Birthdate: January 23rd, 1938
NWA World Heavyweight Championship (Held 3 Times):
NWA International Heavyweight Championship (Held 3 Times):
NWA International Tag Team Championship with Michiaki Yoshimura:
NWA International Tag Team Championship with Antonio Inoki (Held 4 Times):
NWA International Tag Team Championship with Seiji Sakaguchi:
NWA International Tag Team Championship with Jumbo Tsuruta (Held 6 Times):
PWF Heavyweight Championship (Held 4 Times):
All-Asia Heavyweight Championship:
Giant Baba, one of the tallest wrestlers of his time period, was destined for greatness from the beginning and never disappointed. Baba had more pressure put on him during his career then one could imagine, but his almost seven foot frame was enough to handle the load. From saving puroresu after Rikidozan's sudden death to creating a new promotion that grew to become one of the most successful in the world, Giant Baba is truly one of a kind and an icon in the wrestling business.
After being trained by the great Rikidozan, Baba debuted in 1960 at the young age of 22. Sparring with his fellow trainee Inoki, Baba was groomed to lead puroresu after Rikidozan decided to retire. Unfortunately, their well planned strategy came to a sudden end when Rikidozan was murdered in 1963, pushing Inoki and Baba into the spotlight before they were ready. With Inoki, Baba persevered however and in a matter of years was not only successful in Japan but was a success in the States as well. Rarely losing and even more rarely getting pinned, Baba was a big draw wherever he traveled. During this time Baba had many feuds, but some of his best matches came against The Destroyer, one of the most respected wrestlers of the 70s. Even though he was not as good of an in-ring wrestler as Inoki, he made up for it in ring presence and a special aura that few wrestlers have ever possessed.
In 1972 things changed, and Giant Baba created a new promotion - All Japan. Due to his close ties with many promoters in the States, Baba was able to bring to Japan the best wrestlers that America had to offer, including the Funks, Bruno Sammartino, and many more. Baba himself became even stronger in the ring, and won his first NWA Heavyweight Championship in 1974 when he defeated Jack Brisco in a two out of three falls match. Baba later would battle Stan Hansen, and both would hold the PWF Championship numerous times. Baba also had exciting exchanges with the always wild Bruiser Brody, one of the most feared wrestlers of his time. Over the years not only did Baba go on to hold more NWA Championships, but Baba would win seven Champion Carnivals and over 15 tournaments overall.
In the late 1980s, realizing that his in-ring ability had diminished, Baba took on a different role for the company. Still just as popular as ever (if not more so), it would have been foolish to take Giant Baba off the card entirely. So Baba began regularly wrestling in six-man tags, allowing him to be in front of the fans but not requiring a lot of wrestling from him. In 1990, Giant Baba teamed with his fellow big man Andre the Giant, and while the two were well past their primes they put on a very entertaining show. By the 90s, Baba was barely able to take hits in the ring due to the effect of the constant abuse that he had put on his large body from 30 years of wrestling. Even though he was a shell of his former self, the All Japan crowd still loved to see him and cheered every chop and big boot he laid on his opponents.
In the late 90s, with his health fading, Giant Baba retired from the ring and concentrated on running the business side of All Japan. Unfortunately, after an operation earlier in the month, Giant Baba would die on January 31st, 1999. His death sent All Japan into a terrible tailspin, as it became clear that he had been the force holding All Japan together. Even though his death was damaging to All Japan, it did show just how important Baba had been to the company and puroresu as a whole. When considered with his fellow trainee Antonio Inoki, it is hard to find a pair of men that had a stronger impact on the wrestling business.