Keiji Mutoh
also known as the Great Muta and Kokushi

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Birthdate:  December 23rd, 1962
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 245 lbs.
Debut:  March 15th, 1985 vs. Masahiro Chono
Background:  Trained in the New Japan Dojo
Promotion History: New Japan (1984 to 2001), All Japan (2002 to 2013), and WRESTLE-1 (2013 to present)
Previously:  Kokushi Muso
Alliances: All Japan Army 
Ring Attire:  Black tights
Card Position:  Upper Mid-Card/Main Event
Tournaments Won: G1 Climax (1995), G1 Tag League (1993, 1994, 1997, 1998, and 1999), Real World Tag League (2001, 2007, and 2009) and the Champion Carnival (2002, 2004, and 2007)
Current Title Held: All Japan World Tag Team Championship 

Championship History:

IWGP Heavyweight Championship:
- Defeated Riki Choshu on 8/16/92 and lost to Shinya Hashimoto on 9/20/93
- Defeated Shinya Hashimoto on 5/3/95 and lost to Nobuhiko Takada on 1/4/96
- Defeated Scott Norton on 1/4/99 and lost to Genichiro Tenryu on 12/10/99
- Defeated Shinsuke Nakamura on 4/27/08 and lost to Hiroshi Tanahashi on 1/4/09

IWGP Tag Team Championship with Shiro Koshinaka:
- Defeated Maeda and Takada on 3/20/87 and lost to Maeda and Takada on 3/26/87

IWGP Tag Team Championship with Masahiro Chono:
- Defeated Saito and Hashimoto on 4/27/90 and lost to Hase and Sasaki on 11/1/90
- Defeated Sasaki and Yamazaki on 10/19/97 and Vacated on 5/7/98

IWGP Tag Team Championship with Hiroshi Hase:
- Defeated Rick Steiner and Norton on 11/5/91 and lost to Vader and Bigelow on 3/1/92
- Defeated Hawk Warrior and Power Warrior on 11/25/94 and Vacated on 5/11/95

IWGP Tag Team Championship with Taiyo Kea:
- Defeated Fujinami and Nishimura on 10/28/01 and Vacated on 2/1/02

All Japan Triple Crown:
- Defeated Genichiro Tenryu on 6/8/01 and lost to Toshiaki Kawada on 2/24/02
- Defeated Genichiro Tenryu on 10/27/02 and lost to Shinya Hashimoto on 2/23/03
- Defeated Suwama on 9/28/08 and lost to Yoshihiro Takayama on 3/14/09

All Japan World Tag Team Championship with Taiyo Kea:
- Defeated Genichiro Tenryu and Anjo on 10/22/01 and lost to Kronik on 7/17/02

All Japan World Tag Team Championship with Arashi:
- Defeated Kojima and Yang on 6/8/03 and lost to Kojima and Hayashi on 1/18/04

All Japan World Tag Team Championship with Joe Doering:
- Defeated Kojima and TARU on 1/3/08 and lost to Suzuki and Kea on 6/28/08

All Japan World Tag Team Championship with Masakatsu Funaki:
- Defeated Suzuki and Kea on 1/3/10

NWA Heavyweight Championship:
- Defeated Masahiro Chono on 1/4/93 and lost to Barry Windham on 2/21/93

WCW World Tag Team Championship with Vampiro:
- Defeated Kronik on 8/13/00 and lost to Misterio Jr. and Guerrera on 8/14/00

NWA Television Championship:
- Defeated Sting on 9/3/89 and lost to Arn Anderson on 1/2/90

Biggest Matches:
- September 3rd, 1989 vs. Sting (title win)
- August 11th, 1991 vs. Masahiro Chono (tournament final)
- August 16th, 1992 vs. Riki Choshu (title win)
- May 1st, 1994 vs. Antonio Inoki
- June 8th, 2001 vs. Genichiro Tenryu (title win)
- April 27th, 2008 vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (title win)
- September 28th, 2008 vs. Suwama (title win)
- August 30th, 2009 with Funaki vs. Chono and Suzuki (anniversary match)

- Hirooki Goto gets the mist!
- Muta poses with Tajiri
- Darkness Muta!
- As Kokushi Mutoh
- With Great Bono
- Muta with a Shining Wizard
- The Great Muta in August of 2007
- A moonsault by Muta
- While teaming with Sting, Mutoh wears Sting's face paint

