The Many
Faces of Mutoh
Great Muta vs. Ric Flair
on December 13th, 1989

Event: WCW Starrcade "Future Shock"
Location: Atlanta, GA
Announced Attendance: 6,000

Match starts with a side headlock by Muta, a punch to the chest, and quick kicks in the corner.  Irish whip by Muta into the turnbuckle, and he followed Flair with a Space Rolling Elbow.  Flash Elbow by Muta, and a kick to the head.  Flair fights back with chops to the chest, and an atomic drop.  Another chop by Flair, a knee breaker, and the figure four leg drop.  Sawyer and the Dragon Master come down to help Muta, but Ole and Arn cut them off and they begin to brawl outside the ring.  In the ring, Muta gets out of the figure four, goes for the moonsault off the top, but Flair gets his knees up.  Quick inside cradle by Flair, and he gets the surprising three count.  Your winner:  Flair

Match Thoughts:  This did not sit well with me, and I will tell you why.  Coming into his match, Muta was undefeated in the NWA/WCW, a fact they repeated a few times.  Now I know that he was leaving for Japan soon, but couldn't they have found a better way to make him lose his first match?  For Flair to win with an inside cradle in two minutes to be Muta's first loss since debuting last March is ridiculous.  I think it would have made more sense to have Muta at least win the first match, so that when he was defeated later in the tournament it would be more special and something worth talking about.  Not to mention anytime you have two great wrestlers facing off one on one for the first time, a two minute match is a big let-down. I know a short match might have been necessary since both wrestlers had two more matches, so in many ways it was the flaw in the tournament structure that led to this abortion of a match.  Score: 3.0 

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