In 1980, Hogan began appearing in New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) where Japanese wrestling fans nicknamed him "Ichiban" (which translates to "Number One"). Hogan first appeared on May 13, 1980, while he was still with the WWF. He occasionally toured the country over the next few years, facing a wide variety of opponents ranging from Tatsumi Fujinami to Abdullah the Butcher . When competing in Japan, Hogan used a vastly different repertoire of wrestling moves, relying on more technical, traditional wrestling holds and maneuvers as opposed to the power-based, brawling style American fans became accustomed to seeing from him. In addition, Hogan used the Axe Bomber , a crooked arm lariat , as his finisher in Japan instead of the running leg drop that has been his standard finisher in America. Hogan still made appearances for the WWF, even unsuccessfully challenging Pedro Morales for the Intercontinental Championship on March 26, 1981.  On June 2, 1983, Hogan became the first International Wrestling Grand Prix (IWGP) tournament winner (although he held the IWGP Heavyweight Championship belt, this was not the beginning of the actual championship), defeating Antonio Inoki by knockout in the finals of a ten-man tournament.  Hogan and Inoki also worked as partners in Japan, winning the MSG Tag League tournament two years in a row: in 1982 and 1983. In 1984, Hogan returned to NJPW to wrestle Inoki in the finals of the IWGP League, in which he lost the title belt by countout , thanks to interference from Riki Choshu . Hogan also defended his WWF World Heavyweight Championship against Inoki, Seiji Sakaguchi , and Tatsumi Fujinami among others, until the WWF ended their relationship with New Japan in October 1985.