The Many
Faces of Mutoh
Keiji Mutoh vs. Masahiro Chono
on March 15th, 1985

Event: New Japan Pro Wrestling
Location: Yokohama Bunka Gymnasium
Attendance:  Unknown

This was Mutoh's first televised match. JIP with an elbow drop to the back by Mutoh, Irish whip and he drops Chono with a back bodydrop. Scoop slam by Mutoh and he drops a knee onto Chono's throat. Cover, but it gets a two count. Keylock by Mutoh, Chono struggles to his feet and applies a single leg crab hold into a modified bow and arrow. *clip* as they are back up, Irish whip by Mutoh and he delivers an elbow to Chono. Snapmare by Mutoh and he delivers a leg drop. Cover, but it gets a two count. Mutoh applies a crab hold, but Chono makes it to the ropes. Back up, scoop slam by Chono and he applies a reverse chinlock. Headscissors by Chono, but Mutoh gets out of it and knees Chono in the ribs. Now it is Mutoh that applies a headscissors but Chono gets a foot on the ropes. Irish whip by Chono, and he hits a back bodydrop followed by a dropkick. Irish whip by Chono to the corner and he hits a running back elbow. Chono tosses Mutoh to the mat, goes up to the second turnbuckle and delivers an elbow drop. Scoop slam by Chono, he picks up Mutoh and hits a double arm suplex for a two count. Irish whip by Chono, Mutoh sneaks in a sunset flip but it gets a two count. Mutoh throws Chono into the corner, Irish whip, and he hits his space rolling elbow. Backbreaker by Mutoh in front of the corner, he goes up top and nails the moonsault! Cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winner: Keiji Mutoh

Match Thoughts: Awww look at cute little young Mutoh and Chono. The perfect match to be his first one taped (released anyway), and it shows how much they thought of both of them. Look at Mutoh, he had debuted six months earlier and is already winning matches and hitting "big" spots like the moonsault and a space rolling elbow. Mutoh was one of the first wrestlers to use a full moonsault, and even this early in his career he hit it very well even if it wasn't the "all in one motion" smoothness that he developed later. This was probably the opener so the crowd was quite, but they did give Mutoh applause during the space rolling elbow. Chono also looked solid, and both wrestlers appeared to have the basics down pat in terms of selling, slams, etc. and were already on their way to becoming superstars. Mutoh got his push well before Chono did, but both wrestlers of course down the road would be two of the most popular wrestlers in Japan for a decade. Clipped and basic for the most part, but still fun to watch for historical value. Score: 5.5

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