Bollea would drop the title in January 1980 to Bob Armstrong.
Bollea briefly wrestled in the Georgia Championship Wrestling (GCW) territory from September thru December 1979 as Sterling Golden.
as few people actually knew their real names outside of immediate friends, family, and of course the various promoters the two worked for.
After wrestling a show for Continental Wrestling Association (CWA) in Memphis, The host commented on how Hogan, who stood 6 ft 7 in (201 cm) and weighed 295 pounds with 24 inch biceps, actually dwarfed "The Hulk".
In 1980, Hogan began appearing in New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) where Japanese wrestling fans nicknamed him "Ichiban" (which translates to "Number One").
Hogan claims his hair was already beginning to fall out by that time, and he refused to dye it, simply replying, "I'll be a blond Irish".
Hogan wrestled his first match in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) on November 17 defeating Harry Valdez on Championship Wrestling.