First announced on WWE’s The Bump on Wednesday afternoon, Japanese legend The Great Muta will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame on 3/31/23, joining Rey Mysterio.
Ric Flair, who will induct Muta into the Hall of Fame, stated on The Bump, “He’s a tremendous guy, a tremendous athlete, a great person, a great man,” and went on to say Muta has a special place in his heart due working with his late son Reid In Japan during his time in All Japan Pro Wrestling.
Keiji Muto, aka The Great Muta, recently completed a retirement tour where he wrestled his last match. The tour included a match against Shinsuke Nakamura on New Year’s Day for Pro Wrestling NOAH. Many assume WWE allowed Nakamura to work the show in exchange for Muta entering the Hall of Fame.
Keiji Muto wrestled his final match as The Great Muta on January 22, teaming with Darby Allin & Sting in a six-man tag team match. His final match as Muto occurred last month, where he faced Tetsuya Naito, followed by a last showdown with Masahiro Chono.
The Great Muta’s induction into the Hall of Fame is well deserved. My introduction to Muta occurred in 1989 during his feud with Sting in the NWA/WCW. It was highly engaging to watch what was akin to a colorful real-life wrestling ninja exhibiting a style that was absent in WWE. Sure, he was a heel, but who cares. Ninjas we’re cool to every 8 year old in the ’80s.
I never thought I’d get a chance to see The Great Muta wrestle live. That changed in 2019 during WrestleMania weekend. My wife made the trek to New York with me to see the ROH/NJPW G1 Supercard event at MSG.
One of the many independent shows throughout the city during the weekend featured a rare statewide wrestling match with The Great Muta. Now, our hotel was practically next to MSG, but the venue where Muta was appearing was 45 minutes away.
One very expensive cab ride later, we arrived at a nightclub in a rundown neighborhood. Don’t judge a book by its cover because it was popping off inside with great wrestling action.
Muta, known for his elaborate costumes, teamed with Pentagon & Tajiri to defeat Low Ki and LAX in a six-man tag team match. Muta was long past his prime with worn knees. It didn’t matter, though. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see a true legend hone his craft inside the squared circle.
Another expensive cab ride back to our hotel, and it was time to make our short trip to the Garden for G1 Supercard. We grabbed our seats as the Honor Rumble began (Think Royal Rumble). Kenny King and Minoru Suzuki were the first two entrants, and every 90 seconds, another wrestler entered the Rumble.
Wrestler after wrestler ran down the aisle according to the number they drew. The countdown reached zero, and the final entrant’s music blared throughout the arena. It was an unannounced competitor who I had seen before.
It was The Great Muta…
While it was a pleasant surprise to see Muta in the Garden, my wife and I would have saved a lot of money on cab fare if we knew he was wrestling on a show we were already attending…LOL.
That’s the crazy thing about this business. You never know what you’re going to get. I went from thinking I’d never see Muta live to seeing him wrestle twice in under 24 hours.
Congratulations to The Great Muta on entering the WWE Hall of Fame!