The IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championships have officially been unified to create the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship.
New Japan Pro Wrestling chairman Naoki Sugabayashi confirmed the news to Tokyo Sports.
"As a result of discussions on the company side, we decided to respect the will of the current champion and unify the two thrones. IWGP Heavyweight and IC history inherited. IWGP World Heavyweight Championship will be newly established and the belt will be renewed," he said.
Since winning both belts at Wrestle Kingdom 15, Ibushi has expressed his desire to unify both titles and his quest to become God. Ibushi successfully defended the IWGP Intercontinental Championship against Tetsuya Naito at night two of NJPW Castle Attack. Naito wanted a shot at just the IWGP Intercontinental Championship in an effort prevent Ibushi from unifying the titles.
After the bout, Ibushi was confronted by IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion El Desperado, who wanted a shot at both titles.
Desperado will not get his wish, but he will face Ibushi in a champion vs. champion non-title match at NJPW 49th Anniversary Event.
Ibushi's first title defense will come against the winner of the New Japan Cup.