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Revision as of 19:53, August 31, 2019

The NEVER Openweight Championship is a professional wrestling championship owned by the New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) promotion. NEVER stands for "New Blood", "Evolution", "Valiantly", "Eternal", and "Radical" and was an NJPW-promoted series of events, which featured younger up-and-coming talent and outside wrestlers not signed to the promotion. The project was officially announced on July 12, 2010, and held its first event on August 24, 2010.

Like most professional wrestling championships, the title is won as a result of a scripted match. Masato Tanaka was the first champion in the title's history. He also holds the record for the longest reign in the title's history, at 314 days. The reign of Michael Elgin of 8 days is the shortest in the title's history. Tomohiro Ishii holds the record for most reigns with the title, being a five-time champion.

Title history

# Wrestler Reign Date Days
held
Location Event Notes
1 Masato Tanaka 1 November 19, 2012 314 Tokyo Shodai NEVER Musabetsu Kyu Oza Kettei Tournament Final Tanaka defeated Karl Anderson in the finals of a sixteen-man tournament to become the inaugural champion.
2 Tetsuya Naito 1 September 29, 2013 135 Kobe, Japan NJPW Destruction 2013
3 Tomohiro Ishii 1 February 11, 2014 138 Osaka, Japan NJPW The New Beginning In Osaka
4 Yujiro Takahashi 1 June 29, 2014 106 Tokyo, Japan NJPW Kizuna Road 2014 - Night 2
5 Tomohiro Ishii 2 October 13, 2014 83 Tokyo, Japan NJPW King of Pro-Wrestling 2014
6 Togi Makabe 1 January 4, 2015 41 Tokyo, Japan Wrestle Kingdom IX
Vacated February 14, 2015 0 The title was vacated due to Makabe being sidelined with influenza.
7 Tomohiro Ishii 3 February 14, 2015 74 Sendai, Japan NJPW The New Beginning In Sendai Ishii defeated Tomoaki Honma to win the vacant title.
8 Togi Makabe 2 April 29, 2015 166 Kumamoto, Japan NJPW Wrestling Hinokuni
9 Tomohiro Ishii 4 October 12, 2015 84 Tokyo, Japan NJPW King Of Pro-Wrestling 2015
10 Katsuyori Shibata 1 January 4, 2016 120 Tokyo, Japan Wrestle Kingdom X
11 Yuji Nagata 1 May 3, 2016 47 Fukuoka, Japan NJPW Wrestling Dontaku 2016
12 Katsuyori Shibata 2 June 19, 2016 139 Osaka, Japan NJPW Dominion 6.19
13 EVIL 1 November 5, 2016 10 Osaka, Japan NJPW Power Struggle 2016
14 Katsuyori Shibata 3 November 15, 2016 50 Singapore, China NJPW Wrestling World In Singapore 2016
15 Hirooki Goto 1 January 4, 2017 113 Tokyo, Japan Wrestle Kingdom XI
16 Minoru Suzuki 1 April 27, 2017 252 Hiroshima, Japan Road to Wrestling Dontaku 2017: Aki no Kuni Sengoku Emaki
17 Hirooki Goto 2 January 4, 2018 156 Tokyo, Japan Wrestle Kingdom 12 This was a Hair vs. Hair match.
18 Michael Elgin 1 June 9, 2018 8 Osaka, Japan NJPW Dominion 6.9.18 In Osaka-Jo Hall This was a three-way match, also involving Taichi.
19 Hirooki Goto 3 June 17, 2018 92 Tokyo, Japan NJPW Kizuna Road 2018 - Night 2
20 Taichi 1 September 17, 2018 47 Beppu NJPW Destruction In Beppu 2018
21 Hirooki Goto 4 November 3, 2018 36 Tokyo, Japan NJPW Power Struggle 2018
22 Kota Ibushi 1 December 9, 2018 26 Iwate, Japan NJPW World Tag League 2018 - Night 18
23 Will Ospreay 1 January 4, 2019 92 Tokyo, Japan Wrestle Kingdom 13
24 Jeff Cobb 1 April 6, 2019 27 New York City, NY ROH-NJPW G1 Supercard 2019 Jeff Cobb's ROH World Television Championship was also on the line in a winner take all championship match with Will Ospreay.
25 Taichi 2 May 3, 2019 37 Fukuoka, Japan NJPW Wrestling Dontaku 2019 - Night 1
26 Tomohiro Ishii 5 June 9, 2019 165+ Osaka, Japan NJPW Dominion 6.9.19 In Osaka-Jo Hall
27 Kenta 1 August 31, 2019 82+ London, England NJPW Royal Quest
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