The Many
Faces of Mutoh
Keiji Mutoh and Shiro Koshinaka vs. Nobuhiko Takada and Akira Maeda
IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship Defense on March 26th, 1987

Event: New Japan Pro Wrestling
Location: Osaka Castle Hall
Announced Attendance: 13,000

Mutoh and Koshinaka are the IWGP Heavyweight Champions. Mutoh and Takada start things off. They circle each other and both trade high kick attempts. Mutoh goes for a takedown and applies a wristlock, Takada reverses it and kicks Mutoh in the wrist. They go into a Test of Strength, and Takada suplexes Mutoh to the mat. Back up, this time Mutoh suplexes Takada and they face-off once again. Tie-up, single leg takedown by Takada and he applies a kneelock. Mutoh makes it to the ropes and tags in Koshinaka, tie-up, Takada pushes Koshinaka into the ropes and tags in Maeda. Maeda sends back Koshinaka with a kick, tie-up, Koshinaka pushes Maeda into the ropes and slaps him in the face before backing off. Tie-up, this time Maeda gets Koshinaka into the ropes and he chops Koshinaka in the chest. Kicks by Maeda and he applies a kneelock, but Koshinaka quickly gets to the ropes. Tie-up, side headlock by Koshinaka, Maeda Irish whips out of it but Koshinaka drops him with a dropkick. Koshinaka goes for a hiptoss but Maeda pushes him down and hits a bodyslam for a two count. Thigh crush by Maeda, cover, but it gets a two count. Maeda applies a keylock, snapmare, and he tags in Takada. Kicks by Takada in the corner but Koshinaka catches one and tags in Mutoh. Mutoh applies a leg lock onto Takada, Takada gets out of it and pushes Takada into the ropes before applying a side headlock. Mutoh eventually Irish whips out of it but Takada kicks him to the mat. Mutoh goes for a dropkick by Takada avoids it and kicks him down again. Body slam by Takada, cover, but it gets a two count. Takada applies a headscissors, but Mutoh gets out of it and puts Takada into a surfboard. Mutoh tags in Koshinaka, stomp by Koshinaka and he applies a reverse chinlock to Takada. Takada pushes out of it and tags in Maeda, and they kick Koshinaka down in the corner. Maeda picks up Koshinaka and hits a backbreaker, cover, but it gets a two count. Maeda applies the cross armbreaker but Mutoh sails in with a diving kneedrop to break it up. Scoop slam by Koshinaka and he hits a leg drop before re-applying the reverse chinlock. Maeda gets out of it and slams Koshinaka to the mat, cover, but Koshinaka kicks out.

Piledriver by Maeda and he makes the tag to Takada, and Takada connects with a pair of kicks. Tombstone piledriver by Takada, cover, but it gets two. Takada hits a belly to belly suplex onto Koshinaka, another cover, but again it gets two. Takada applies a leg lock to Koshinaka but Koshinaka gets out of it and they trade strikes standing back up. Heel kick by Takada cover, but it gets two. Takada goes for an enzigieri but Koshinaka ducks it and applies a single leg crab hold. Takada manages to tag in Maeda, German suplex hold by Maeda but it gets two. Koshinaka tags in Mutoh, but Maeda catches Mutoh with a spinning heel kick. Snap suplex by Maeda, cover, but it gets a two count. Maeda tags in Takada, who hits a missile dropkick. Backdrop suplex by Takada to Mutoh, cover, but again it gets two. Takada goes for an Irish whip to the corner, Mutoh reverses it and goes for the Space Rolling Elbow, but Takada steps out of the way. Mutoh avoids Takada's kick attempt, backbreaker, he goes up top and nails the moonsault. Cover, but Maeda breaks it up. Mutoh picks up Takada and delivers a German suplex hold, but Takada gets a shoulder up. Mutoh picks up Takada again and with Koshinaka they nail a spike piledriver. Cover, but Takada kicks out again. Mutoh holds Takada for Koshinaka, and Koshinaka comes off the top turnbuckle with a hip attack. Cover by Koshinaka but it gets two. Dropkick by Koshinaka to Takada, but Maeda comes in the ring and dropkicks Koshinaka. Takada grabs Koshinaka and hits a Dragon suplex hold, but Mutoh breaks it up. Takada tags in Maeda, Irish whip by Koshinaka to Maeda but Maeda avoids the dropkick. Jumping heel kick by Maeda, cover, but Mutoh breaks it up again. Maeda grabs Koshinaka and kicks Koshinaka in the chest, but Koshinaka avoids the kick in the corner and tags in Mutoh. Mutoh grabs Maeda and applies a crab hold, but Takada breaks it up. Dragon suplex hold by Maeda, but Mutoh gets a shoulder up. Maeda tags in Takada but Mutoh also tags in Koshinaka, hip attack by Koshinaka and he rolls up Takada for a two count. Waistlock by Koshinaka and he goes for another roll-up, but Takada reverses it into a Cross Kneelock. Maeda runs in to intercept Mutoh before he can break it up, and Koshinaka has no choice but to submit! Your winners and new champions: Nobuhiko Takada and Akira Maeda

Match Thoughts: I recommend everyone read the review for the same pairing a week earlier, as the ending is related to the previous match. I didn't like this match quite as much as the previous one overall, but it did have a "hotter" home stretch and I really enjoyed the ending with Takada learning from last time and catching Koshinaka when he went for a quick roll-up pin. Takada was beaten down pretty good and Mutoh was absolutely on fire during the entire match. Takada and Maeda were a bit drab at times and weren't matching Mutoh's intensity however, and even after they won it seemed to take a second for them to react, almost like someone had to remind them to look excited. But still a really good match, watching a young and hungry Mutoh is really fun. Score: 6.5

Back to Match Reviews

Visit Puroresu Central!