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[1969-12-3 JWA] Dory Funk Jr. vs Giant Baba

Superstar Sleeze

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NWA World Heavyweight Champion Dory Funk Jr vs Giant Baba - JWA 12/3/69 Two Out of Three Falls

Junior had been World Champion for almost a year at this point having defeated "Big Thunder" Gene Kiniski in Tampa, Fl. 

First Fall: Big Match Atmosphere. Dory Funk is 28 years old and Baba is 31 years old and they are in their prime. I think thats the weird thing about analyzing Dory & Baba is that if youre looking at the 80s footage only they are already in their 40s! They are really late 60s/70s wrestlers and need to be evaluated on that basis. It is cool we have this match. For Baba, it really makes a light year's difference watching this. You see Baba has the charisma and the psychology in the 80s, but he is a bit too gentle, awkward, and stilted for me. In the 60s, the dude was a rockstar, athletics and an amazing sympathetic babyface, which seems so counter-intuitive but it just works. Junior has someone in a Ten Gallon hat, I am assuming it is Terry but I cant get a good look at him. Baba works a seven-ten split standing Toehold. Baba lands a wicked overhand slap. This aint 80s Baba. Junior works out of it and they tussle in the corner. Dory bars the arm and then works a Short Arm Scissors, one of my favorite holds. Baba is so good selling and struggling in the hold. Baba goes back to the toehold and then morphs into a single leg crab. Dory comes out swinging. He can NOT negotiate the Butterfly Suplex twice and even the Spinning Toehold is too difficult to apply to Baba because he is do damn big. Baba kicks off forcefully and Junior powders. I get a good look at the man in the Ten Gallon hat. God it looks like Terry, but he looks older than Dory then it hits me IS THAT SENIOR?!?! I looked up Wiki, yep I am 99% sure it Dory Sr. based on pictures and the fact he didnt die until 1973. That must have a cool experience for father-son to get travel the world and get to watch his kid wrestle as the World Champion. I have never seen Senior before; I marked out. Baba comes out roaring with a Sleeper...Senior says that's his hold, fight it. Dory does fight it, but Baba is dogged and Baba lands his patented neckbreaker drop to win the first fall to a big pop! Baba 1-0. Apparently, there was a ten minute cut at some point, I didnt even notice. 

Second Fall: As is customary, this is a short fall. Baba builds off the momentum of the first fall. He is just slicing and dicing Junior. Chops, big boots, really doing him. Dory is throwing wild punches missing by a mile, great bump off the bottom rope came right back up and fed Baba. Baba goes for the chop, Dory puts on the breaks and heads for the hill. His Dad tries to coach him up. It works at Dory is tenacious going for the Spinning Toehold. After two failed attempts this fall, the third time is the charm and it takes about half a dozen rotations to get the Giant to submit. Effective, exciting fall that got the Spinning Toe hold over. I love that Dory Sr. on the break looks to check on Baba only to nonchalantly step on the bad leg. Great heeling and leads to some garbage flying. 

Third Fall: This would not look out of place at all in 2021. The more things change, the more they stay the same. It is total slam, bang, bombfest, light on selling/consequence/reaction just more workrate and there is even a table. There is a very obvious cut. Baba is on fire here with the Sleeper and Surfboard. Senior is barking not to give up, the time limit is almost up.  I love Senior being held back but scoops up his son's leg to break  up the  surfboard. The ref I thought ejected Senior, but I see him later. The Cobra Clutch Baba used had the most heat of all "the nearfalls" I think thats when the crowd and myself believed Baba had the best chance to pull this off. Dory goes to the eyes. The first time was cool and felt desperate & cheap. Then he kept going back and it was weird that the ref didnt get involved. I forget this was before or after the Cobra Clutch but Dory somehow in the midst of a sleeper scoots over the top rope. I think this leads to the big brawl on the floor, which leads to them fighting over a chair. Then Junior throws a table in the ring! IN 1969! He ends up smashing the table into Baba's head. Baba basically no sells it to go to the next spot which I believe is a Big Chop nearfall. Nothing has changed, folks. There are some real good chops especially from Baba. They feel thunderous. I would have liked more of those bitchin' Junior European Uppercuts. I think these guys would be best just trading hands. They were trading nearfalls and bombs down the stretch. They are throwing hands down the stretch and it is a Baba backbreaker but Junior is saved by the bell.

Total slam, bang action. I think we get 25 minutes of a 60 minute draw so not enough to rate it, but enough to tell that Senior was an all-timer as a manager and these two could do mat grappling, big bomb throwing or trade hands. Worth a watch probably in the ****  vicinity, 


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