s Wrestle Kingdom.
The NJPW Hall of Fame is the called NJPW Greatest Wrestlers. The list includes the
likes of Antonio Inoki, Kuniaki Kobayashi, Seiji Sakaguchi, Animal Hamaguchi to
name but a few.
However, over the years it has seen many great wrestlers compete from all around
the world, with the likes of Kenny Omega, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kazuchika Okada,
Shinsuke Nakamura, AJ Styles, The Young Bucks, Tetsuya Naito, Tomohiro Ishii,
Will Ospreay and Minoru Suzuki coming to mind among the more recent
NJPW has a number of Championships under it currently.
The IWGP Heavyweight Championship is considered to be the most important and
prestigious. This is accompanied by the IWGP Intercontinental Championship, the
IWGP Tag Team Championship, the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship, the
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship, the NEVER Openweight
Championship and the NEVER Openweight 6-man Tag Team Championship.
The IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship was introduced in 2017 as the
company began to expand in the United States as well.
NJPW divides its roster up into two divisions – Heavyweight Division and Junior
Heavyweight Division. The Heavyweights have no weight limit, while the Junior
Heavyweights cannot weigh more than 220 lbs.
One of the controversies surrounding NJPW is their lack of a division for Women.
They do not have women’s wrestlers and women usually only work as valets in the