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.
Bollea briefly wrestled in the Georgia Championship Wrestling (GCW) territory from September thru December 1979 as Sterling Golden.
Later that year, former NWA World Heavyweight Champion Terry Funk introduced Bollea to the company owner/promoter Vincent J.
Hogan and Inoki also worked as partners in Japan, winning the MSG Tag League tournament two years in a row: in 19.