The Many
Faces of Mutoh
Keiji Mutoh vs. Don Frye
on April 10th, 1999

Event: New Japan "Strong Style Symphony"
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Attendance: 63,500

This match is for Mutoh's IWGP Heavyweight Championship. Mutoh attacks Frye quickly when the bell rings with a dropkick, another dropkick by Mutoh, he hits a scoop slam and delivers a moonsault! Knee lock by Mutoh, but Frye makes it to the ropes and rolls out of the ring. He eventually gets back in, takedown by Frye and he slams Mutoh to the mat. Frye applies an arm submission hold, lifts Mutoh to his feet and delivers a suplex. Mutoh is up quickly though and takes Frye back to the mat, eventually applying an ankle lock. Frye reverses it into an ankle lock of his own as the two men jockey for position on the mat. Punches to the midsection by Frye and he applies a front facelock. Mutoh struggles to his feet though and hits a dragon screw leg whip, he goes for another one, but Frye connects with a punch to the face. Frye kicks and punches Mutoh in the leg and applies a knee lock. Mutoh makes it to the ropes though and Frye eventually lets go. Frye grabs Mutoh's leg as he gets up and punches his ankle before picking him back up and kneeing him in the midsection. Mutoh catches him with a dragon screw leg whip though and then gives him another one. A third dragon screw leg whip by Mutoh and he applies the figure four leg lock. After struggling, Frye makes it to the ropes. Back up, Mutoh kicks Frye in the leg and then dropkicks it. Dragon screw leg whip by Mutoh, he goes for the figure four again, but Frye punches him in the face. Forearms by Frye, and he applies the sleeper hold with a body scissors! Eventually Mutoh makes it to the ropes, but again Frye is slow to let go of the hold. Frye picks up Mutoh and hits a series of punches before re-applying the sleeper hold, but Mutoh delivers an ipponzei to get out of it. Headbutts by Mutoh, Frye punches him back, and the two trade strikes. Mutoh suddenly hits another dragon screw leg whip and goes for the submission hold again, but Frye gets on top and hits a series of punches. Frye pulls Mutoh in the middle of the ring and delivers more mounted punches, but Mutoh catches one of his punches and slaps on the cross armbreaker! Frye has no choice but to tap out! Your winner and still champion: Keiji Mutoh

Match Thoughts: All this match had going for it was the great crowd reaction, for the action itself was average at best. To say the crowd was going nuts would be an understatement, rarely have I seen a wrestler in Japan get such a negative reaction as Frye got and the heat stayed for the entire match. The match itself was very mat based, but dull at times as it seemed like they weren't really putting a lot of effort into making the moves look real. The ending came out of no where, but it did make some sense in the mat-based style that they were wrestling. If the crowd had been dead this match would have been pretty unwatchable, but as it was it was an acceptable match. Score: 5.0

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