Retro Wrasslin'

A look back at pro wrestling history.

All Japan Classics #2

Written By Alfredo Esparza

All Japan Classics #2

Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Giant Baba in the Open Championship League Tournament

Taped 12/15/1975 at Miyagi Prefectural Sports Center in Sendai, Miyagi, Japan

Jumbo Tsuruta goes for a waistlock on Giant Baba after some time both are trying to size each other up. Jumbo with a pair of dropkicks knocks down Baba. Baba counters with a takedown into a side headlock on Tsuruta. They skip forward in this match at this point and we see a shot of Dory Funk Jr. seated ringside as we return to the action.

Jumbo Tsuruta has Giant Baba down on the mat and he’s attacking his right leg. He gets Baba in a leglock and drops down to the mat to apply more pressure. Tsuruta bridges over with the leglock still on. Baba kicks Jumbo off and sends him to the outside. Jumbo returns and goes for a quick pin attempt on Baba but can’t get him so he quickly reverts back to working on Baba’s right leg.

Spinning toe hold by Jumbo Tsuruta. Baba tries to break out of the hold and rolls over but Tsuruta keeps him in a leglock. Giant Baba reaches the ropes to break the hold. Tsuruta again takes Baba down and again grabs hold of his right leg. He goes for a spinning toe hold again. Jumbo applies more pressure and Baba kicks Jumbo off briefly but he never lets go of his leg. Baba briefly escapes but Tsuruta charges at him and takes him back down on the mat again.

Giant Baba gets Jumbo in a full nelson while they are seated on the mat. He gets Jumbo in a body scissors as well. Jumbo continues to attack Baba’s right leg. Baba kicks at Jumbo’s back to escape the hold. More kicks from Baba followed by a swinging neckbreaker. Baba gets a two count on Jumbo. Jumbo quickly knocks Baba back down on to the mat. Baba’s able to switch that over into a body scissors.

Jumbo Tsuruta breaks out of the hold and lays in some uppercuts on Baba. He tries for the double armed suplex but Baba blocks him. Baba goes with a single arm takedown on Jumbo and stretches his arm out on the mat. Jumbo gets up and stomps on Baba’s face to break out of the hold. Jumbo picks up Baba in a side suplex and goes for the pin but only gets a two count. Front facelock by Jumbo but Baba gets him into the ropes and then hip tosses him across the ring.

Side headlock into a leg takedown by Jumbo. Tsuruta gets Baba in a Boston Crab. Baba powers out of the hold. He whips Jumbo into the ropes and catches him with a kick. Hard chops exchanged. Jumbo whips Baba into the ropes and catches him with a jumping knee. He follows with a dropkick and tries for a suplex but Baba blocks him. More chops from Baba. Jumbo holds onto the ropes to prevent a kick from Baba.

Giant Baba gets Jumbo with a neckbreaker. He follows that up with a Russian leg sweep. Baba covers Jumbo and gets the pin.

WINNER: Giant Baba

Abdullah The Butcher © vs. Giant Baba in a 2-out-of-3 falls match for the PWF Heavyweight Title

Taped 2/10/1979 at the International Amphitheater in Chicago, Illinois

First fall starts with Abdullah The Butcher quickly attacking Giant Baba with some kicks, elbows and headbutts. He goes for an elbow drop for a near fall on Baba very early in the match. Some chops follow and a jumping elbowdrop by Abdullah gets him another two-count.

Giant Baba gets in a kick and some chops on Abdullah. He whips Abdullah into the ropes and chops him. Abdullah’s quickly back up and they both do a fight stance. Abdullah continues with some headbutts on Baba and then tosses him to the outside. He stomps on Baba who’s near the ring. Baba gets back in the ring and Abdullah is quickly back on him. He whips Baba into the ropes and knocks him down with a shoulder tackle. Elbow drop on Baba only gets him another two-count.

Giant Baba gets back up and lays in some hard chops on Abdullah. He kicks at Abdullah until he finally knocks him down to the mat. More kicks from Baba at Abdullah’s head. Abdullah starts to bleed from his forehead. He screams as Baba continues to kick his forehead. Fans ringside look a bit in shock as they see the blood flowing from Abdullah’s forehead. Chops from Baba as he continues his attack on Abdullah.

Double thrust chop sends Abdullah into the ropes. Abdullah counters and gets in a knife-edged chop into Baba’s throat area. Baba’s able to keep attacking Abdullah with more chops and knocks him back down to his knees. He whips Abdullah into the ropes and gets him with another chop. Whip into the ropes again and he knocks Abdullah down with a big boot to the chest. Clothesline by Baba and he gets the first fall win.

Second fall starts with Abdullah The Butcher kicking Giant Baba. He headbutts Baba a few times. Abdullah bites at Baba’s forehead. Double chop by Baba. Baba appears to be bleeding near his right eye. He gets sent to the outside by Abdullah. Baba gets back in the ring. More headbutts from Abdullah. He heads to the corner and catches Baba with a jumping elbow drop for the quick pin. Abdullah wins the second fall.

