February 20, 1943
September 30, 1960
Choke Sleeper Hold
NWA Texas Heavyweight title defeating Joe Blanchard (June 24, 1964);
NWA (Mid America) World Tag Team titles w/Hiro Matsuda defeating Sam Steamboat & Eddie Graham (January 24, 1966);
All Asia Tag Team titles w/Michiaki Yoshimura defeating Waldo Von Erich & Ike Eakins for vacant titles (May 26, 1967);
NWA (JWA) International Tag Team titles w/Giant Baba defeating Tarzan Tyler & Bill Watts
(October 31, 1967);
NWA (JWA) International Tag Team titles w/Giant Baba defeating Bill Miller & Crusher for vacant titles (February 3, 1968);
JWA All Asia Tag Team titles w/Kintaro Ohki defeating Tom Jones & Buster Royd for vacant titles (February 3, 1969);
NWA (JWA) International Tag Team titles w/Giant Baba defeating Danny Hodge & Wilbur Snyder (February 4, 1969);
JWA All Asia Tag Team titles w/Michiaki Yoshimura defeating Al Mahilik & Crusher for vacant titles (August 9, 1969);
NWA (JWA) International Tag Team titles w/Giant Baba defeating Dick the Bruiser & Crusher
(August 13, 1969);
JWA All Asia Tag Team titles w/Michiaki Yoshimura defeating Mr. Atomic & Buddy Austin for vacant titles (October 30, 1969);
NWA (Los Angeles) United National Heavyweight title defeating John Tolos (March 26, 1971);
NWF (National Wrestling Federation) World Heavyweight title defeating Johnny Powers
(December 10, 1973);
NWA (Los Angeles/Japan) World Tag Team titles w/Seiji Sakaguchi defeating Karl Von Schotz & Kurt Von Hess (August 16, 1974);
NWF (National Wrestling Federation) Heavyweight title defeating Tiger Jeet Singh (June 26, 1975);
NWA (Los Angeles/Japan) World Tag Team titles w/Seiji Sakaguchi defeating Buddy Roberts & Jerry Brown (October 2, 1975);
WWF Martial Arts Heavyweight title Awarded (December 18, 1978);
NWF (National Wrestling Federation) Heavyweight title defeating Stan Hanson (April 3, 1980);
UWA (Mexico) World Heavyweight title defeating Tiger Jeet Singh (April 13, 1980);
NWF (National Wrestling Federation) Heavyweight title defeating Stan Hanson for vacant title
(April 23, 1981);
IWGP Heavyweight title defeating Masa Saito [Tournament] (June 12, 1987);
WWF Martial Arts Heavyweight title defeating Shota Chochoshivila (May 25, 1989);Tournaments Won:
JWA 11th Annual League;
NWA 1st Tag League w/Kantaro Hoshino;
NWA 2nd Tag League w/Seiji Sakaguchi;
NJPW 1st Annual World League;
NJPW 2nd Annual World League;
NJPW 1st Annual MSG League;
NJPW 2nd Annual MSG League;
NJPW 3rd Annual MSG League;
NJPW 4th Annual MSG League;
NJPW IWGP League 1984;
NJPW IWGP League 1986;
NJPW Pre-Japanese Championship;
NJPW 1st Annual MSG Tag League w/Bob Backlund;
NJPW 3rd Annual MSG Tag League w/Hulk Hogan;
NJPW 4th Annual MSG Tag League w/Hulk Hogan;
NJPW 5th Annual MSG Tag League w/Tatsumi Fujinami;
NJPW Japan Cup Tag Team League 1986 w/Yoshiaki Fujiwara;
NJPW Japan Cup Six Man Elimination Tag League 1988 w/Riki Choshu & Kantaro Hoshino;
Japan Wrestling Association (1960–1966)
Inoki met Rikidōzan at the age of 17. He went back to Japan for the Japanese Wrestling Association (JWA) as Rikidōzan's disciple. One of his dojo classmates was Giant Baba. After Rikidozan's death, Inoki worked in Baba's shadow until he joined the original Tokyo Pro Wrestling in 1966.
Tokyo Pro Wrestling (1966–1967)
After a long excursion of wrestling in the United States, Inoki found a new home in Tokyo Pro Wrestling. While there, Inoki became their biggest star. Unfortunately, the company folded in 1967, due to turmoil behind the scenes.
Japan Wrestling Association (1967–1971)
Returning to JWA in late 1967, Inoki was made Baba's partner and the two dominated the tag team ranks as the "B-I Cannon", winning the NWA International tag team belts four times. Wrestling legend Bruno Sammartino tells a story about Inoki trying to "shoot" on him during a tag match in Osaka to build his reputation against the then-world champ. Bruno powered out of the hold, pounded Inoki mercilessly and threw him out of the ring. Inoki refused to re-enter the ring with Sammartino and tagged in Baba to finish the match.
New Japan Pro Wrestling (1972–1994)
Fired from JWA in late 1971 for planning a takeover of the promotion, Inoki founded New Japan Pro Wrestling in 1972. His first match as a New Japan wrestler was against Karl Gotch. In 1995 the Japanese and Korean governments came together to hold a two-day wrestling festival for peace in Pyongyang, North Korea. The event drew 150,000 and 190,000 fans respectively to Rungnado May Day Stadium. The main event saw the only match between Inoki and Ric Flair, with Inoki coming out on top. Days before this event, Inoki and the Korean press went to the grave and birthplace of Rikidōzan and paid tribute to him.
On November 30, 1979, Inoki defeated WWF Champion Bob Backlund in Tokushima, Japan to win the title. Backlund then won a re-match on December 6. However, WWF president Hisashi Shinma declared the re-match a no-contest due to interference from Tiger Jeet Singh, and Inoki remained Champion. Inoki refused the title on the same day, and it was declared vacant. Backlund later defeated Bobby Duncum in a Texas Death match to regain the title on December 12. As Inoki refused the title his reign is not included nor is it recognized by WWE in its official history, and Backlund is recognized as having one reign from 1978–1983.
Final Countdown and retirement (1994–present)
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. Inoki faced Don Frye in the final match of his professional wrestling career.
Culminating in 2006, 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. Inoki began a new promotion in 2007 called Inoki Genome Federation that competes with New Japan.
On February 1, 2010, World Wrestling Entertainment announced on its Japanese website that Inoki would be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2010. On February 9, WWE held a press conference in Tokyo, Japan to officially announce the induction, making him the first ever Japanese person to receive the induction.Inoki 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.