Written By Alfredo Esparza
All Japan Classics #7
Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Giant Baba in a Champion Carnival 1976 match.
Taped 5/1/1976 at Nippon University Public Hall in Tokyo, Japan.
Jumbo Tsuruta catches Giant Baba with a dropkick to start the match. Quickly goes for a jumping high knee against Baba! Baba goes for an armbar takedown and gains control of the match. He switches over to a hammerlock and keeps Jumbo down on the mat. Jumbo picks up Baba over his shoulders and then walks him over to the corner.
Giant Baba charges at Jumbo and they get tangled on the ropes. He takes Jumbo back down on the mat. Baba keeps Tsuruta’s head in a vice grip and keeps it locked in despite Jumbo’s attempts to break free. He switches over to an armbar. Jumbo reverses and gets Baba in an armbar. Baba is able to reverse it but Tsuruta does the same immediately.
Jumbo Tsuruta takes Baba down to the mat with a hammerlock. He tries to get a pin on Baba but Baba fights him off. Back up and Baba whips Tsuruta into the ropes and backdrops him. He goes for a hammerlock and takes Jumbo back down on the mat. Baba keeps Tsuruta down by holding onto his wrist. Jumbo reaches the ropes but Baba whips him into them and Jumbo gets Baba with a sunset flip for a near fall!
Takedown by Baba but they end up near the ropes and have to break away. Baba with another takedown but again they are near the ropes. He’s able to move Jumbo away from the ropes and tries to get a pin on him. Referee breaks it apart as Jumbo ends up near the ropes. Tsuruta with a waistlock but has to break it quickly. Baba goes for a front facelock. Jumbo reverses it and gets Baba with a hammerlock. He drops a knee across Baba’s arm.
Jumbo with a snapmare on Baba and into a headlock. Baba escapes and gets Jumbo with a Russian legsweep for a two count! He snapmares Tsuruta and then starts to twist his head. Baba with a neckbreaker and another pin attempt but Jumbo kicks out. Jumbo with some uppercuts at Baba! He whips Baba into the ropes and catches him with a dropkick. He goes for the pin but Baba’s foot reaches the bottom rope.
Jumbo Tsuruta grabs hold of Giant Baba and works on his back. He goes for a piledriver on Baba! Jumbo goes for the pin but Baba reaches the ropes. Tsuruta kicks Baba across the head a couple of times. Snapmare followed by an elbow drop by Jumbo gets him a two-count. Baba chops Jumbo as they both get back up near the ropes.
Test of strength with Baba getting the early advantage. Jumbo tries to bridge out of it but Baba keeps him down on the mat. Baba switches over to a leg takedown that looks really cool but Jumbo blocks this and instead grabs hold of Baba’s left leg. Tsuruta with a spinning toe hold on Baba! Baba fights him off but Jumbo’s relentless!
Baba keeps trying to kick Jumbo off him but Jumbo keeps going after his legs and keeps him on the mat. Baba knees Jumbo’s back to escape. Tsuruta whips Baba into the ropes and gets him with a cradle for a near fall. He takes Baba back down to the mat and grabs hold of his legs. Baba reverses it into a body scissors. He also pulls at Tsuruta’s ears. Baba gets him in a half nelson as well and rolls over to try to pin Jumbo. Tsuruta escapes.
Giant Baba with some knee lifts on Tsuruta and he gets a near fall. Atomic knee drop by Baba and he gets another near fall as Jumbo kicks out! Baba whips him into the ropes and kicks him on the face and sends Jumbo to the floor! Tsuruta gets back in the ring but Baba gets him and attacks him with some chops. Jumbo goes for a sunset flip but Baba moves out of the way.
Side headlock by Baba. Jumbo reaches over and grabs Baba’s head in an attempt to escape and counter his hold. Baba rolls him over and keeps him in the headlock. Tsuruta escapes and slams Baba! He goes for the pin but Baba kicks out again. Another slam by Jumbo and pin attempt. He goes for a side suplex and takes Baba down once more. Baba kicks out of another pin attempt.
Giant Baba back up and kicks Jumbo a few times. He whips Jumbo into the ropes and gets caught by a jumping high knee from Jumbo. Tsuruta misses a dropkick. Baba grabs him and backdrops Jumbo and goes for the pin! Giant Baba wins!
WINNER: Giant Baba
Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Dick Slater in the Champion Carnival 1980 Final.
Taped 5/1/1980 at Kyushu Electric Power Memorial Gymnasium in Fukuoka, Japan.
Dick Slater has his right eye bandaged up. Slater with a quick takedown of Jumbo to start the match but he backs away. Slater goes for an armbar on Jumbo. He switches over to grabbing hold of Jumbo’s leg but Jumbo’s able to escape that quickly. Tsuruta with a wristlock and then he attacks the left arm by slamming it over his shoulder.
