The Many
Faces of Mutoh
Keiji Mutoh vs. El Canek
on January 12th, 1987

Event: New Japan Pro Wrestling
Location: Kiryu, Gunma, Japan
Attendance: Unknown

Canek attacks Mutoh as the match starts, Irish whip by Canek and he hits a back bodydrop. Canek chokes Mutoh and throws him out of the ring. Canek goes out after him and throws Mutoh into the railing before hitting him in the ribs with a steel chair. Another chair shot by Canek and he gets back into the ring. Mutoh slowly follows, stomps by Canek, Canek Irish whips Mutoh and hits a jumping lariat. Canek twists Mutoh in the ropes before the referee gets him off, Canek picks up Mutoh and applies a bear hug before dropping him and kneeing Mutoh in the stomach. Military Press Slam by Canek and he delivers a leg drop. Cover, but it gets a two count. Cobra Clutch applied by Canek into a choke hold, the referee never breaks it for some reason, Canek picks up Mutoh and chokes him more in the corner. Irish whip by Canek from the corner but Mutoh reverses it and kicks him in the stomach. Space Rolling Elbow by Mutoh, snapmare and he applies a headscissors. Punches by Mutoh scoop slam, and he hits a quick elbow drop for a two count. Snapmare by Mutoh and he applies another headscissors hold. Back up, punches by Mutoh and he delivers a back kick. Canek grabs Mutoh and rakes his eyes before punching him in the face. Leg submission hold by Mutoh and he jumps down onto Canek's leg while it is resting on the ropes. Mutoh keeps Canek's leg twisted up but Canek gets into the ropes to force a break. Mutoh picks up Canek and puts him into the Tree of Woe. Mutoh chokes Canek in the corner, single leg takedown by Mutoh and he applies a leg lock, back up, Irish whip by Canek and he delivers a lariat. Mutoh rolls out to the apron but Canek dropkicks him off the apron to the floor. Canek then gets a running start in the ring and sails out onto Mutoh with a tope suicida. Knee to the ribs by Canek and he gets back into the ring, with Mutoh slowly following him. Canek picks up Mutoh, scoop slam, he goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a diving crossbody for a two count cover. Back up, Canek puts Mutoh into an Argentine Backbreaker, but Mutoh elbows out of it. Canek picks up Mutoh, Irish whip, and Canek knees Mutoh in the stomach. Cross armbreaker by Canek but Mutoh gets out of it and elbows Canek in the chest. Dropkick by Mutoh, Irish whip, reversed, but Mutoh avoids Canek's attack and dropkicks Canek out of the ring. Mutoh then goes over to the ropes and sails out onto Canek with a pescado. Irish whip attempt by Mutoh but Canek reverses it and throws Mutoh into the guard rail. Canek returns to the ring, he grabs Mutoh as he gets on the apron and goes for a suplex, but Mutoh lands on his feet and hits a backdrop suplex. Backbreaker by Mutoh, he goes up to the top turnbuckle and nails a moonsault. Cover, but Canek kicks out at one. Mutoh quickly picks up Canek and delivers a German suplex hold, cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winner: Keiji Mutoh

Match Thoughts: Look, a Canek singles match pinfall loss. Not that it never happens, just not usually to a young up and comer. This was fun since Canek was in full heel mode - chair shots, choking, the whole nine yards. This got the crowd excited with the wily vet roughing up the popular young star, and Mutoh delivered by picking up the pinfall. Good to see Mutoh in a different environment, entertaining stuff. Score: 6.5

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