After winning the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Titles at night one of Wrestle Kingdom 15 and then defending them at night two, Kota Ibushi wanted to become God.
To become God, he felt he needed to unify the two titles. The decision was met with some backlash as many didn't want the history of the titles to be erased as they became one.
Some backlash might be putting it mildly.
"Mixed, I don’t know. I think from fans and wrestlers alike, I’d say 99% were against it," Ibushi said in an interview with NJPW's website. "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."
The IWGP World Heavyweight Title would come to fruition on March 4 when Ibushi defeated El Desperado to become the inaugural champion.
Ibushi would lose the belt one month later to Will Ospreay at Sakura Genesis.