Abdullah continues to punch Baba as the bell rings signaling the start of the third fall. Baba falls into the ropes. Abdullah quickly gets in a few headbutts on Baba. Baba fights back. Referee splits them apart but they are back at it near the ropes with Baba getting in another chop. He kicks Abdullah a few times. Abdullah gets whipped into the ropes and Baba catches him with a kick. More chops from Baba. He kicks at Abdullah but Abdullah punches Baba. Abdullah quickly goes for a jumping elbowdrop for a near fall. Baba kicks out.

Baba continues to kick at Abdullah and Abby screams loudly. Abdullah kicks out of a pin attempt. Abdullah catches his wind and chops Baba. He drops Baba and goes for a chop at his throat. More blood flowing across Abdullah’s face. More headbutts from Abdullah knock Baba back down to the mat. Abdullah goes for another elbowdrop but Baba kicks out.

Abdullah The Butcher hits the ropes but slips right thru the top and middle rope and falls to the outside. He tries to get back in the ring but Baba knocks him back out of the ring. Referee counts Abdullah The Butcher out of the ring. Baba wins.

Abdullah gets back in the ring and elbowdrops Baba. He continues to attack Baba and anyone else who tries to break him away from him. Baba is handed the PWF Heavyweight title as Jumbo Tsuruta and Genichiro Tenryu stand by him.

WINNER: Giant Baba via countout

Giant Baba © vs. Stan Hansen for the PWF Heavyweight Title

Taped 2/4/1982 Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan

Loud reaction from the fans as Stan Hansen makes his way to the ring. Reaction continues to be ridiculous as Giant Baba prepares to make his way to the ring. They show that Baba is being interviewed before heading out to the ring.

Hansen is accompanied by Ueda who also left NJPW to join AJPW. They criss-cross each other off the ropes. Shoulder block by both followed by Baba catching Hansen with a big boot to the face that knocks him down. Crowd erupts. Hansen misses a chop and Baba gets in two followed by another big boot. Hansen back up and he lays in a few elbows across Baba’s back. Hansen slows it down a bit with a chinlock. Baba fights his way back up while Hansen keeps the side headlock on. Baba reverses it into a Russian legsweep and gets a 2-count. Front facelock by Baba followed into dropping Hansen down to the mat and keeping his left arm locked. Baba stomps on Hansen’s left arm.

Hansen gets back up and starts kicking at Baba until he finally knocks him down. Forearms across Baba’s back. Takedown by Hansen and he gets Baba back in a headlock. Fans continue to cheer loudly. Baba gets to the ropes and they exchange chops and forearms. Baba continues his attack on Hansen’s left arm. Hansen knocks Baba back down to the mat and grabs hold of his left leg. Baba continues to chop Hansen across the head but Hansen lands a few kneedrops on Baba’s left leg. Baba reverses and gets Hansen in a cross armbreaker! They break and get back up with Baba continuing his attack on Hansen. He gets him in an armbar. Hansen rakes Baba’s eyes and follows with an elbow.

More back and forth between the two until Hansen knocks Baba down with an elbow. Baba rolls to the outside to catch his breath. Baba back in and Hansen grabs hold of him with a bear hug. He goes for a roll-up for a pin attempt on Baba. Baba gets Hansen in a submission hold with a combination headscissors and arm lock. Hansen rolls out and gets back up and stomps on Baba. He strikes Baba a few times with his knee. Baba counters with some chops across Hansen’s left arm. Hansen kicks Baba’s back. He follows with a slam and an elbowdrop for another two-count.

Baba whips Hansen into the ropes and catches him with a dropkick. He whips Hansen again but that gets reversed and Baba gets backdropped. Big knee across Baba’s chest by Hansen gets him a two-count. Hansen goes for the lariat! Baba falls to the outside. Hansen follows. Hansen attacks Baba outside the ring. Baba tosses Hansen into the ring post. More chops from Baba! Hansen counters with forearms. Referee tries to get in the middle to break them up but he gets knocked down!

Hansen climbs back into the ring. He pulls Baba back up and continues to beat on his chest. Several other All Japan wrestlers try to stop Hansen and he hits a few with the lariat but continues his attack on Baba. Baba’s able to fight back. Hansen continues to attack everyone. He gets back in the ring an Baba knocks him back out of the ring. Hansen yells as he walks away. Match goes 12:39 seconds and ends in a Double DQ.

WINNER: Double DQ

SHOW THOUGHTS: Excellent episode! The Hansen vs. Baba match is definitely worth going out of your way to watch as it is a historic moment in wrestling. The atmosphere for that match was electric. Baba’s match with Abdullah was pretty bloody. I kind of like seeing fans reactions during those types of matches and you get several fans ringside that are a bit in awe of how bloody Abdullah gets. Jumbo vs. Baba was good as well.

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