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[1977-06-01-NJPW] Antonio Inoki vs Andre The Giant

Superstar Sleeze

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NWF World Heavyweight Champion Antonio Inoki vs Andre The Giant - NJPW 6/1/77

A really strange match. It was building really well and then just ground to a halt. It was like they both ran out of things to do and they were just killing time to the double countout finish. The first half was great. Andre working holds like the cobra clutch and a really impressive surfboard set up Inoki's explosive offense so well. Until Vader, nobody did wounded bear selling ad well as Andre. Inoki's dropkick is a big time weapon for him. Andre bumping and selling and the crowd is eating it up. Andre invents the Pedigree in the middle of the match and Inoki no sells it...eat it Hunter! Inoki goes for the Ali leg kick strategy and then Andre bellyflops off the top. Inoki goes for strangulation to choke out the Giant but Andre uses his girth to squish him against the turnbuckles. This is when the match drags. Andre goes back to working holds but now they are meaningless. No sense of progression. Doesn't feel like Andre is trying to win. There is a pointless Electric Chair spot. Andre hurts himself and Inoki races up the ropes twice to hit Bombs Away Knees! Thought that was the finish but I guess Andre kicked out. Look at Andre go he bumps for two flying headscissors second one sends them out for the double countout but it is Andre that stands tall hitting a poweslam on a table. They are really protecting Andre as a money Inoki opponent. First half Rocks, second half meanders, finish is hot! ***1/4

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