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[1972-12-19-AJPW] Giant Baba vs The Destroyer


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While not nearly on the same pedestal as their 1969 masterpiece, this match showed how the Destroyer can turn a prolonged headlock-dominated first fall into something entertaining. Baba isn’t the most engaging on the mat but Destroyer not only does a solid job selling Baba’s headlock but when the roles are reversed, Destroyer makes the headlock interesting. Whether it’s wrenching Baba’s head back and forth, using his knees to tenderize, or springboarding off the ropes with the takedown, Destroyer breathes life into an otherwise lackluster first fall. He’s jaw jacking to the fans, yelling at Baba “you get paid to lay down!”, but when he runs into the neckbreaker drop, it’s over. The second fall ends just as quickly when Destroyer gets Baba in the figure-four leglock. Baba’s selling in the third fall is tremendous. He hurts himself on the coconut crusher, his leg gives out on the single leg crab hold, but when Destroyer tries to take advantage of the injury, he keeps hurting himself, too! Baba wins the third fall and the match via countout. As always, Destroyer was a joy to watch in the ring and Baba really turned up the drama in the third fall.

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  • GSR changed the title to [1972-12-19-AJPW] Giant Baba vs The Destroyer
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Giant Baba vs. The Destroyer - December 19, 1972.
Another great match from the two. The Destroyer never disappoints and Giant Baba could really go at this point in his career. Destroyer controlled almost the entire first fall, with a long headlock. (the best and the most credible that I have ever seen, he was always fantastic in his expressions). However Baba got the pin after his comeback with the neckbreaker drop. (18:29). The second fall goes to The Destroyer, who achieves his goal by damaging Baba's leg prominently. He savagely attacks the company's founder and forces him to surrender from the figure four leglock. (3:43) Baba ends this fall very badly, with a lot of pain, and must be treated by the medical team before returning to the fight. Because Destroyer continues to harass his rival and search for his leg. Baba has great mobility issues in this state, but he manages to break free, letting go of his hand whenever he can. Baba throws Destroyer out of the ring as a desperate measure. This is how Destroyer loses, because one of these throws results in a very strong fall, and he cannot return to the ring until the referee's count reaches 20. (11:40) Baba wins the match. (34:32) Very great match, even if it is not as great as their match in 1969. Rating: ****1/2 

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