Earlier this month, New Japan and Stardom announced that matches featuring the women of the latter promotion would begin appearing on United States shows put on by the former. It was the latest big step toward integrating the two Bushiroad-owned wrestling brands, after a few years of Stardom talent appearing on the undercard of NJPW’s signature Wrestle Kingdom event, and an upcoming co-promoted joint card show in Japan.
It wasn’t the last step, however. Stardom announced today (July 29) they’ll be introducing an IWGP Women’s championship. The winner will be crowned at that November New Japan x Stardom show.
Just announced in today's Stardom 2022 Strategy Meeting:— We Are Stardom (@we_are_stardom) July 29, 2022
✪ The IWGP Women's Championship!
★ NJPW and Stardom are creating this title for defenses not only in Japan but also in the US on New Japan Pro Wrestling events, appealing to the world with the rich IWGP history!
IWGP stands for “International Wrestling Grand Prix”, the kayfabe governing body of New Japan. Most of the company’s titles are IWGP-sanctioned championship, and including the acronym on this new women’s belt ties it to New Japan and the company’s history.
Stardom clarified their existing top titles will retain their status. It sounds like the new belt will primarily be defended on New Japan shows, but could show up on the joshi promotion’s cards, too.
The IWGP Women's championship is for NJPW events. It's possible that it could be defended on big Stardom events though.— We Are Stardom (@we_are_stardom) July 29, 2022
Stardom's main title remains the World of Stardom title (the Red Belt) along with the Wonder of Stardom title (the White Belt).
✪The inaugural IWGP Women's Champion will be crowned at the NJPW x Stardom joint show on November 20th at the Ariake Arena.— We Are Stardom (@we_are_stardom) July 29, 2022
Please note, this belt does not usurp the Red and White Belts in any way. They are the main titles for Stardom events.