One of the most unpopular decisions New Japan Pro Wrestling has made lately was the decision to merge the IWGP Heavyweight and IWGP Intercontinental titles. Not only that, but they also got rid of both title belts, which were considered two of the best in wrestling.
Kota Ibushi was champion at the time and faced the brunt of the backlash from the decision. In a recent interview with njpw1972.com. he said 99% of people were against the decision. Here is the quote:
“Mixed, I don’t know. I think from fans and wrestlers alike, I’d say 99% were against it. But that was a river we had to cross, I think. Just something I had to take and move on. You know, I get it, I do. It was one of those things where people told me what was happening, and then I went to see what everyone was saying for myself. Then, ‘Ok, so that’s how it is’, and move on.”
Kota Ibushi has since lost the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship to Will Ospreay. The two had their match at Sakura Genesis where Ospreay won the title for the first time.