The Many
Faces of Mutoh
Keiji Mutoh vs. Dick Murdoch
on November 9th, 1987

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

They circle each other to start, tie-up, Murdoch gets Mutoh into the ropes but he gives a clean break. Side headlock takedown by Murdoch, Mutoh gets out of it and applies a headscissors. Wristlock by Mutoh into an arm wringer, but Murdoch reverses it and goes for Mutoh's arm. They jockey for position on the mat, and Mutoh applies a hammerlock. Murdoch gets back up and gets Mutoh down but Mutoh gets into the ropes to force a break. Mutoh rolls out of the ring to re-group but returns after a moment, tie-up, side headlock by Mutoh and he applies a hammerlock. Roll-up by Mutoh but it gets a two count. Murdoch gets into the ropes and rolls out of the ring, but this time Mutoh holds the ropes for Murdoch to climb back into the ring. They go into a Test of Strength, kicks by Mutoh and he punches Murdoch into the corner. Mutoh goes for a hiptoss but Murdoch blocks it and elbows Mutoh in the head. Murdoch applies a stretch hold on the mat, Mutoh gets back to his feet and armdrags out of it, but Murdoch re-gains the advantage. Back up, arm wringer by Murdoch, but Mutoh snaps back Murdoch's leg and applies an ankle lock. Murdoch rolls out of the ring to recover but returns after a moment, Mutoh goes for a single leg takedown but Murdoch blocks it. Mutoh gets the ankle lock applied again and pulls Mutoh's leg out of the ring so that he can slam it on the apron. Kicks to the leg by Mutoh but Murdoch hits an enzigieri. Roll-up by Murdoch, but it gets a two count. Mutoh pushes Murdoch into the corner and kicks him in the leg some more. Side headlock by Murdoch but Mutoh hits a kneebreaker. Mutoh applies a leg submission but Murdoch gets out of it by kicking Mutoh in the head. Murdoch drags Mutoh's head over the apron and elbows Mutoh in the face. Another elbow by Murdoch and he pulls Mutoh out of the ring. Punch by Murdoch and they re-enter the ring, and Murdoch elbows Mutoh in the head again. Murdoch picks up Mutoh and gives him a punch, snapmare, and he gets a two count cover. Mutoh gets into the ropes to get a break, dropkick by Mutoh, he picks up Murdoch, Irish whip and he delivers the Space Rolling Elbow. Cover, but Murdoch kicks out. Another dropkick by Mutoh, snapmare, he goes up to the top turnbuckle but Murdoch rolls out of the way of the moonsault. Mutoh lands on his feet however and delivers a pair of dropkicks, Irish whip, but Murdoch elbows Mutoh in the face. Elbow to the back of the head by Murdoch, he throws Mutoh into the corner and then gives him the Calf Branding. Murdoch picks up Mutoh and nails the brainbuster, cover, and he barely gets the three count. Your winner: Dick Murdoch

Match Thoughts: I'll be honest, I was surprised that Murdoch won since his career was winding down at this point, but it was a good back and forth match. Mutoh's leg work was done well as he varied it up, and Murdoch sold it about as long as a wrestler should with medium-level limb work. Mutoh had his head and face worked over by elbows most of the match, which is what Murdoch's big moves target, so his strategy was sound as well. Nothing that will get your engine revved up as it was merely a supporting match on the event it was on, but still a very solid match. Score: 7.0

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