The Many
Faces of Mutoh
Keiji Mutoh and Masahiro Chono vs. Shinya Hashimoto and Kensuke Sasaki
on June 18th, 1990

Event: New Japan Pro Wrestling TV Taping
Location: Kumamoto, Japan
Announced Attendance:  Unknown

Chono and Sasaki start things off. Tie-up, Sasaki pushes Chono into the ropes and slaps him in the face before backing off. Side headlock by Sasaki, Chono Irish whips out of it but Sasaki shoulderblocks him down. Sasaki goes off the ropes but Chono catches him with a Samoan Drop. Chono goes off the ropes but Sasaki drops him with a powerslam. Chono tags in Mutoh and Sasaki tags in Hashimoto. Mutoh and Hashimoto tie-up, Hashimoto pushes Mutoh into the ropes but he gives a clean break. Tie-up, side headlock by Mutoh, Hashimoto Irish whips out of it and goes for a shoulderblock but Hashimoto doesn't go down. Tie-up and they go into a Test of Strength. Hashimoto gets the better of it and pushes Mutoh to the mat. Mutoh struggles back to his feet and gets the better of the knuckle lock, but Hashimoto muscles Mutoh up and over his back. Tie-up, side headlock by Hashimoto and he tags in Sasaki. Sasaki clubs on Mutoh and kicks him in the ribs. Irish whip by Sasaki and he delivers a dropkick. Mutoh tags in Chono, Chono and Sasaki circle each other, kick by Sasaki and he throws Chono into the corner. Irish whip by Sasaki and he delivers a dropkick followed by a running bulldog. Stomp by Sasaki and he applies a crab hold to Chono. Sasaki picks up Chono and tags in Hashimoto. Club to the back of the head by Hashimoto, Irish whip, and Hashimoto catches Chono with an elbow. Scoop slam by Hashimoto, he goes off the ropes and hits an elbow drop. Cover, but it gets a two count. Hashimoto applies a reverse chinlock and clubs Chono in the chest. Knee to the stomach by Chono, Irish whip, and Chono kicks Hashimoto in the ribs. Neck breaker by Chono and Mutoh comes off the top turnbuckle with a knee drop. Chono picks up Hashimoto and tags in Mutoh.

Double Irish whip to Hashimoto and they hit a double elbow. Snapmare by Mutoh and he hits the Flashing Elbow. A second elbow drop by Mutoh, cover, but it gets a two count. Mutoh goes for Hashimoto's arm and tries to apply the cross armbreaker, but he can't get it locked in. Mutoh tags in Chono, and Chono stomps Hashimoto in the head. Enzigieri by Chono, he picks up Hashimoto and throws him out of the ring. Mutoh greets him by throwing Hashimoto into the guard rail. Mutoh slides Hashimoto back into the ring, Chono picks him up, Irish whip by Chono but Hashimoto kicks him in the stomach. Chono catches the second kick attempt however and delivers a dragon screw leg whip. Chono applies the STF to Hashimoto, but Sasaki breaks it up. Chono goes off the ropes and he hits a forearm smash. Chono goes off the ropes but Hashimoto catches him with a heel kick. Hashimoto tags in Sasaki as Chono tags in Mutoh, Sasaki powerslams Mutoh to the mat, cover, and it gets a two count. Mutoh drives Sasaki back into the corner, Irish whip by Sasaki and Sasaki hits the Ipponzei. Cover, but Chono breaks it up. Sasaki picks up Mutoh but Mutoh gets out of the suplex attempt and hits a German suplex hold for a two count. Mutoh goes off the ropes and hits a face crusher. Mutoh picks up Sasaki, rib breaker, he goes up to the top turnbuckle and nails the moonsault. Cover, but Hashimoto breaks it up. Mutoh is distracted by Hashimoto, allowing Sasaki to hit him with a hard clothesline and tag in Hashimoto. Hashimoto waits for Mutoh to get up and kicks him in the chest. Two more kicks sends Mutoh back to the mat, then Hashimoto delivers a spinning kick. Cover, but Mutoh barely kicks out. Jumping DDT by Hashimoto, he goes off the ropes but Chono hits him from the apron. Chono comes in the ring, double Irish whip and they toss Hashimoto to the mat. Rib breaker by Mutoh to Hashimoto, and he nails the moonsault while Chono cuts off Sasaki. Cover, and he barely gets the three count! Your winners: Keiji Mutoh and Masahiro Chono

Match Thoughts: I don't think that these four could do wrong if they tried. At the time they were seen as the future of New Japan, which turned out to be pretty accurate. The win came across as a fluke, which fit with the theme of Hashimoto generally getting the better of Chono and Mutoh, but also showed that on any given day he could be defeated. Overall it was fun, nothing that will blow you away but they worked really well together and put on an entertaining tag match. Score: 6.5

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