The Many
Faces of Mutoh
Keiji Mutoh and Kengo Kimura vs. Antonio Inoki and Kevin Von Erich
on November 3rd, 1986

Event: New Japan Pro Wrestling
Location: Tokyo Korakuen Hall
Attendance:  Unknown

Von Erich and Mutoh start things off. Von Erich is barefoot. Tie-up, Von Erich pushes Mutoh into the ropes but he gives a clean break. Wristlock by Von Erich but Mutoh gets out of it. They go into a Test of Strength, but Von Erich dropkicks Mutoh down. Side headlock by Mutoh and he tags in Kimura. Kimura punches Von Erich into the corner, Von Erich goofily goes for a dropkick that is hilarious before Kimura makes him tag in Inoki. Inoki pounds on Kimura in the corner and takes him to the mat but Kimura gets into the ropes. Back up, tie-up, and Kimura tags in Mutoh. Mutoh and Inoki circle each other, tie-up, headscissors by Inoki and he applies a hammerlock. Mutoh rolls up Inoki but Von Erich runs in and hits Mutoh. Inoki tags in Von Erich, scoop slam by Von Erich on Mutoh and he stomps him in the stomach. Kick by Von Erich and he rams Mutoh into the corner. Snapmare by Von Erich and he applies a bodyscissors. Von Erich tags in Inoki, Inoki and Mutoh circle each other and they go into a Test of Strength. Takedown by Inoki and he applies a front facelock before delivering a slap. Single leg takedown by Mutoh and he puts Inoki into a surfboard. Mutoh tags in Kimura, punches by Kimura but Inoki pushes him into the ropes. Single leg takedown by Inoki but Kimura reverses positions with him and applies a submission hold. Inoki tags in Von Erich, Von Erich picks up Kimura and puts him into the Tree of Woe. Stomps by Von Erich, he picks up Kimura but Kimura manages to tag in Mutoh. Mutoh picks up Von Erich, Irish whip, and Mutoh hits a back bodydrop. Elbow drop by Mutoh, he picks up Von Erich, backbreaker, Mutoh goes up to the top turnbuckle, Von Erich avoids the moonsault but Mutoh lands on his feet. Back bodydrop by Von Erich and he applies The Claw! Mutoh gets into the ropes and both wrestlers tumble out of the ring. Von Erich rams Mutoh into the ring post, severely busting open Mutoh. Von Erich puts The Claw back on and drags Mutoh into the ring, tagging in Inoki. Punches by Inoki and he kicks Mutoh to the mat. Mutoh goes for a tag but he is in the wrong corner, and Inoki tags in Von Erich. Von Erich has trouble punching Mutoh in the corner (Von Erich is horrible, by the way), but Mutoh delivers a German suplex. Von Erich recovers first, and he tags in Inoki. Scoop slam by Inoki, he goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a diving kneedrop. Inoki picks up Mutoh and gives him a hard punch to the head. Vertical suplex by Inoki, cover, but Kimura breaks it up. Von Erich runs in to send back Kimura, and then Inoki tags in Von Erich. Von Erich picks up Mutoh, but Mutoh sneaks in an inside cradle and picks up the three count! Your winners: Keiji Mutoh and Kengo Kimura

Post match: The brawl continues, for some reason apparently Inoki hates Mutoh as he continues punches him. They all brawl for literally five minutes, I wish I knew the backstory here as there had to be one. In the end Mutoh actually got the better of Inoki for what it matters, putting him in a Scorpion Deathlock until the referee finally got them all apart.

Match Thoughts: Even early in his career, Mutoh was a good bleeder. Kevin Von Erich was simply horrible and while I appreciated the humor, it didn't really match the blood hatred that everyone else was exhibiting. This is a match I think the backstory would have helped with understanding the issues between Mutoh and Inoki to explain the brawl after the match ended. But it was fun watching Mutoh tie up with Inoki, who at this point was still the top dog in New Japan (and the owner).... anytime a wrestler got ring time with him at a young age it was noteworthy. But Von Erich did bring it down with his goofiness, he had been wrestling for almost a decade and still wasn't very good, he wasn't necessary in the match. So bloody Mutoh and brawling good, Von Erich bad. Score: 6.0

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