WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan is often referred to as 12-time World Champion: six with WWE / WWF, and six during his tenure with WCW. Yesterday, Hogan jumped on Twitter to remind fans he’s technically a 13-time champion as he was the first IWGP Heavyweight Champion for New Japan Pro Wrestling.
“People always say I was 12 times champion but why does everyone forget that I was the first IWGP Heavyweight Champ, brother?! Make it 13 times Champ brother HH”
Hogan was the first title holder, but it was an early version of the title, unlike what fans are familiar with today. NJPW previously held an IWGP League from 1983 until 1987 when it was then changed to the G1 Climax tournament, NJPW’s biggest of the year. Back in 1983, Hogan defeated Antonio Inoki in the finals to win the championship, although it was only defended once a year.
Hogan held it until the next tournament where he was defeated by Inoki. Once the tournament was changed in 1987, the title was deactivated and a new one was created (Inoki being the first champion of that linage), which is the current championship used today.
The reigning IWGP Heavyweight Champion is Kazuchika Okada and he’ll be defending it against Chris Jericho at NJPW Dominion on June 9 in Osaka.
People always say I was 12 times champion but why does everyone forget that I was the first IWGP Heavyweight Champ, brother?! Make it 13 times Champ brother HH pic.twitter.com/DbLKtV34dz
— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) May 10, 2019