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Main branch (New Japan Pro Wrestling)
|Antonino Rocca1||1||July 1959||New York City, New York|
|The title was then vacated in 1963 and became inactive.|
|Tony Parisi||1||1982||Buffalo, New York|
|Gino Brito||1||August 1982||Buffalo, New York|
|Tatsumi Fujinami||1||August 30, 1982||New York City, New York|
|Riki Chōshū||1||April 3, 1983||Tokyo, Japan|
|Tatsumi Fujinami²||2||August 4, 1983||Tokyo, Japan|
|Fujinami gave up the title after a double disqualification against Super Strong Machine on July 19, 1985|
in Sapporo, Japan. The title was then abandoned on October 31, 1985 when New Japan and the WWF split.
|Akira Maeda||1||March 25, 1984||New York City, New York|
|Maeda defeated Pierre Lefebvre at Madison Square Garden to be recognized by WWF. He returned to UWF during April 1984 and defended it until July 23, 1984, when UWF President Hisashi Shinma jumped to All Japan Pro Wrestling, and thus UWF and the WWF split.|
1 Defeated Buddy Rogers to become the first champion.
² Fujinami won the match by countout but refused to accept the belt. Chōshū couldn't get into Canada for the rematch in Calgary, Alberta on August 12, 1983, and Fujinami was recognized as champion.