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RARE: A Young Hulk Hogan Spotted Alongside AWA Legend on the Streets of Japan

Published 03/20/2022, 9:00 AM EDT

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We mainly know “The Immortal” Hulk Hogan for his run on the American professional wrestling circuit. His major matches and victories came in WWE and WCW. Also, he wrestled on the independent circuit for a while in USA and Canada.

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Hulk Hogan also wrestled in Japan for a major part of his career from 1981 to 1985. He specifically wrestled with New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW). His nickname in Japan was ‘Ichiban’ which means number one. 


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Hogan had matches with the top superstars of NJPW, like Antonio Inoki and The Great Muta. In 1993, Hogan returned to NJPW as the reigning WWE Champion and had a couple of matches over there.

Recently, a picture of Hulk Hogan was shared on Twitter on the account of AWA legend’s late Adrian Adonis. His daughters and his wife handle his account. The picture was of Adonis and Hogan on the streets of Japan together, going to the arena for their match.

The caption said, “Hey Hollywood  @HulkHogan you remember this pic? Is this Japan?”

Late Adrian Adonis too wrestled in Japan for some time in his short career. Adonis died in 1988 in an accident. He and Hogan both worked at AWA and WWE and this picture might be from anywhere in 1981 to 1985, when Hogan worked majorly in NJPW. 

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The last match of Hulkamaniac’s 1993-1994 run came on January 4, 1994, at Battlefield, when he defeated Tatsumi Fujinami. In 2003, Hogan again returned to NJPW and defeated Masahiro Chono at Ultimate Crush II in the Tokyo Dome.

Post-2003 Hogan did not return to NJPW for a match and wrestled in WWE for a while. 

How is Hulk Hogan enjoying his retirement?


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Hulk Hogan was an active wrestler for a long time. He wrestled in many companies in his long career like AWA, WWE, NJPW WCW, and TNA. But his time in WWE and WCW is unrivaled by any of his moments in other companies.

Alongside wrestling full time, Hogan opened a lot of restaurants and bars. He made his retirement plans way before retiring. We can mostly see Hogan at his Florida restaurant outlet. He also makes sporadic returns to WWE on episodes like Old School RAW, RAW Legends night or to become the host of WrestleMania.


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Even after a long time away from actively performing, the Hulkamaniac has kept himself in the limelight. Hogan often keeps karaoke nights at his Florida restaurant, Hogan’s Hangout. Hogan’s wrestling friends are also seen there enjoying and singing.

WATCH: WWE Legend Hulk Hogan Singing for a Japanese Commercial Wearing Only Shorts in His Younger Days

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Written by:

Tushar Deogharkar


One take at a time

Tushar Deogharkar is a WWE writer at EssentiallySports. Tushar has done his Master's in Tourism Management and is an ardent fan of pro wrestling. He follows WWE and AEW very closely and wants to learn how the promotions are run.
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Edited by:

Darryl Pinto