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    Wednesday, March 31, 2021

    #SGQ: Let's Talk About The IWGP World Heavyweight Championship

    IWGP World Heavyweight Championship belt

    Yesterday, NJPW officially retired the old IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championship belts and officially unveiled the new IWGP World Heavyweight Championship belt.

    The reactions were... very mixed. The new belt has a centerplate that has prominent wings, creating a shield-like shape that also looks quite clean. The wings also make the top part of the centerplate slightly resemble a crown, which is a throwback to an old IWGP Heavyweight Championship design. The sideplates are also plain-looking squares that depict the continents, as it's a world title.


    My first thought was that the sharp V shape the wings on the centerplate make is not the ordinary championship belt convention. Title centerplates we're used to are usually an oblong or some sort of round shape. That's what works, and there's very little reason to rock the boat.

    For comparison, here's what the old IWGP Heavyweight Championship looks like:

    But on closer inspection of the new IWGP World Heavyweight Championship belt, the bigger problem is not its winged design (which some people, including myself, makes them think of the defunct WWE Divas Championship), but that it kind of looks thin—in an old "title belt from the mid-20th century" kind of way. Compare:

    Of course, better angles of the new belt show that it isn't as tiny and thin as it seems. But what doesn't help is that it's missing that satisfying tapering from the centerplate to the strap itself. Even the current WWE Championship belt family, which has a similar but less pronounced shield shape, has this tapering thanks to the polygonal shape of the sideplates.

    As with all new belt designs, however, it's all a matter of getting used to, and soon enough we'll just be accepting the fact that this is the way the title looks. You're definitely free to miss the old belts, though.

    Photo from NJPW

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    Item Reviewed: #SGQ: Let's Talk About The IWGP World Heavyweight Championship Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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