Featured Signature Moves:
- Dragon Screw Neck Whip
- Moonsault
- Original Shining Wizard
- Poison Mist
- Shining Wizard

Other Signature Moves:
- Dragon Screw Leg Whip
- Dropkick to the Knee
- Evasion Dropkick
- Figure Four Leglock
- Flash Elbow
- Frankensteiner
- Muta Lock
- Overhead Kick
- Pescado
- Shining Wizard from Behind

Career History:
written by Charles Schaeffer

Keiji Mutoh was born on December 23rd, 1962 in Fujiyoshida, Yamanishi, Japan. Mutoh throughout school was an amateur wrestler and a student of Judo, even competing in a few competitions. Once he was able he went to try out in the New Japan Pro Wrestling Academy. He was quickly chosen for showing both great speed and technical abilities. He was placed under the guidance of Hiro Matsuda, and on October 5th, 1984 he made his professional debut against future rival Masahiro Chono. He would win his first title, the NWA Florida Heavyweight Championship, as the White Ninja on May 21st, 1986. He would only hold the title for less than a month. On March 20th, 1987, Mutoh would win his first tag team championship when he, and Shiro Koshinaka, defeated Akira Maeda and Nobuhiko Takada in a Tag Team Title League for the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship. They would only hold the titles for a few days before Maeda and Takada would win them back. After the title loss he appeared as another character known as the "Space Lone Wolf" for a short stint. He would eventually drop the Space character before making his way back to the U.S. and Puerto Rico, as the Super Black Ninja.

In Puerto Rico he would go on to wrestle in the WWC "World Wrestling Council," and he would win both their Television and Tag Team titles. In the U.S. he would wrestle for WCCW "World Class Championship Wrestling," even having a small feud with Kevin Von Erich. He would start to become a recognized character and was asked to come join the NWA where he would become the Great Muta, as he was originally gimmicked as the son of the Great Kabuki whom he resembled with his face paint and Asian Mist. On September 3rd, 1989, he would win the NWA World Television Championship from Sting. He would hold the title till January 2nd, 1990, when he would lose to Arn Anderson. After the loss he made his way back to Japan to wrestle in NJPW. Back in NJ he would team with Masahiro Chono, and on April 27th, 1990, they would win the IWGP Tag Team Championship from Shinya Hashimoto and Masa Saito. They would hold on to the titles until November 4th, 1990, when they would lose to Hiroshi Hase and Kensuke Sasaki. In 1991, he, along with Chono and Hashimoto, began to start making a lasting name for themselves and they were called the future aces of the sport. They would end up being labeled the Three Musketeers of New Japan. Mutoh would win the IWGP Tag Team Titles again on November 5th, 1991 when he, and Hiroshi Hase, defeated Rick Steiner and Scott Steiner's substitute Scott Norton. They would hold the titles till March 1st, 1992, when they lost to Bam Bam Bigelow and Vader.

On August 16th, 1992, Mutoh, as the Great Muta, would defeat Riki Choshu for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. During his first reign Mutoh underwent one of the bloodiest matches when he got cut during a confrontation with Hiroshi Hase, and left himself forever scarred. This incident at the end of 1992 is considered to be so bloody that it has even invented a comparison rating known as the "Muta Scale." On January 4th, 1993, Mutoh would win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship when he defeated Masahiro Chono, but it would be short lived when a little over a month later he would lose the NWA Heavyweight Title to Barry Windham. He would continue to carry the IWGP title though, and in the process defended it against Chono, Hashimoto, and Sting. He would hold the title for over a year until Shinya Hashimoto would finally defeat him on September 20th, 1993. In November of 1993, Mutoh and Hase would win the Super Grade Tag League when they beat Norton and Hercules Hernandez. Mutoh would seem to be a top contender for 1994 G1 Climax, but Yoshiaki Fujiwara would eliminate him. On October 30th, 1994, Mutoh and Hase won the Super Grade Tag League again when they defeated Chono and Super Strong Machine. Then on November 25th, 1994, Mutoh won the IWGP Tag Team Titles once again, with Hiroshi Hase, when they defeated the Hell Raisers.

