Sunday, 7 March 2010

Bob Backlund & Bob Roop v Giant Baba & Jumbo Tsuruta (All Japan, 7/25/74)

This is probably more interesting than anything, since I can imagine people watching it and thinking "Hey, Backlund's someone's lackey here!" or "Hey, that Giant Baba guy actually COULD move and stuff! And that Jumbo Tsuruta kid looks like he's got some chops!" or "Hey, there's that Bob Roop guy from... wait, who the fuck is Bob Roop?", but I watched it a couple years back and really dug it, so I knew what to expect this time around. Aaaaaand I dug it.

It's two out of three falls and the first fall is mostly built around the two young guys - BOB(Backlund) and JUMBO - getting chippy with each while the two, uh, "old" guys - BOB(Roop) and Baba - also get chippy with each other in between bouts of getting chippy with the young/old guy on the opposing team. So basically everybody's gettin' chippy with everybody. Good times ensue. Couple cool little moments where Backlund does something to get under Baba's skin, like stick his knee up as Roop whips him(Baba) into the corner, which results in Baba chopping lil' Bob for not knowing his place. It felt like a Tenryu moment only 20 years earlier. Fall ends with Roop taking a double boot to the mush, which of course pisses him off because that shit ain't legal.

Second fall only goes about 4 and a half minutes, but it's mostly filled with Backlund and Jumbo teasing punching each other in the face. Backlund's a goofy little fella, but he has this aura of ass-stompery about him even if he hasn't quited figured out how to channel it into ACTUALLY stomping someone's ass... until he gets all "Shove ME in the chest after a rope break, will ya?" and dumps Jumbo flat on his bean with a butterfly suplex. The short Baba/Backlund interaction that rounds out the fall is really fun, and the big galoot even serves Backlund up on a platter for Jumbo to dropkick right in the teeth. Lil' Bob takes the fall this time (as opposed to not-as-lil'-Bob) and the natives score the two-zip win.

So yeah, this is more of an interesting look at Backlund working as this young, fired up little tough guy punching above his weight than a great match, but it also gives you a look at young Jumbo, spry Baba, and, well, Bob Roop in general, since there's hardly an abundance of Bob Roop pimping going on (watch the Mid-South set; it's awesome).

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