Inoki Genome Federation (IGF) is a professional wrestling promotion in Japan founded by Antonio Inoki in 2007. The IGF is now also the official National Wrestling Alliance territory of Japan, since Antonio Inoki is the person who holds those rights and transferred them to IGF from New Japan Pro Wrestling.
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.
In 2007, the IGF began a talent exchange with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) of the United States, with Kurt Angle being the first TNA talent used by IGF despite TNA having officially broken ties with the NWA in 2004.
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.
On February 22, 2010, IGF ran their 11th show since its inception.
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 won't wear gloves. Closed-fist strikes will not be allowed, but palm strikes will be permitted. The event will air on HDNet in North America. The fight was canceled due to a last-minute contract dispute but those in attendance were told that Sapp “had lost his will to fight.”
IWGP Heavyweight Championship (IGF version)
The IWGP Heavyweight Championship was IGF's only sanctioned championship. Though it is officially not the same title recognized by New Japan Pro Wrestling, the Inoki Genome Federation referred to this title as the IWGP Heavyweight Championship (and was recognized as such also by TNA). IGF claims that the IWGP Heavyweight Championship was never held up despite Brock Lesnar being stripped of the title by NJPW on July 15, 2006. This is due to Antonio Inoki believing that Lesnar was being treated unfairly by NJPW. As Inoki was the one who had originally established the IWGP title, he still viewed Lesnar as the rightful champion. As such there were two separate belts and titles that were billed as the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. IGF's version used the third physical incarnation of the belt, while NJPW reverted to the second once it lost possession of the third belt. The IGF championship was defended for the first time by Lesnar in a losing effort against Kurt Angle in the main event of the debut IGF card on June 29, 2007.
Angle made his first successful title defense against Samoa Joe on August 12, 2007 in Orlando, Florida at TNA Hard Justice in a match where, in addition to the IWGP title, Angle's TNA World Heavyweight, and Joe's TNA World Tag Team and TNA X Division Championships were on the line.
On December 20, 2007 Angle successfully defended the title against Kendo Kashin and again against Yuji Nagata at the New Japan Pro Wrestling Wrestle Kingdom II in Tokyo Dome supershow on January 4, 2008.
Angle ultimately lost the title in his fourth defense, against NJPW-recognized IWGP Heavyweight Champion Shinsuke Nakamura, in a title unification match, on February 17, 2008; this unified both versions of the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. As a result, the IGF currently sanctions no championships.
IWGP Heavyweight Championship
||October 8, 2005
||629||Tokyo, Japan||Defeated champion Kazuyuki Fujita and Masahiro Chono in a three-way match. NJPW strips Lesnar of the IWGP Heavyweight Championship on July 15, 2006. IGF considers his reign active and uses the belt as its own version of the IWGP Heavyweight Championship in 2007.|
||June 29, 2007
||235||Tokyo, Japan||Defeated Brock Lesnar on the first IGF card, Angle's TNA World Heavyweight Championship was also on the line.|
||February 17, 2008
||February 17, 2008
||0||Tokyo, Japan||Nakamura unified the NJPW and IGF versions of the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.|
In February 2011, IGF started a tournament to determine the first ever IGF Champion, which eventually led to a final match between Jérôme Le Banner and Josh Barnett. However, just days prior to the final match taking place, IGF announced on August 19 that Barnett would not be able to attend the event. On August 22, IGF declared Le Banner the first champion
||Jérôme Le Banner
||August 22, 2011
||1888+||Tokyo, Japan||Declared first champion, after Josh Barnett pulls out of a tournament final match.|
|Inoki Genome Federation Roster|
|Fighters & Wrestlers|
|Alexander Otsuka • Atsushi Aoki • Atsushi Sawada • Big Van Vader • Black Tiger • Bob Sapp • Bobby Lashley • Booker T • Brock Lesnar • Carlito • Christopher Daniels • Daniel Puder • Erik Hammer • Go Shiozaki • Harry Smith • Hideki Suzuki • Hikaru Sata • Hurricane • Jon Anderson • Josh Barnett • Katsuhiko Nakajima • Katsuhisa Fujii • Kendo KaShin • Kensuke Sasaki • Kento Miyahara • Keith Hanson • Kurt Angle • MASASHI • Masato Shibata • Masked Genome Jr. • Mil Mascaras • Minowaman • Minoru • Mohammed Yone • Montanha Silva • Munenori Sawa • Naoya Ogawa • Necro Butcher • Ray Sefo • Original Tiger Mask • Osamu Kido • Predator • Rob Van Dam • Ryouji Sai • Shelton Benjamin • Shinichi Suzukaw • Shinjiro Otani • Shinsuke Nakamura • Taka Kunou • Tamon Honda • Tatsumi Fujiwara • Tim Sylvia • TJ Perkins • Ultimo Dragon • Yoshiaki Fujiwara • Yoshihiro Takayama|