The Many
Faces of Mutoh
Great Muta vs. Steve Austin
WCW United States Championship Challenge on April 17th, 1994

Event: WCW String Stampede 1994
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Announced Attendance: 12,200

Tie-up to start, side headlock takedown by Muta but Austin gets back to his feet. They struggle for position, Muta get the side headlock back on but Austin spins out of it. Takedown by Austin and he stomps Muta in the stomach. Side headlock by Muta, Austin Irish whips out of it but Muta applies an Abdominal Stretch. Austin reverses it but Muta quickly elbows him in the head. Tie-up, waistlock by Muta and he rolls up Austin for a two count. Muta applies a side headlock on the mat, Austin tries to get out of it but Muta gets him back down. Austin gets back up again and this time he hits a backdrop suplex. Austin goes for a vertical suplex but Muta reverses it into a vertical suplex of his own. Flashing Elbow by Muta, he picks up Austin and hits a side headlock takedown. Austin gets back up, he Irish whips out of it but Muta shoulderblocks him down. Back kick by Muta and Muta goes back to the side headlock, but Austin quickly reverses it with a headscissors. Muta gets out of it and Austin rolls out of the ring to re-group. Austin returns after a moment, roll-up by Austin but it gets a two count. Drop toehold by Austin but Muta reverses things with a hammerlock. Wristlock by Muta and he applies a side headlock, Austin Irish whips out of it and Parker trips Muta from ringside. This distracts Muta so that Austin can hit a jumping knee, knocking Muta out of the ring. Parker hits Muta at ringside until Austin comes out and rams Muta into the apron. Austin clubs Muta from the apron and throws him into the guard rail. Muta rolls back into the ring, and Austin hits a knee to Muta as he enters. Austin picks up Muta, snapmare, and Austin hits a knee drop for a two count. Austin picks up Muta and applies an abdominal stretch. Austin uses the ropes for extra leverage but the referee eventually notices and kicks him arm off. Muta hiptosses Austin to get out of it, punches by Muta, Irish whip, but Austin avoids the dropkick attempt. Austin goes up onto the second rope and hits a diving forearm drop, cover, but it gets a two count. Austin chokes Muta against the bottom rope, he then rams him into the turnbuckle. Muta blocks the second attempt however and knocks down Austin with a back kick. Irish whip by Muta and he hits a back bodydrop. Vertical suplex by Muta and he hits a standing dropkick. Muta goes up to the top turnbuckle but Austin avoids the missile dropkick attempt. Austin picks up Muta and he goes for the Hollywood and Vine, but Muta gets out of it. Austin picks up Muta, Irish whip, reversed, and Muta nails the Stun Gun. Irish whip by Muta to the corner and he hits the Space Rolling Elbow. Muta puts Austin onto the top turnbuckle and he hits the Avalanche Frankensteiner. Parker gets on the apron, but Muta knocks him off with a back kick. Austin charges Muta but Muta back bodydrops him over the top rope onto the floor, which leads to a disqualification. Your winner by DQ: Steve Austin

Post match: Muta hits a pescado out of the ring onto Austin and Parker, but the escape after that.

Match Thoughts: First of all, the crowd was super hot for Muta, who of course by this time was wrestling very rarely in WCW. Obviously the fans remembered him from each appearance and even I was surprised how popular he was. His moves such as the Avalanche Frankensteiner (which the commentators said they hadn't seen before) and kicking Parker off the apron got the loudest roars. The ending was booed heavily but I understand why they did it. They didn't want Muta to lose (perhaps New Japan had stipulated it) by normal means, but obviously he wasn't going to win the title so this was an easy way out. Plus it can be justified because they don't have that rule in New Japan. Anyway, the match itself was fine, although it took a little longer to pick-up then I would have liked and then the ending came pretty shortly soon after, but it was still a very well-fought match and both wrestlers came out of it looking as they did coming in (Muta the awesome invader, Austin the cowardly champion). Also anyone that has not seen Steve Austin pre-neck injury really needs to check out matches like this, he really was a good wrestler and more then just a brawler. Fun match for Muta's only WCW appearance in 1994. Score: 7.0

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