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VIDEO: JWA - 3/5/65 (The Destroyer vs Giant Baba)

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  • VIDEO: JWA - 3/5/65 (The Destroyer vs Giant Baba)

    Today's highlighted wrestler is The Destroyer

    The Destroyer is one of the unsung legends of wrestling, for the most part.

    Debuting in 1954, his mask was ridiculed by many for being too simplistic and quite ugly. However, he pressed on, and continued wearing the now legendary head gear. In 1962, he would defeat the legendary Freddie Blassie for the WWA(LA) World Heavyweight Title. As the 1960s came along, he found himself wrestling in Japan. There, he did something that no one thought was possible: He got over big time as a gaijin heel. A feud with Rikidozan soon became a must, and together, the two wrestled their most famous match together in 1963, setting a TV rating of 67.0, the second highest in wrestling history in Japan, and probably the most viewed(to explain that a bit, Rikidozan/Lou Thesz scored a rating of 87.0 a few years prior, but in 1963, more people in Japan had TV sets).

    The Destroyer had found a home away from home, and stuck around for several years to come. With the Japan Wrestling Association, The Destroyer had several classic matches against the likes of Toyonobori. In 1967, he faced Giant Baba, a student of Rikidozan's. The two tore the house down, and put on a match that still holds up today as one of the all time greats in the history of JWA. Back in the U.S, The Destroyer reigned over the NWA Northwest, winning several belts before setting his sights on the AWA. In 1968, Wrestling as Dr. X, he dethroned Verne Gagne for the AWA World Heavyweight Title.

    Back in Japan in 1971, he faced another Rikidozan student, Antonio Inoki. The two put on a hell of a match, and was one of the last big matches in JWA. In 1972, he followed Giant Baba to his newly formed All Japan Pro Wrestling. There, he and Baba had a rematch at one of the first AJPW shows. Over the next two years, Destroyer would face another masked legend in Mil Mascaras, as they put on several spectacular matches, including two classics in 1973 and 1974, respectively. In 1975, Destroyer also wrestled a young Stan Hansen and Horst Hoffman. As the years went on, The Destroyer began to phase himself out, often competing in tag team matches as a respected veteran of the Puroresu scene. He eventually quietly retired, but his legacy continues to live on.

    Despite being a heel, The Destroyer wasn't one who needed to cheat to get his way. Although he wasn't above it, he chose to wear down his opponents with moves such as his two versions of the Legbreaker. His Dropkick was among the best in his day, and still holds up well today. The Flying Knee Drop claimed quite a few of The Destroyer's victories, but not as much as his signature Figure Four Leglock.

    Here he challenges Giant Baba for the NWA International Title

    Here we go: The Destroyer vs Giant Baba

    Figure Four Leglock

    I think Giant Baba pissed off The Destroyer during this match. Case in point, The Destroyer comes right back, and looks to end Baba's walking days for good. He unleashes a trio of his signature Legbreakers, and from there, he goes right into the Figure Four Leglock.

    The Top 10 Moves of The Destroyer

    Thanks for watching and of course I hope you enjoyed

    I'll be back tomorrow with Adrian Adonis

    Those who live without honor, end without honor.