NWA International Junior Heavyweight Championship


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The NWA International Junior Heavyweight Championship started in 1979. It was formed by a split in lineage from the NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship caused by the first retirement of champion Nelson Royal the same year. The first champion, Steve Keirn, allegedly defeated Chavo Guerrero in a tournament final in Los Angeles (it is not confirmed whether or not the match actually took place). The title was recognized as "NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship" by New Japan Pro-Wrestling and "International Junior Heavyweight Championship" in Florida. This version was primarily based in Japan where it was held by Fujinami Tatsumi and later by Kimura Kengo.

In 1981 champion Chavo Guerrero left the Los Angeles territory, which had a working relationship with New Japan, for Houston. Eventually, Chavo jumped to All Japan Pro-Wrestling with the title.

The title was held up after a match between champion Ōnita Atsushi and Chavo, the challenger, on 1982/8/30. All Japan renamed the title to the "International Junior Heavyweight Championship" to avoid confusion with the main version which was at the time held by New Japan's Tiger Mask.

The championship became the cornerstone of All Japan'ss junior heavyweight division until its eventual replacement by the promotion's version of World Championship.

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