August 24th, 1995
It was a very exciting day for staff members of NJPW as Antonio Inoki announced the September 2nd card in Osaka, Japan, which will mark the return of Hulk Hogan to New Japan Pro Wrestling. We already know that Hogan has been entered in the G1 Climax tournament and that he'll be part of Block B. In Osaka on September 2, fans will have a little preview of the G1 Climax as Hogan will take on Yuji Nagata, also part of Block B, in the main event of the show. Both Hogan and Nagata were present at the press conference and Hogan didn't lie that despite all his experience, he felt a bit nervous for his NJPW return.
"Yeah, man, if I told anyone that I wasn't a bit apprehensive, I would lie. I haven't worked here in several years and the talent pool over here is really good. I felt honored that Antonio Inoki offered me this opportunity to return here in New Japan and I'm hoping to become the IWGP Heavyweight Champion down the line. But my first step is winning the G1 Climax."
As for his opponent Yuji Nagata, Hogan had nothing but good words about him.
"When it comes down to it, brother, everyone is deserving to be on that roster. Nagata is one hard-hitting dude and I can't wait to wrestle him on September 2 and in the G1 Climax. This day cannot come any sooner, brother!"
Yuji Nagata himself stated that he has a chip on his shoulder, heading into this match - and G1 Climax as well.
"I'm fully aware that people don't expect me to beat Hogan on September 2 - or in the G1 Climax tournament, for that matter. Everyone believes that it's a foregone conclusion that he is winning the tournament and will wrestle Keiji Muto down the road. But I intend to prove everyone wrong. And this starts on September 2. I know I can beat Hulk Hogan. I just know it."
And speaking of the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Hulk Hogan didn't wanna make too much noise about it, stating that he's focused on the task ahead before going after Keiji Mutoh - whom he could face in the finals since Muto headlines Block A.
"It's too soon to even talk about me working against Muto. Obviously, I'd like for that to happen but I can't get ahead of myself. It's been a long time since I've been here and I can't afford to look too far ahead, brother. So for now, I'm thinking about Nagata on September 2 and we'll see, going forward."
In regards to Block A, there's still one slot open to enter Block A and Inoki reiterated that the qualifying match is taking place on September 7 in Saitama. However, Inoki didn't want to press the issue as to who will be involved in this match.
"We're still weighing our options for who will be involved in this match but all I can say is that it's gonna be worth the wait for our incredible fans. This qualifying match alone will be worth the price of admission."
Here's now the final card for the September 2nd show in Osaka:
Hulk Hogan vs Yuji Nagata
Road Warrior Hawk vs Manabu Nakanishi
2 Cold Scorpio vs Gran Hamada
Scott Norton vs Brutus Beefcake
Hiroshi Hase vs Tarzan Goto
Tatsuhito Takaiwa vs Maruyuki Naruse