Mutoh would then get his revenge on Hashimoto on May 3rd, 1995, when he finally defeated him for the IWGP Championship. After he won the title he relinquished his Tag Team Championship to focus solely on his Heavyweight Title run. On August 15th, 1995, Mutoh finally won the G1 Climax when he defeated Hiroshi Hase in the finals. Mutoh would go on to keep the title around his waist for nearly five more months, but the persistent Nobuhiko Takada finally was able to defeat him on January 4th, 1996. Mutoh would go on to fight Chono and his wolf army, which later formed nWo Japan, even though as Mutoh he disliked Chono his alter-ego Muta was a member of the nWo. Mutoh would turn completely to the nWo on September 23rd, 1997, when instead of turning on the nWo he instead turned on Kensuke Sasaki and Kazuo Yamazaki. Mutoh, along with Masahiro Chono, would win the IWGP Title on October 19th, 1997. They would dominate and hold on to the titles for months, but on May 7th, 1998, they would be forced to vacate the titles after Mutoh suffered a knee injury.

Mutoh would take it easy for the remainder of the year, but on January 4th, 1999, Mutoh would defeat Scott Norton for the IWGP Heavyweight Title. He also started feuding with Chono over the nWo name at this time as both of them saw themselves as the rightful owner of the group's name. Chono would branch out and create Team 2000 with Don Frye, nWo Sting, and others against Mutoh, Tenzan, and Satoshi Kojima. During this feud he also went on to defend his IWGP Championship against Sasaki, Manabu Nakanishi, and he even submitted the very skilled MMA fighter Don Frye. He would finally lose the title to Genichiro Tenryu on December 10th, 1999. In early 2000, Mutoh and Chono's feud would finally end, for the time being, when Chono defeated Mutoh in April. Even with the loss Mutoh got a chance to win back the heavyweight title, but he would be defeated by the Power Warrior.

After the loss Mutoh would head back to the U.S. to join WCW. Back in the states, as the Great Muta, he joined with Vampiro and his group. On August 18th, 2000, he feuded with Earnest Miller and lost against him, but on the same night he and Vampiro won the WCW Tag Team Titles from Kronik. The victory would be only short lived, as they would lose the titles the next night to Rey Mysterio, Jr. and Juventud Guerrera. Muta would eventually start feuding with Vampiro and even Sting, leading up to WCW's Fall Brawl PPV where Sting defeated both of them in a triangle match. After that he had enough of the WCW stint and he headed back to NJPW. His comeback came with a whole new look, a shaved head and a goatee. He made his return on January 4th, 2001, with Shinjiro Ohtani against Nakanishi and Liger, whom they defeated rather quickly. On March 18th, 2001, during his first singles match back he introduced a new move that he created called "The Shining Wizard." He also created a new group known as BATT "Bad Ass Translate Trading" with Ohtani, Don Frye, Jinsei Shinzaki, and Taiyo Kea. On June 8th, 2001, Mutoh won the AJPW Triple Crown for the first time when he defeated Genichiro Tenryu. Then on October 22nd, 2001, he, along with Taiyo Kea, won the AJPW World Tag Team Championship. To add onto them, just days later, they would win the IWGP Tag Team Titles as well. On February 12th, 2002, Mutoh and Kea would lose the IWGP Tag Team Titles due to him leaving NJPW and going to AJPW full time. Just days later he would lose the AJPW Triple Crown to Toshiaki Kawada on February 24th, 2002. A month later Kawada would suffer a knee injury, but Mutoh lost to Tenryu during the Grand Champion Carnival. On July 17th, 2002, Mutoh and Kea lost the AJPW World Tag Team Titles to Brian Adams and Bryan Clark.

In September of 2002, Mutoh was appointed president of AJPW, and was given control of Giant Baba's stock. Then on October 27th, 2002, Mutoh, as the Great Muta, he would get his revenge on Tenryu when defeated him and took back the Triple Crown Championship. He would be successful at keeping the belts around his waist till February 23rd, 2003, when Hashimoto defeated him. On June 8th, 2003, Mutoh, along with Arashi, won the AJPW World Tag Team Titles from Satoshi Kojima and Jimmy Yang during the Tournament finals of Super Power Series tour. They would keep the titles for around six months when they lost them to Kojima and Kaz Hayashi. In December of 2003, Mutoh made his return to the U.S. and competed in Ring of Honor for an inter-promotional event. In April of 2004 he won the Champion's Carnival once more when he defeated Takao Omori in the semi-finals, and Kensuke Sasaki in the finals.

