Retro Wrasslin'

A look back at pro wrestling history.

NJPW WPW Classics #5

Written By Alfredo Esparza

NJPW WPW Classics #5

Antonio Inoki © vs. Billy Robinson in a 2/3 falls match for the NWF Title

Taped 12/11/1975 at Kuramae Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan

Lou Thesz was among the group who was in attendance for this match. They handed out awards/gifts to Inoki prior to the match. They play the Japan and United Kingdom national anthems. Red Shoes Dugan is the referee for the match. Match has a 60:00 minute time limit.

FIRST FALL: Robinson gets Inoki in a side headlock to start the match. Inoki’s able to break out of the headlock but he gets taken down quickly by Robinson who starts working on his left wrist. Robinson gets a near fall after a surprising side suplex on Inoki. Inoki’s close enough to the ropes to get out of it. Robinson shows off his great technical skills escaping a few of Inoki’s attempts to get control of the match. Inoki gets Robinson in a front facelock and takes him down to the mat. Robinson tries to break free but Inoki’s able to keep the hold locked in. Robinson breaks the hold and tries to get Inoki in a full-nelson, only Inoki reverses. Robinson breaks out but as he breaks the full nelson, Inoki reverse kicks him. Robinson gets Inoki in an armbar submission. Inoki reverses and takes Robinson down. Robinson counters with a fireman’s carry. Inoki headscissors Robinson. They both get new the ropes and break free. Test of strength with Robinson sliding down and getting Inoki’s shoulders on the mat for a couple of near falls. Inoki escapes and grabs hold of Robinson’s legs. Robinson gets Inoki near the ropes so he breaks the hold. Robinson chops at Inoki so the crowd gets a little fired up now as does Inoki.

They shove at each other on the ropes. Inoki and Robinson exchange forearms near the ropes. Robinson grabs Inoki on one of his forearm attempts and they both go flying over the top rope! They get back in the ring and Inoki quickly goes after Robinson. Robinson fights him off. Robinson tries for a tiger suplex, but Inoki grabs the ropes. Robinson starts to work on Inoki’s left arm and puts him in an armbar submission. He’s got it locked in tight using his right leg to keep Inoki’s head down. Inoki escapes the hold briefly and tries for a headlock, but Robinson gets him in a headscissors. Inoki escapes and gets Robinson in the Indian Deathlock! He applies pressure on Robinson who refuses to give up. Robinson is able to reverse it but he’s close to the ropes. Dugan breaks them apart. Robinson gets a 2-count after a backbreaker on Inoki! Robinson gets Inoki in a Boston crab. Inoki breaks free and lands on Robinson. Inoki goes back to working on Robinson’s left leg. Robinson tries to get Inoki in a chinlock while Inoki has hold of his leg, instead Robinson is able to grab Inoki’s right hand. Inoki doesn’t break hold of his leg. Robinson uses his strength to turn Inoki over onto his back and gets a 2-count. Inoki quickly breaks the hold. Robinson uses a cool submission hold to take down Inoki again and gets a couple of near falls. Inoki attempts a headscissors but Robinson keeps hold of him for a bit but finally succumbs to Inoki and lands on the mat. Robinson struggles to break out of the headscissors and he even does the head-stand spot to break free, but can’t. Crowd applauds Inoki’s hold. Robinson somehow gets a pin attempt out of still being stuck in the headscissors by Inoki. After several minutes, Robinson finally breaks out of the headscissors and got a quick pin attempt on Inoki.

Robinson takes down Inoki after hitting him off the ropes with a forearm smash! Robinson hits a dropkick and kneedrop on Inoki for a 2-count. Inoki gets Robinson with a couple of dropkicks. They both are on the ropes so they have to break again. Robinson gets Inoki with a neckbreaker. Inoki kicks out of a pin attempt. Robinson drops a knee on Inoki’s neck. Inoki gets a near fall dropping Robinson down on the mat. Robinson headbutts Inoki. Follows it with an uppercut. Dugan breaks them up because they are near the ropes. Inoki gets Robinson in the abdominal stretch. Robinson breaks out of the hold. Robinson gets Inoki in a piledriver but he’s too close to the ropes. Lots of attempts to get each other in holds but they are too close to the ropes. Robinson works on Inoki’s leg and charges at him to knock him down, but again they are near the ropes. Robinson gets Inoki in a submission hold that he turns into a full nelson. Inoki breaks out and puts Robinson in a Boston Crab again. Robinson chops Inoki’s head to break the hold. Inoki whips Robinson into the corner and then to the ropes. He backdrops Robinson and then slams him. Inoki tries for the Boston Crab again. Robinson refuses to submit. Robinson escapes. Robinson stuns Inoki by flipping him over and catching him in a pin. Robinson wins the first fall. Excellent!

