The Many
Faces of Mutoh
Keiji Mutoh and Nobuhiko Takada vs. Kengo Kimura and Tatsumi Fujinami
on November 30th, 1987

Event: New Japan Television Event
Location: Oita, Japan
Announced Attendance: Unknown

This match was part of the New Japan Tag League, the current G1 Climax Tag League. JIP, as Fujinami has Mutoh in a leg submission. Mutoh gets to the ropes to break it up, they circle each other, waistlock by Mutoh and he applies an abdominal stretch. Fujinami hiptosses out of it, and he tags in Kimura. Mutoh and Kimura circle each other, side headlock by Mutoh, Kimura Irish whips out of it but Mutoh shoulderblocks him down. Snapmare by Mutoh and he applies a head scissors, but Kimura makes it to the ropes. Back up they tie-up, and Mutoh flips Kimura to the mat. Mutoh tags in Takada, double Irish whip and Kimura is hit with a double chop. Kicks by Takada but Kimura catches one and tags in Fujinami. Fujinami punches on Takada, side headlock by Fujinami but Takada shoulderblocks him down. Takada avoids a Takada dropkick and pushes him down to the mat. Fujinami picks up Takada, he goes for a suplex, but Takada blocks it and applies an armbar. Takada tags in Mutoh, and they drop Fujinami with a spike piledriver. Vertical suplex by Takada, he tags in Mutoh, Mutoh applies a full nelson but Fujinami reverses it. Fujinami tags in Kimura, and Mutoh punches Kimura as he comes in the ring. Dropkick by Mutoh, Irish whip, and he hits a back bodydrop. Reverse chinlock by Mutoh, Kimura reverses it with a hammerlock, Mutoh gets out of it and hits a dropkick to Kimura. Irish whip by Kimura, Mutoh goes for a sunset flip but Kimura blocks it. Kimura tags in Fujinami, and Fujinami knocks down Mutoh with a dropkick. Mutoh tags in Takada, Takada goes for high kicks but Fujinami blocks them. Tombstone piledriver by Takada, cover, but it gets a two count. Takada goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a missile dropkick, cover, but it gets two. Fujinami snaps off a backdrop suplex, Takada recovers first and hits a series of kicks, and Takada tags in Mutoh. Kicks to the leg by Mutoh and he yanks back onto Fujinami's leg. Rib breaker by Mutoh, he goes to the top turnbuckle but Fujinami is up and pulls him off. Fujinami goes for a diving kneedrop, but Mutoh moves out of the way. Mutoh applies the figure four leglock to Fujinami, but Fujinami reverses it so Mutoh has to release the hold. Mutoh tags in Takada, and Takada applies the figure four to Fujinami as well. Takada yanks on Fujinami's leg, Irish whip by Takada and Takada hits a spinning heel kick. Cover, but it gets a two count. Takada goes back to the figure four leglock and he tags in Mutoh. Mutoh kicks Fujinami in the leg and snaps back on it before going for the figure four again, but Fujinami rolls him up for a two count. Mutoh twists on Fujinami's ankle and tags in Takada.

They both pull on Fujinami's legs, snapmare by Takada and he applies a cross kneelock. Kimura comes in the ring to break it up, but Takada tags in Mutoh and they yank on Fujinami's legs again. Now it is Mutoh that applies the cross kneelock, he drags Fujinami back to his corner and tags in Takada. Kicks to the leg by Takada and he applies a single leg crab hold. Kimura breaks it up, but Takada re-applies it when Kimura leaves the ring. Fujinami gets to the ropes to force the break, kicks by Takada but Fujinami catches one and knocks him to the mat. Fujinami tags in Kimura, and Kimura delivers a double armed suplex for a two count. Kimura picks up Takada and nails a jumping piledriver. Kimura applies a modified Scorpion Deathlock but Mutoh breaks it up. Kicks to the chest by Kimura to Takada and he slaps Takada against the ropes. Kicks by Kimura, but Takada fires back with a kick of his own. Irish whip by Takada but Kimura avoids the dropkick. Kimura picks up Takada, Irish whip, and he delivers the Inazuma Leg Lariat. Cover, but Mutoh breaks it up again. Kimura grabs Mutoh and with Fujinami they hit a spike piledriver. Fujinami hits a suplex onto Takada, cover, but Mutoh breaks up the pin. Next Fujinami hits a backdrop suplex, cover, but once again Mutoh is there to break it up. Scoop slam by Fujinami and he applies the Scorpion Deathlock. Predictably, Mutoh breaks it up. Fujinami picks up Takada, Irish whip, but Takada kicks Fujinami in the chest. More kicks by Takada and he tags in Mutoh. Irish whip by Mutoh and he delivers a dropkick. Rib breaker by Mutoh, he goes up top but Fujinami gets his knees up when he goes for the moonsault. Cover by Fujinami, but Takada breaks it up. Fujinami tags in Kimura while Mutoh tags in Takada. Takada kicks Kimura against the ropes, he charges him, but he his hiptossed by Kimura out of the ring. Mutoh runs in the ring and dropkicks Kimura out of the ring before sailing out onto him with a pescado. Meanwhile, Fujinami removes the mat from ringside and tries to piledrive Takada onto the exposed floor, but Takada reverses it with a back bodydrop. He rolls back into the ring just as the referee is reaching the 20 count, and Kimura doesn't make it back in the ring on time! Your winners by Count Out: Keiji Mutoh and Nobuhiko Takada

Match Thoughts: This was an upset at the time, which is why Mutoh/Takada were so excited to win via countout. Kimura and Fujinami would go on to win the New Japan Tag League, so they were the favored and dominate team in this matchup. Anyway this was a great match, they kept the action going so fast at times I had trouble keeping up with the play by play. Mutoh and Takada did a number on Fujinami, but once Kimura came in the ring it was the young guys trying to survive as Mutoh had to save Takada over and over from being defeated. But the young team "lucked out" in a way, but still managed to sneak out the victory against the superior team. Overall just a fun match that kept the pace up and was an entertaining back and forth from start to finish. Score: 7.5

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