Hard chops from Slater in an attempt to escape Jumbo’s hold on his arm. Doesn’t work but Slater gets him on the ropes and that forces the break. Slater gets Tsuruta in a headlock but Jumbo whips him off and catches him with an armdrag and into a wristlock. Jumbo hooks Slater’s arms but Slater blocks him from trying anything out of it and he reaches the ropes to break the hold.
Dick Slater with a leg takedown on Tsuruta and he hooks up his legs. Jumbo escapes and tries to get Slater in a Boston Crab but Slater tries to fight him off. Tsuruta eventually gets him in the Boston Crab! Slater reverses and goes for a pin but Jumbo reverses that and gets a near fall as well. Slater is quickly back up on his feet and attacks Tsutura’s right leg. He gets Jumbo in a half crab and then switches over to a Boston Crab.
Jumbo Tsuruta powers out of the Boston Crab but they both land on the ropes. Slater gets Jumbo with some elbows to the head and back. He follows with a body slam for a near fall. Slater whips him into the ropes and elbows him and gets another near fall. Slater with a powerslam but Tsuruta kicks out quickly. Slater goes after Jumbo’s legs again. Jumbo chops his way out of it.
Slater with a headbutt at Jumbo followed by an elbow drop across Jumbo’s left leg. He tries to get Jumbo in a pinning predicament but Jumbo is able to kick out as soon as the referee taps the mat for the one-count. Jumbo kicks Slater off him. Slater quickly his him with an elbow. He goes for a piledriver but Jumbo lifts Slater up and sends him flying over the top rope to the floor!
Jumbo gets Slater with a backbreaker as he returns to the ring. Tsuruta with an abdominal stretch on Slater. Slater escapes and hiptosses Jumbo off him. Tsuruta whps Slater into the ropes and gets him in a bear hug. He then slams Slater into the corner. Jumbo with some elbows to Slater’s Back and then he whips him into the ropes and catches him with a jumping high knee for a near fall. Slater reaches the ropes with his foot on the bottom rope.
Jumbo Tsuruta continues to attack Slater’s back by kicking it. Slater surprises Tsuruta with a side suplex. Jumbo’s back up quicker and continues to attack Slater’s back. He gets Slater with a piledriver and covers him for the pin but Slater kicks out and rolls him over for a pin of his own. They both roll out of the ring and brawl outside.
They return to the ring and Slater brings Jumbo back in with a suplex. Slater goes for the pin but Jumbo kicks out. He picks Tsuruta up over his shoulders and goes for a Samoan Drop for another near fall. Slater again with a piledriver on Jumbo and goes for the pin but Tsuruta kicks out again. Small package by Slater but Jumbo rolls him over for a pin atempt of his own. Neither guy can get the pin.
Slater turns the package into a submission hold. Jumbo escapes but they both end up on the ropes. Tsuruta kicks Slater out of the ring as he tried for a spinning toe hold. Jumbo teases jumping off the top rope at Slater on the floor. He doesn’t do it. Slater back in the ring and Jumbo kicks him. Jumbo climbs to the top rope and hits Slater with a jumping high knee for a two-count!
Slater with chops and headbutts at Tsuruta. He climbs to the top rope and lands a flying elbow drop on Jumbo. He gets a two-count. Slater goes for a suplex but Jumbo blocks it and suplexes Slater and gets another near fall. Jumbo whips Slater into the ropes but Slater gets him with a sunset flip for a two-count. Tsuruta with a double under hook suplex on Slater for another near fall.
Jumbo whips Slater into the ropes but Slater holds on to the ropes and Jumbo falls while attempting a dropkick. Slater attacks Jumbo’s left leg. He goes for the spinning toe hold but Tsuruta kicks him off. Slater goes for the spinning toe hold again and once again Jumbo kicks him off. Dick Slater’s bleeding from the head. Tsuruta cradles Slater for a pin attempt but they are near the ropes.
They exchange punches! Slater knocks Jumbo out of the ring with a punch. Jumbo gets back in the ring and Slater elbows him. Tsuruta fights back and goes for a backdrop driver. Crowd gets louder. Jumbo goes for the pin but Slater kicks out. Slater with a spinning toe hold on Jumbo and he starts to kick Slater off.
Jumbo Tsuruta goes for a neckbreaker on Slater and covers him for the pin and again Slater kicks out! Slater whips Jumbo into the corner and charges at him. Jumbo moves out of the way and Slater hits the corner post. Tsuruta with a German suplex on Slater gets the pin!
WINNER: Jumbo Tsuruta
Jumbo Tsuruta is interviewed after the match.
SHOW THOUGHTS: Another excellent episode. Thought both matches had a somewhat similar pace of starting off slowly and really picking up later in the match. Really good build to finishes in both matches. I think I liked the Jumbo vs. Baba match a littlemore because there seemed to be more going on throughout, while the Jumbo vs. Slater match waited until the closing minutes to really pick up.