Antonio Inoki left New Japan Pro Wrestling, a promotion he founded in 1972, to start the IGF. Inoki carried over to IGF his National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) accreditation, making IGF the official Japanese territory of the NWA.
The first IGF show was held on June 29, 2007 at the Sumo Hall in Tokyo, Japan. The card was completely changed at the last minute, resulting in the 8,426 fans in attendance not knowing who or what they were going to see outside of the main event of Kurt Angle vs. Brock Lesnar.
Shinichi Suzukawa was scheduled to face Bob Sapp in an IGF special rules Heavyweight bout on December 31, 2010, at K-1 Dynamite!! 2010. The fight was to be held under MMA rules, but the fighters wouldn't be wearing gloves. Closed-fist strikes would have been allowed, but palm strikes wouldn't have been permitted. The event was to air on HDNet in North America. However, the fight was canceled due to a last-minute contract dispute but the Japanese audience in attendance were told by the promoter involved in the contract dispute that Sapp “had lost his will to fight.” In 2011 the company gave a gift to Kim Jong Il, leader of North Korea. In August 2014, IGF held two shows in Pyongyang, North Korea.
On December 29, 2014, IGF announced a deal with PPTV to bring its programming to Chinese audiences.
On December 31, 2013, Satoshi Ishii became the first IGF Champion, after winning by unanimous decision against Kazuyuki Fujita. After staying for 235 days as champion, he lost the title to Mirko Cro Cop by TKO (doctor stoppage). Later Satoshi Ishi asked for a rematch against his tormentor, which was granted, but without success, losing again by TKO after famous head kick. Cro Cop was stripped of the title in January 23, 2015 due to signing with Ultimate Fighting Championship.
IWGP (Third) Heavyweight ChampionshipEditThe IWGP Heavyweight Championship was a professional wrestling heavyweight championship owned by the Inoki Genome Federation (IGF) promotion. The title shares its name with New Japan Pro Wrestling's (NJPW) IWGP Heavyweight Championship, from which it split due to a decision made by IGF and NJPW founder Antonio Inoki. "IWGP" is the abbreviation of NJPW's fictional governing body, the International Wrestling Grand Prix.
During the title's history, IGF recognized it as the official IWGP Heavyweight Championship, continuing the history of the title after an error made by NJPW in Inoki's eyes. NJPW recognized the title as the IWGP Third Belt Championship, a championship that was merely represented by a previous version of the IWGP Heavyweight Championship's title belt. The title was briefly used in the Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) promotion, which recognized it as the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.
The inaugural champion was Brock Lesnar, who was the reigning IWGP Heavyweight Champion before being stripped of the title due to issues with NJPW. IGF recognized him as the official IWGP Heavyweight Champion afterwards. All title changes occurred at IGF or NJPW-promoted events. There were a total of three reigns among three wrestlers during the title's brief history before being unified with the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.