WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan took to his official Twitter account where he reflected on his title reign history. Although the legendary pro wrestler is often referred to as 12-time World Champion due to his six reigns as WWE Champion while another six with WCW, he actually had another world title reign.
Hogan wanted to remind his fans that he’s technically a 13-time champion due to the fact that he was the first IWGP Heavyweight Champion for New Japan Pro Wrestling.
He beat Antonio Inoki in the finals to win the championship. It should be noted that this title was only defended once a year. He wrote the following:
“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.”
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
While Hogan was the first title holder, it turns out that this was an early version of the title that is not the same championship that fans know today. NJPW actually had an IWGP League from 1983 until 1987 but officials decided to change it to the G1 Climax tournament.
Inoki beat Hogan to win the title and the tournament the following year. However, that’s when NJPW decided to deactivate the strap.