SECOND FALL: Robinson tries to get a quick pin on Inoki as the fall starts. Inoki kicks out at two. Robinson gets Inoki in a hammerlock, but Inoki knocks him off and Robinson goes flying to the outside! Robinson gets back in the ring. Inoki gets Robinson up in a suplex and gets a 2-count. Inoki tosses Robinson to the other side of the ring! Inoki backdrops Robinson and goes for the pin, but Robinson’s leg is draped on the bottom rope. Robinson struggles to stay up on his feet as he clings to the ropes trying to get his balance back. Inoki gets Robinson in the bow and arrow submission hold! Robinson breaks out of the hold. Inoki goes for a backbreaker but Robinson keeps hold of his arms. Inoki pulls him down and tries for a pin attempt but Robinson’s legs are on the ropes. Robinson gets Inoki with a couple of uppercuts and then takes him down with a double-underhook suplex.

Robinson gets Inoki in a side headlock. Robinson bodyslams Inoki and gets another 2-count. A couple of forearms near the ropes by Robinson. Robinson goes for a small package on Inoki but again too close to the ropes. Robinson tries for an abdominal stretch but Inoki reaches the ropes. Robinson gets Inoki in a backdrop! Follows with a kneedrop. Inoki kicks out of every pin attempt! Robinson tries to keep Inoki down, but Inoki bridges up. Robinson jumps on him, but can’t take him down, so he breaks the hold. Inoki chops at Robinson in frustration. Inoki works on Robinson in the corner with a couple of knees and chops. Inoki armdrags Robinson a couple of times. Follows with a dropkick. A couple of near falls from both get the crowd going again. Inoki stomps on Robinson and then slams him to the mat. Robinson blocks a chop by Inoki and hitshim with an uppercut. He follows up with an elbow and another suplex on Inoki! Robinson chops at Inoki. Inoki dropkicks. Robinson tries for a chop on Inoki but he misses and Inoki gets him in the octopus submission hold! Robinson tries to reach the ropes. He’s unable to and submits to Inoki! Inoki wins the second fall! Great!

THIRD FALL: Both look worn down after two very long falls. Bell rings for start of third fall and Inoki dropkicks Robinson a few times. Inoki misses a dropkick on Robinson. Robinson and Inoki throw elbows at each other near the ropes. Bell rings as the 60:00 minute time limit came. Match ends in a draw! Excellent match. Crowd wants them to continue the match.

WINNER: 60:00 minute DRAW

Tatsumi Fujinami © vs. Ryuma Go for the WWWF Jr. Title

Taped 7/27/1978 at Nippon Budokan in Tokyo, Japan

Both shake hands at the start of the match. Fujinami quickly takes Go down. Nice matwork to start the match with Fujinami controlling match early on. Go gets Fujinami down with a side headlock. Go follows that up with headscissors to keep Fujinami down briefly as Fujinami quickly breaks out. Some nice move reversals by both. Crowd starts a “Go” chant. Fujinami slaps Go’s face a couple of times before he takes him down. They both chop each other while Fujinami has Go down on the mat. Fujinami grabs hold of Go’s leg and Go tries kicking him off but can’t. Fujinami continues to work on Go’s left leg. Go gets Fujinami to roll to the ropes to break the hold. Go gets Fujinami in a front facelock and then breaks the hold so he could drop a couple of knees on him. He misses the last kneedrop and Fujinami kicks at him. Go gets Fujinami in a Boston Crab. You can see Go is bleeding from his nose or upper lip. Fujinami breaks out of the Boston Crab.

Fujinami gets Go in a suplex and gets a near fall. Go tries for a headscissors but can’t get Fujinami properly, so Fujinami takes him down. Go gets a kick in and tries for a second, but Fujinami gets him in a dragon screw leg whip and takes him back down. Fujinami dropkicks Go and slams him down to the mat for a 2-count. Fujinami piledrives Go and gets another 2-count. Fujinami slams Go and climbs up the ropes, but Go chases him and slams him down. Go hits a dropkick at Fujinami. Go gets a 2-count on Fujinami with a German Suplex as Fujinami was near the ropes. Fujinami rolls to the outside. Go brings Fujinami back in with a side suplex. He follows with a neckbreaker. Fujinami kicks out of both pin attempts. Go slams Fujinami and tries for a splash off the ropes but Fujinami moves. Fujinami gets Go with a German Suplex and gets the pin! Good match.

Post-match interview with Fujinami.

WINNER: Tatsumi Fujinami

SHOW THOUGHTS: The Robinson – Inoki match was excellent. Great technical match. I dug how they basically used up all the time in the first two falls so they both tried to do as much to win in the third fall with so little time remaining. Of the Inoki matches I’ve reviewed so far on the site, this is definitely my favorite one. If you haven’t watched it, you should definitely take the time to watch it. Fujinami – Go match was good. Fujinami’s a great and very smooth worker. It felt like Go was doing as much as he could but had zero chance of beating Fujinami.

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