N.W.F. Heavyweight Title
In 1973, All Japan Pro-Wrestling had NWA, and IWE had AWA as the foreign talent routes respectively. In the other hand, New Japan did not have a stable foreign talent route despite the good news such as the start of television broadcasting, discovery of Tiger Jeet Singh, and joining of Seiji Sakaguchi. Inoki applied for the membership at the annual meeting of the N.W.A. on 08/03 but was refused with an influence of All Japan.

Under such a situation, New Japan, which was looking for something as a main title of the promotion, decided to book Johnny Powers, the world heavyweight champion recognized by National Wrestling Federation.

NWF was founded in 1970 around Cleveland and Buffalo and was once the fourth organization after NWA, AWA, and WWWF. Inoki, who defeated Powers for the title on 12/10/73 at Tokyo Gym, made the title prestigeous by defending it in great matches.

After the first title defense against Strong Kobayashi, Inoki had many great matches with this title on the line, including the famous blood bathes against Tiger Jeet Singh, scientific matches against the legends such as Lou Thesz and Billy Robinson. Later, he also feuded with Stan Hansen for the title. He also put the title against the WWWF Heavyweight champion Bob Backlund in the double title match. See the detailed history of the title, courtesy of The Great Hisa's Puroresu Dojo.

Until he abandoned the title in 1981 to participate in the International Grand Prix championship, Inoki defended the title more than 40 times, including the 27 consecutive defenses.

By the way, the title was originally a "World Heavyweight Title," but NWA ordered Inoki not to refer it as a world title at the annual meeting in August,1976. In exchange, Inoki was promised the title shot at NWA World Heavyweight Title. His title shot took place, however.

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