Hulk Hogan Reacts to Antonio Inoki's Passing

The wrestling world lost one of its legends late last week. Antonio Inoki, a multi-time champion and founder of New Japan Pro Wrestling, passed away at the age of 79. Inoki is no stranger to success within the professional wrestling world, as he aforementioned creation of NJPW allowed the sport to reach unprecedented heights in the far east. As a wrestler, Inoki competed in high-caliber matches against the likes of Bob Backlund and Muhammad Ali. The wrestling world mourned the loss of Inoki over this past weekend, and now another WWE Hall of Famer has shared his condolences.

Hulk Hogan took to his Facebook page to remember Inoki, calling the late legend his "brother."

"It seems like I spent half my wrestling career working with New Japan," Hogan wrote. "After many years I became accepted and traveled on the Japanese bus, worked out, lived, and sometimes fought the Americans, Inoki was truly ICHIBAN (number one in Japanese), rip my brother, love you Ax Bomba."

Inoki and Hogan clashed for the original IWGP Heavyweight Championship in 1983, which saw the Hulkster come out on top. Inoki got his win back the very next year and would hold it until 1987 and the current iteration of the IWGP World Title was introduced.

When they weren't standing on opposing sides, Inoki and Hogan tagged together. They two wrestling legends won the Madison Square Garden Tag League Tournament in both 1982 and 1983.

Beyond Hogan, other top names in the wrestling world took time this weekend to praise Inoki for his contributions to the business.

"One of the most important figures in the history of our business, and a man who embodied the term 'fighting spirit,'" Triple H wrote. "The legacy of WWE Hall of Famer Antonio Inoki will live on forever."

"RIP Antonio Inoki, a pioneer in the pro wrestling industry," Tony Khan wrote. "Inoki's influence and his achievements will live on forever in the wrestling world; he's an inspiration to all of the dreamers. Thank you sir."


"Very sorry to learn of the loss of Antonio Inoki. What a towering presence in our business!" Mick Foley wrote. "I loved his matches – especially his classic brawls with Bruiser Brody."

"Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Mr Antonio Inoki, the legendary Japanese Pro Wrestler," William Regal wrote. "Mr Inoki chose to Wrestle me in 1994 and then we became friends,kept in touch and was always very kind to me. My deepest condolences to his family & fans."