WWE

PWI Recognizes IWTV And Pan-Afrikan World Diaspora Wrestling Titles As World Championships

Pro Wrestling Illustrated now recognizes both the IWTV Independent Wrestling Championship and the Pan-Afrikan World Diaspora Wrestling Championship as world titles.

PWI announced the news on August 8, just a few hours before the IWTV 100 event, where reigning IWTV Champion Wheeler Yuta will aim to defend the title for the 100th time. His opponent will be the number one contender, Daniel Garcia, who recently made his AEW debut. The reigning Pan-Afrikan World Diaspora Wrestling Champion, Trish Adora will also compete at the event in a tag team match; she’ll team up with Lee Moriarty to face AEW stars Orange Cassidy and Kris Statlander.

The full announcement from IWTV is as follows:

Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) has officially conferred World Championship status on The IWTV Independent Wrestling Championship and Pan-Afrikan World Diaspora Wrestling Championship.

The announcement comes just hours before IWTV 100, where IWTV Independent Wrestling World Champion Wheeler Yuta will make the 100th defense of the title against current number one contender Daniel Garcia. The Pan-Afrikan World Diaspora Champion, Trish Adora, will also be in action as she teams with Lee Moriarty against AEW’s Orange Cassidy and Kris Statlander.

The tradition of PWI assigning World Championship status to major titles goes back decades, tracing its origins to the early years of wrestling and boxing magazines, who used the designation as a way to signal to readers which championships were most significant. PWI has been highly selective over the years in applying the World Championship distinction, in effect serving as a neutral sanctioning body for wrestlers, wrestling promotions, and fans.

Reached for comment, PWI Editor-in Chief Kevin McElvaney explained the publication’s decision.

“Both the IWTV and PAWD belts are traveling symbols of wrestling achievement and greatness. Like the original NWA World heavyweight championship, they cross territorial and promotional lines, inviting the very best wrestlers to earn the right to hold them. For that reason, these prizes are spoken of with reverence by competitors the world over.”

You can watch this evening’s IWTV 100 event LIVE at 5pm EDT with your IWTV subscription.

Adora is the inaugural Pan-Afrikan World Diaspora Wrestling Champion; she won the gold on February 16, 2020, at a F1ght Club Pro Wrestling event. The IWTV Independent Wrestling Champion has an impressive lineage that includes names like Cassidy, Statlander, Moriarty, Warhorse, Jonathan Gresham and Tracy Williams. Yuta won the title at Beyond Wrestling’s Project Reality event on May 6 by defeating Moriarty. Following his victory, Yuta became the first IWTV Independent Wrestling Champion to ever rank in the PWI’s Top 10 rankings.

RELATED: Lee Moriarty Ends Warhorse’s 532-Day IWTV Title Reign

PWI now recognizes the following titles as world championships:

  • WWE Championship
  • WWE Universal Championship
  • AEW World Championship
  • IMPACT World Championship
  • ROH World Championship
  • MLW World Heavyweight Championship
  • NWA World Heavyweight Championship
  •  AAA Mega Championship
  • CMLL World Heavyweight Championship
  •  IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
  • Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship
  • GHC Heavyweight Championship
  • IWTV Independent Wrestling Championship
  • Pan-Afrikan World Diaspora Wrestling Championship
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