2005 Recap:
For one of the first times in his career, Mutoh took a back seat and had a relatively quiet year.  At the Champions Carnival, Mutoh came 4th place in his bracket, a year after he won the tournament in 2004.  He spent much of the spring into the summer battling the Voodoo Murderers, including a singles feud against TARU.  He also got a shot at Kojima's Triple Crown, but came up short.  In the fall, he brought Akebono into All Japan and together they teamed up through the Real World Tag League, where they would reach the finals before falling to Team 3-D.

2006 Recap:
Another solid year for Mutoh, even though his physical condition continues to worsen as he gets older. Mutoh (as Great Muta) got a shot at the Triple Crown on March 10th, but was defeated by Kojima. He also participated in the Champion Carnival, but he did not make the semi-finals when he was beaten by Buchanan after being tired by a series of long matches. On August 27th, Great Muta would defeat Tajiri in their first ever encounter. Mutoh also fought in the Real World Tag League, teaming with Kawada to come in 3rd place in the tournament.

2007 Recap:
2007 saw Mutoh regain his old form and become a serious title contender once again. In the Champion Carnival, Mutoh defeated Kea on the final day to win his block, and then beat Toshiaki Kawada in the Finals to win his first Champion Carnival since 2004. This earned him a chance to challenge his arch rival Minoru Suzuki for the Triple Crown, which Mutoh did on July 1st. Unfortunately for Mutoh, Suzuki would win a close match and retain his title. In December, Mutoh teamed with newcomer Joe Doering to win the Real World Tag League for the 2nd time in his career. In doing so, Mutoh became the first wrestler to win the Real World Tag League and the Champion Carnival in the same year since Satoshi Kojima in 2003.

2008 Recap:
At the age of 45, Mutoh had one of the best years of his career in 2008, winning Wrestler of the Year in the 2008 Tokyo Sports Awards and was voted the MVP of 2008 in the Puroresu Central Awards. The awards were well deserved as he became only the second wrestler in history to hold both the IWGP Heavyweight Championship and All Japan Triple Crown at the same time (although they were under different gimmicks). His year began with a win over Hirooki Goto at the New Japan Tokyo Dome event on January 4th. This led to him getting a shot at the IWGP Heavyweight Championship on April 27th against Shinsuke Nakamura, and Mutoh shocked the world when he pinned the champion to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship for the first time since 1999! In the Champion Carnival, Mutoh was in it until the end but a loss to Toshiaki Kawada on the last day kept him out of the semi-finals. Back in New Japan, Mutoh dominated for the rest of 2008, and successfully defended the title against Nakanishi, Goto, Makabe, and finally Nakamura again in October. Mutoh became a four crown champion on September 28th, when as Great Muta he defeated Suwama to win the All Japan Triple Crown for the third time. He successfully defended the title once in 2008, defeating old nemesis Minoru Suzuki on November 3rd. Besides his singles success, Mutoh won the All Japan World Tag Team Championship with Doering on January 3rd, but he was so busy with his singles matches that the title wasn't defended until they dropped the belts to Taiyo Kea and Minoru Suzuki in the summer. In the Real World Tag League, Mutoh teamed with rookie Ryota Hama, and while Mutoh wasn't ever pinned the team came in 5th. Mutoh ended the year still holding both the IWGP Heavyweight Championship and All Japan Triple Crown, showing that with age only comes excellence and cementing himself as one of the greatest wrestlers of his generation.

2009 Recap:
There was no way that Mutoh's 2009 could match his 2008 in terms of success, and it didn't take long for him to come crashing back down to reality. First, Mutoh lost the IWGP Heavyweight Championship to Hiroshi Tanahashi in the main event of the Tokyo Dome on January 4th. He lost his Triple Crown not much longer, as on March 14th, 2009 he was defeated by Yoshihiro Takayama. But he still was among the cream of the crop in All Japan, as in the Champion Carnival he won his block before losing to Minoru Suzuki in the semi-finals. On June 10th during the Mutoh Festival, for the second time in his career he wrestled in three matches as three different wrestlers (himself, Kokushi, and Muta), winning all three. Even more significantly it was announced that Masakatsu Funaki would be returning to professional wrestling on August 30th to team with Mutoh in his 25th Anniversary match (a match they won). In the Real World Tag League, Mutoh teaming with Funaki, and thanks in part to illnesses to their opponents they defeated Kono and Suwama in the Finals to take home the crown. While championship-wise, 2009 was a down year for Mutoh compared to 2008, he still won a tournament and celebrated his 25th Anniversary in front of a packed house in Sumo Hall so it was still a year to celebrate for the old timer.

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