June 25, 1976: Antonio Inoki drew with Mohammad Ali (15 Rounds) in a “wrestler vs boxer” match.
~~~Inoki spend the majority of the time on his back, using the strategy of “He can’t knock me down if I’m not up”.
~~~The bout ended in a draw, 3-3. Ali’s legs took a beating from Inoki’s kicks (shown on Closed Circuit).
November 30, 1979: Antonio Inoki defeated Bob Backlund to win the WWWF Heavyweight title, a reign not recognised by the WWF.
December 1, 1979: Bob Backlund defeated Antonio Inoki to recapture the title, but not without controversy.
~~~WWF Japan President Hisashi Shinma declared the match a “no-contest” because of interference from Tiger Jeet Singh.
~~~Hisashi Shinma awarded the title back to Antonio Inoki, who refused to accept the championship.
Antonio Inoki had many mixed matches with athletes from other sports.
~~~1975: Willem Ruska (judo gold medalist in the Olympic games in Munich);
~~~Muhammed Ali(world boxing champion);
~~~Chuck Wepner (boxer);
~~~Willie Williams (world karate champion);
March 7, 1981: Antonio Inoki and Riki Choshu defeated Hulk Hogan and Perro Aguayo in Kisarazu, Japan.
June 2, 1983: Hulk Hogan defeated Antonio Inoki in a tournament final for the IWGP Heavyweight title.
~~~Antonio Inoki was booked to win the match, but accidentally knocked himself out, and Hogan covered up.
~~~Years later, a former New Japan referee revealed that the entire incident was staged to help stir up publicity for a rematch.
June 14, 1984: Antonio Inoki defeated Hulk Hogan for the IWGP Heavyweight title.
October 4, 1987: Antonio Inoki defeated Masa Saito (by TKO) in an “Island Death Match” [Click Here For Details].
~~~Inoki and Saito were dropped on Ganryujima Island and brawled all over the island without any audience for two hours.
Antonio Inoki faced Don Frye in the final match of his professional wrestling career.
Antonio Inoki’s retirement from professional wrestling matches came with the staging of the “Final Countdown” series between 1994 and 1998. This was a special series in which Inoki re-lived some of his mixed martial arts matches under professional wrestling rules, as well as rematches of some of his most well known wrestling matches.
May 21 1995: Antonio Inoki was inducted into the WCW Hall of Fame.
May 1996: Antonio Inoki was inducted into the Puroresu Hall of Fame.
April 4, 1998: Antonio Inoki’s retirement show at the Tokyo dome had the record breaking attendance of 70,000.Antonio Inoki started the Universal Fighting-arts Organization to keep the tradition of fighting-arts.
Antonio Inoki was the first pro-wrestler in the world to be elected as congressman of a country.
Antonio Inoki was the first goverment official from western/democractic nations to have a political meeting with Fidel Castro of Cuba.
Antonio Inoki met with Saddam Hussein for the release of prisoners from Iraq before the Gulf War.
~~~As is the traditional gift for a visiting head-of-state, Saddam gave Inoki a pair of golden swords.
Culminating in 2006, Antonio Inoki’s influence within New Japan declined. An example of this has been the purchase of his image by Yuke’s, who in 2005 purchased his controlling 51.5% stock in New Japan. As a result New Japan is now able to control Inoki’s appearances and the use of his image.
February 9, 2010: WWE held a press conference in Tokyo, Japan to officially announce the induction, making Antonio Inoki the first ever Japanese person to receive the induction. He was presented with a Hall of Fame certificate by WWE’s Ed Wells and stated that he would be attending the WrestleMania XXVI weekend festivities, which saw him officially inducted by Stan Hansen.