The Many
Faces of Mutoh
Great Muta vs. Hulk Hogan
on May 3rd, 1993

Event: New Japan "Wrestling Dontaku"
The Location: Fukuoka Dome
Attendance: 55,000 Fans

This is a non-title match, and is IWGP Heavyweight Champion versus WWF Heavyweight Champion. Muta spits green mist into the air to start the match and signals that he is going to kill Hogan. Yay! Tie-up, and Hogan does a nifty takedown to apply an armbar to Muta. Muta gets to the ropes however and Hogan breaks the hold. Muta goes out to the ramp to think things over but after a moment he gets back into the ring. Tie-up again, side headlock by Hogan and he gives Muta a drop toehold followed by a headlock. Muta struggles to his feet and pushes Hogan in the corner before giving a clean break. Tie-up, and again Hogan takes Muta to the mat before applying an arm submission hold. Muta rolls out of it, wristlock by Hogan, but Muta pushes Hogan into the corner and gives him a shoulder tackle. Another shoulder tackle by Muta, but he then lets Hogan out of the corner. Tie-up, Hogan pushes Muta into the corner and knees him in the stomach. Irish whip by Hogan and he connects on a running lariat. Irish whip by Hogan, but Muta rolls out of the way of the clothesline and dropkicks Hogan. Another dropkick by Muta, and Hogan rolls out of the ring. After a moment Hogan gets back into the ring, tie-up, and Muta rakes Hogan in the eyes. Snapmare by Muta and he delivers the Flash Elbow. Cover, but it gets another two count. Muta applies an armbar to Hogan, Hogan struggles to his feet, but Muta applies a wristlock. Hogan reverses it though and gives Muta another drop toehold followed by an arm submission hold. With Muta's arm in a hammerlock, Hogan releases it and rolls Muta up, but Muta gets a foot on the bottom rope. Muta gets out of the ring and rolls underneath it, before appearing on the other side. He then gets back in with Hogan, kick to the stomach by Muta and he chops Hogan in the chest. Another chop by Muta, and Hogan falls out of the ring. The two trade punches outside the ring, but Hogan gains the advantage with a vertical suplex. Hogan throws Muta over the railing into the crowd before slamming his head into a row of chairs. Backdrop suplex by Hogan back at ringside and he gets back inside the ring. Muta gets back in at around 15, but immediately rolls back out. Hogan goes out after him and tries to throw him into the ring post, but Muta reverses it and Hogan eats steel. Muta throws Hogan into another ring post before grabbing the (wooden) ring bell from ringside and tucking it into his pants. Back in the ring he takes it out and clocks Hogan with it before putting it in his mouth to hide it from the referee. He hits Hogan with it again, but this time the referee grabs it and throws the object out of the ring. Snapmare by Muta, and he applies a reverse chinlock. Muta then throws Hogan out to the ramp, hits a suplex, runs ALL the way up the ramp, and then runs ALL the way back to lariat Hogan back into the ring (their arms get stuck in the ropes, but the referee frees them). Hogan fights back with a series of punches, the referee gets in his way, so he shoves him down. More punches by Hogan and he rakes Muta in the eyes. He then goes for a kick, Muta catches his leg, but Hogan hits the enzigieri. Cover by Hogan, but Muta immediately kicks out. Hogan punches Muta into the corner, Irish whip, reversed, and Muta nails his cartwheel elbow strike. Scoop slam by Muta, he goes to the top turnbuckle and delivers the moonsault. Cover, but Hogan barely kicks out. Angry, Muta dropkicks Hogan out of the ring and takes him back down the aisle into the railing. Muta then grabs a ladder that hangs from the ceiling, gets on the ramp with it, and swings down onto Hogan (craziness). Hogan makes his way back towards the ring and Muta follows him with a chair. Chair shot by Muta, and he slides back in the ring with it. The referee tries to get the chair from him, allowing Hogan to hit an Axe Bomber. Hogan then gets the chair from the referee, but Muta blows mist in his face as he goes to use it! Snapmare by Muta, he goes to the top turnbuckle, but Hogan is up and he side steps the attack. Leg Drop by Hogan, cover, but Muta kicks out at two! Hogan picks up Muta, Irish whip, he hits the big boot, and follows with another Axe Bomber! Cover, and he picks up the three count! Your winner: Hulk Hogan

Post match: Hogan gives his famous speech where he says that the WWF Heavyweight Championship is just a toy, and that the belt that he wants is the IWGP Heavyweight Championship because it is the real belt. He says that he doesn't want to do "bullshit" anymore and actually wrestle in Japan. Ouch!

Match Thoughts: If anyone reading this has never seen Hogan wrestle in Japan, then you are really missing out on seeing the "real" Hogan. Enzigieris, drop toeholds, real submission holds, real takedowns, a real finisher... its unreal the difference between his wrestling style in the States and his wrestling style in Japan. This is a great example of Hogan knowing what he has to do to stay popular. In America, nothing was required of him in-ring wise, so that is what he gave. But people see that and make the mistake of assuming he didn't know how to wrestle. Hogan is no Ultimate Warrior. Hogan knows how to wrestle, unfortunately he only showed that skill in Japan since in Japan they expect more then just theatrics. I also loved Hogan's post-match interview where he basically says that all he does in the WWF is "bullshit" and that the IWGP Heavyweight Championship is the real belt.

As for the match itself, I was not upset that Hogan came in and beat the IWGP Heavyweight Champion. I mean he was the WWF Heavyweight Champion at the time, and there was no way in hell that McMahon would allow his champion to lose to an outside wrestler. He also gave Muta a whole lot of offense, so it wasn't a squash in any way. The fact he kicked out of the moonsault isn't that big of a deal either, since a lot of big name wrestlers have done that (and besides, Muta kicked out of the leg drop). While the match had its slow points as all Muta matches tend to, and there wasn't really much psychology, it was still really fun to watch. I admit to being a big Muta fan, but I enjoyed this match more then I have enjoyed a few of his past matches I have recently reviewed (Muta/Inoki and Muta/Sapp come to mind). It was fun, it was intense, and the crowd loved it. With these two you don't expect a technical masterpiece, but what they gave was more then enough to put on an entertaining brawl. To date this is one of my favorite Hogan matches ever. Score: 7.5

Back to Reviews

Visit Puroresu Central!