Written By Alfredo Esparza
All Japan Classics #1
Jack Brisco © vs. Giant Baba for the NWA World Heavyweight Title in a 2-out-of-3 falls match.
Taped 12/2/1974 at Kagoshima Prefectural Gymnasium in Kagoshima, Japan
First fall starts with Jack Brisco and Giant Baba locking up and breaking away cleanly. Baba takes Brisco down with an armbar but that is reversed by Brisco into a waistlock. Baba reverses that back into an armbar. Single leg takedown by Brisco knocks the big man down to the mat. Brisco goes to work on Baba’s left leg.
There’s an edit at this point in the match and it goes directly to Baba getting up and holding Jack Brisco in a side headlock. Brisco escapes and sends Baba into the ropes and gets him back down on the mat and again grabs hold of his left leg. He keeps Baba in a leglock and tries to get a pin on him. Baba finally kicks Brisco off him briefly but Brisco quickly knocks Baba back down and grabs hold of his left leg again. Again Baba kicks him off.
Baba takes Brisco down with a side headlock takedown. Brisco escapes and again goes to work on Baba’s legs. He goes for another pin on Baba but Baba’s able to raise his shoulders off the mat. Brisco keeps Baba on the mat. Baba bearhugs him on the mat and rolls Brisco over. He tries to get Brisco in a pin attempt but Brisco fights him off. Surfboard on Brisco and the fans applaud. Baba places his foot across Brisco’s back and pulls at his arms. Switches over to uses his head to hurt Brisco’s back.
Jack Brisco tries to power out of the surfboard but Giant Baba keeps him locked in. Brisco runs around while Baba’s holding his arms and finally escapes. Baba gets him in the corner but Baba breaks cleanly. Brisco punches at Baba. Knee lift from Brisco knocks Baba down to the mat. He picks him back up and throws punches at Baba’s head. Baba counters with chops, whips him into the ropes and gets a chop and a dropkick on Brisco! Baba with a legsweep and he gets the pin on Brisco to win the first fall!
Giant Baba starts the second fall getting Brisco with a swinging neckbreaker and quickly going for the pin. Jack Brisco kicks out and gets Baba on the ropes. Baba with some forearms across Brisco’s back. Shoulder block and punches from Brisco. Big kneedrop by Brisco on Baba. He goes for the pin but Baba kicks out to the delight of the fans. Headlock by Brisco. Baba tries to toss him off, but Brisco keeps the hold locked in. Brisco applies more pressure on the headlock. Baba reaches the bottom rope but can’t escape. Brisco rolls over for a pin attempt but Baba kicks out however Brisco quickly gets him back in a headlock.
Giant Baba gets back up and tries to snapmare Brisco off him but Brisco keeps the headlock on. Baba finally powers out of the hold but Brisco pulls him back down by the tights. Referee warns Brisco. Baba finally breaks free. Brisco with some punches but Baba counters and whips him into the ropes and catches Brisco with a big boot. Near fall from Baba. Baba goes for an atomic drop and gets another near fall. Brisco picks up Baba with a backdrop and goes for the figure-four leglock! Baba tries to withstand the pain from the hold but finally submits. Brisco wins the second fall.
Giant Baba needs help getting back up to start the third fall and he is limping noticeably. Brisco gets Baba in the corner and gets in a few shots at him before the referee breaks them up. Jack gets Baba on the ropes and attacks his left leg with some kicks and knees. Baba tries to keep Brisco from reaching over but Brisco finally does and continues his attack on Baba’s left leg. He then starts to go for a toe-hold but Baba chops at him. He kicks Brisco off and into the corner.
Knee lift from Baba. He goes for a second one and Brisco bounces off. Legsweep by Baba for a pinfall but Brisco reaches the ropes with his right leg. Brisco picks Baba up by the left leg and drops it onto his own leg. Jack hits the ropes and charges at Baba, but Baba catches him with a clothesline. Baba covers Brisco for the pin and gets the third and decisive fall for the win! New NWA World Heavyweight Champion, Giant Baba!
WINNER: Giant Baba
The All Japan Pro Wrestling crew celebrates with Baba and carry him on their shoulders for a bit. He does a post-match interview.
Giant Baba vs. Verne Gagne for the AWA World & PWF Heavyweight Titles in a 2-out-of-3 falls match.
Taped 1/18/1981 at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan
Handshake prior to the match by these two legends. First fall starts with the fans loudly cheering for Giant Baba. Clean break from the ropes by Gagne. Side headlock by Baba. Gagne reverses it into a wristlock on Baba. They edit into a Gagne having Baba in a headscissors. Baba escapes and gets Gagne into a front facelock. Verne reverses it into a side headlock but Baba escapes.
Full nelson by Gagne on the much larger Baba but it is quickly reversed. Gagne slides down and kicks Baba. Baba surprises Gagne with a neckbreaker. He follows with a legsweep and covers Gagne for a pin but Verne kicks out! Side headlock by Baba gets reversed into a headscissors. Baba escapes and gets Gagne in a headlock. Gagne whips Baba into the ropes and catches him with a pair of dropkicks. He jumps on Baba for a sleeper hold! Crowd cheers loudly as Gagne takes Baba down to the mat. Loud chants for Baba. Giant Baba tries to fight it off but Gagne takes him down and gets the first fall win!
Second fall starts with Verne Gagne continuing to control the match. He uppercuts Baba and then body slams him. Gagne gets Baba in a sleeper hold again! Baba reaches the ropes. Verne charges at Baba and tries to get him in a sleeper again while he’s still down. Hard chop by Gagne on Baba who’s on the ropes. Baba catches Gagne with a kick and that sends Verne to the outside.
Verne Gagne gets back in the ring and complains about the kick. They exchange chops in the corner. Baba whips Gagne into the ropes and chops him again. He snapmares and stomps on Gagne and gets a two count. More chops exchanged. Gagne catches Baba with a dropkick. Misses a second dropkick as Baba waves him off. Baba gets Gagne with a legsweep for another near fall. He whips Gagne into the ropes and catches him with a big boot and covers Gagne for the pin. Baba wins the second fall.
Third fall starts with Baba chasing after Gagne who stalls a bit. Baba misses a big boot at Gagne. He gets Verne in an armbar but that’s quickly broken up. Baba with a surprisingly quick cradle pin attempt on Gagne. He gets Gagne in a toe hold. Baba grabs on to Gagne’s head/neck region to apply more pressure. Gagne punches him off.
Verne Gagne quickly goes for a couple of stomps on Baba and tries to get a quick pin but Baba kicks out. Baba catches Gagne with some chops across the top of his head. He gets Gagne with a legsweep and goes for the pin. Gagne kicks out. Verne goes for a sleeper hold on Baba! The crowd cheers loudly for Baba. Baba escapes by sending Gagne into the corner.
Some hard chops from Baba at Gagne. He hiptosses Gagne out of the corner and catches him with a dropkick. Baba with another two-count on Gagne. He whips Gagne into the ropes and catches him with a big boot across his face! Gagne reaches the ropes and this keeps Baba from attacking. Verne goes for a sleeper but Baba reaches the ropes. They both fall over the top rope to the floor! Baba starts to climb back into the ring but Gagne gets him back down on the floor. He goes for a sleeper. Baba drives him into the ring apron. Referee calls for the bell. Both men are counted out.
WINNER: Double Count Out
SHOW THOUGHTS: Good episode. I enjoyed both matches. I thought the Baba vs. Brisco match was better but the crowd heat for the second match was superb.