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[1981-04-02-AJPW-Champion Carnival] Giant Baba vs Jumbo Tsuruta


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This match is from the 1981 Champion Carnival, and it is my belief that it is the last televised singles match between Baba and Jumbo. (They would have one more in the tournament the following year - after which it was put on ice until 1991 - but this did not make broadcast.) The copy in circulation is clipped to the four-minute mark, but this still gives us much more of this match than we received of their 1980 Carnival match, so I am fine with it all things considered. The fact that this is a tournament draw in 1981 dooms this to being less substantive than the best of their singles matches, which were the first two. However, this does feel of a piece with the aforementioned 1980 match, and is interesting on those terms. If extended grind-down sessions on the mat are not your thing then this isn't a match that you're likely to be too hot on, but it worked for me. Neither man can grind the other down, but neither are willing to make a wide swing to jeopardize their standings. Not the best thirty-minute singles draw to come from early 80s All Japan by any means, but it was exactly what it needed to be. ***1/4

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