February 5, 1972 - Korakuen Hall - Tokyo, Japan

Billy Graham made Tatsumi Fujinami submit to the Bearhug in 0:15:41.
Rating: **** 1/4

Korakuen Hall was filled to the rafters as Global Championship Wrestling returned to Japan for the first time in 2 years! The opening contest was the Japanese debut of "Superstar" Billy Graham took on rookie Tatsumi Fujinami. Fujinami is very impressive and thought to be the future of wrestling in Japan, but he still is inexperienced and couldn't figure out Graham's massive power. In a great match, Graham would locked on the Bearhug and squeeze the life Fujinami to pick up his first win overseas.

Osamu Kido made Wahoo McDaniel submit to the Wakigatame in 0:14:54.
Rating: ****

Wahoo McDaniel was going around the past couple weeks complaining that he had to come to Japan to wrestle. Wahoo has such a close-minded view when it comes to anyone not from the United States, and it got even worse as he flat out refused to put his title on the line while in Tokyo. That didn't much mind to Osamu Kido, who would settle for shutting Wahoo up. That would be exactly what happened as Wahoo had no answers for Kido's unique style. Wahoo seemingly forgot to prepare properly for this match since the US Title wasn't on the line and it cost him, submitting to the Wakigatame and suffering a loss. The two will meet in a rematch on the 8th, but again, thanks to some clever contract work, the United States Title will not be on the line.

Mr. Fuji and Toru Tanaka defeated Chief Jay Strongbow and Billy White Wolf when Tanaka made Strongbow submit to the Japanese Sleeper in 0:25:54.
Rating: ** 1/2

The Japanese wrestlers picked up another victory, this in our first tag team contest. Mr. Fuji & "Professor" Toru Tanaka have been tearing it up in Japan and Australia for the past couple years, and they showed they could hang with anyone by beating Chief Jay Strongbow & Billy White Wolf when Tanaka put Strongbow to sleep with his Japanese Sleeper. This impressive performance has earned Fuji & Tanaka a tag team title shot on February 8.

Tiger Jeet Singh pinned Tony Garea after a back suplex in 0:05:19.
Rating: ** 3/4

Tony Garea's first trip to Japan was not a pleasant one, as he had to take on the madman that is Tiger Jeet Singh. Garea did what he could, but Singh more or less had his way with him before finishing him off with a back suplex.

Pedro Morales pinned Antonio Inoki after a backslide in 0:19:45.
Rating: *** 3/4

Pedro Morales was hoping to challenge Bruno Sammartino for the World Title on this tour of the Orient, but he got the next best thing as he wrestled the former World champion, Antonio Inoki. Morales wanted to send a statement to the whole world by getting a win over one of the world's best. That's easier said than done when you're in there with Antonio Inoki. The match went back and forth for almost 20 minutes as two men in their prime showed everything they had. Morales wanted to get a decisive win, and in his mind he did. Morales got a great counter in when he caught Inoki with a backslide, and felt that the only way he could win was to put his feet on the ropes for extra leverage. What a proud trip to the winner's circle for Pedro Morales.

Crusher & Bruiser (The Crusher and Dick the Bruiser) defeated Dominic DeNucci and Johnny Weaver when Bruiser made DeNucci submit to the Stomach Claw in 0:18:07.
Rating: ****
(Crusher & Bruiser retained the GCW World Tag Team Titles.)

Dominic DeNucci & Johnny Weaver had the chance of a lifetime as they were granted a shot at the World Tag Team Titles against the 6-time reigning champions Dick the Bruiser & The Crusher. On paper, DeNucci & Weaver are outmatched, but matches aren't wrestled on paper. DeNucci & Weaver have more heart than probably any other team in GCW, and they took Bruiser & Crusher to the limit and then some. Lou Albano was sweating as he wanted to return back across the Pacific with the tag titles still in his camp. He'd get his wish, but just barely. DeNucci missed a splash, hurting his stomach which allowed Bruiser to put on the Stomach Claw to get the submission win. Bruiser & Crusher retain the World Tag Team Titles, but they left knowing they were in a fight. It doesn't get any easier as they defend against Mr. Fuji & Toru Tanaka in 3 days time.

Giant Baba and Bruno Sammartino battled to a draw in 0:30:00.
Rating: *** 1/4
(Bruno Sammartino retained the GCW World Title.)

The main event was a tough test for World champion Bruno Sammartino as he enters the second half of his second year as the champion, taking on Giant Baba. Baba has turned into a menace in Japan and is the current Japanese champion, but he would love to add the GCW World Heavyweight Title to his collection. Baba also had the homefield advantage, which can't be stated enough how important that is. Bruno had the stamina advantage over the much larger Baba, and the champ's strategy was to hit and move to tire the giant out. That's easier said than done when your opponent is over 7 feet tall and weighs over 300 pounds. Sammartino took an epic beating throughout this match, but he somehow managed to avoid getting pinned at all costs. Bruno did just enough to wrestle Baba to a 30-minute time limit draw. Bruno knows the rules as much as anyone and he used them to the fullest to ensure he walked away still the World champion.

Card rating: *** 1/2

Match observations:

The first night of our Japanese tour was a huge success, and night two on February 8 should be just as exciting!

MAIN EVENT - Bruno Sammartino/Antonio Inoki vs. Pedro Morales/Giant Baba
WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES - Dick the Bruiser/The Crusher (c) vs. Mr. Fuji/Toru Tanaka
NON-TITLE MATCH - Wahoo McDaniel (United States champion) vs. Osamu Kido
Dominic DeNucci vs. Hiro Matsuda

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