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[1980-01-08-AJPW] Giant Baba & Jumbo Tsuruta vs Billy Robinson & Dutch Mantell


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  • 4 months later...

Interesting looking matchup, but this was pretty much just a throwaway houseshow match. Robinson pretty much carried the whole thing as he was the only one to add anything of note. He was always doing something interesting, and he understands how to sit in a hold while building suspense. Also a guy in the audience bursts out in laughter when Robinson blocks a Baba chop.

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  • GSR changed the title to [1980-01-08-AJPW] Giant Baba & Jumbo Tsuruta vs Billy Robinson & Dutch Mantell
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A lot of this match, especially when Robinson in there, was worked in the old-school matwork style. He definitely made a concerted effort to come across as a very “sporting adversary”, constantly moving away from his man when they were in the ropes and declining to attack Jumbo when Mantel had his arms pulled back from behind. They also played this aspect up on commentary as well. With this in mind I thought that Mantel worked as a good foil for Robinson, as he brought a much more standard US flavour, didn’t seem particularly interested in, or able to, trade holds with Baba or Jumbo, so instead when he was in the ring the pace quickened and we got a lot more strikes.
Jumbo vs Robinson was a bit tired, but we got some light hearted comedy when Baba entered the fray. They ran a sequence with Robinson backed against the ropes and he was able to block Baba’s chop. Later on we got the reverse and Baba blocked Robinson’s punch. This irked Robinson and once again the tone switched with him ramping up the aggression. Jumbo managed to generate this response later on as well, giving Robinson a little slap to the face as he was backing away from the ropes triggering a rampage of strikes. 
In the end we all knew that Mantel was gonna be the one going down, the question was how. Ultimately he got caught by Jumbo, he and Baba double teamed the leg and we quickly transitioned into a Boston Crab with Baba running interference on Billy. Job done, let’s go home.
Pissed off Robinson was easily the highlight of the match. Jumbo, when he wasn’t working on top against Mantel, I thought was a little uninspired.


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