The Many
Faces of Mutoh
Keiji Mutoh vs. Osamu Nishimura
on July 18th, 2004

Event: All Japan "Battle Banquet"
Tokyo, Japan
Attendance: 11,500

The two shake hands to start.  They circle each other, tie-up, side headlock by Mutoh, Nishimura pushes him into the ropes, and gives a clean break (while lightly tapping him on the chest).  Another tie-up, side headlock by Nishimura, Mutoh pushes him into the ropes, clean break, and Mutoh lightly taps him on the chest, obviously mocking Nishimura.  Nishimura works his way to Mutoh's back and applies a reverse chinlock, then reverts it into a headscissors.  Mutoh rolls out of it however and applies an ankle lock on Nishimura.  Nishimura quickly reaches the ropes however, and both men are back on their feet.  Test of Strength, Mutoh gets the advantage, but Nishimura bridges back up and flips Mutoh over his head.  Tie-up, kick by Mutoh, and a side headlock takedown.  Mutoh works the submission on the mat, Nishimura struggles back to his feet, Irish whip, and Mutoh shoulder blocks Nishimura down.  Snapmare by Mutoh and he slaps on the head scissors.  Nishimura eventually manages to get his foot on the ropes however and Mutoh breaks the hold.  Both men back up again, kick by Mutoh, snapmare, and a quick elbow drop.  The headscissors is re-applied by Mutoh, Nishimura manages to get out of it, but he lightly taps Mutoh on the leg and stands back up instead of attacking him.  Mutoh rolls out of the ring to think things over before re-entering.  Uppercut by Nishimura, and then two more.  Nishimura applies the abdominal stretch, but Mutoh gets to the ropes and tosses Nishimura out of the ring.  Nishimura gets back up on the apron, gets the sunset flip, but Mutoh rolls through and delivers the Shining Wizard.  Dropkick by Mutoh to Nishimura's knee as he tries to get up, and then another one when he tries to get up again.  Mutoh then snaps off a dragon screw leg whip and applies the figure four leg lock. 

After several painful minutes for Nishimura, he goes into a mantra of some sort to ease the pain.  Mutoh then does the same thing, so both wrestlers are on their backs, not moving, while the move is still applied.  The referee (confused) untangles them so that the match can continue.  Mutoh spins up quickly and delivers another dropkick to Nishimura's knee.  Mutoh goes for another Shining Wizard, but Nishimura blocks it and gives Mutoh an enzigieri.  Nishimura then goes to the top rope and hits a knee drop to the back of Mutoh's leg.  Nishimura positions Mutoh near the turnbuckle and drops another knee on his leg.  Mutoh rolls to the outside, so Nishimura goes out to the apron and hits another knee drop to Mutoh's leg.  Not done yet, Nishimura comes off the guardrail to knee drop Mutoh in the leg once again.  Still not satisfied, he goes up to the apron and delivers a fifth knee drop to the leg of Mutoh.  Mutoh gets back in the ring, and Nishimura applies an ankle lock to Mutoh's injured leg.  Mutoh gets out of it however, gets to his feet, and the two trade punches.  Mutoh goes for a dropkick, but Nishimura catches one of his legs and applies the spinning toe hold.  Mutoh gets to the ropes though, so Nishimura backdrops Mutoh down to the mat.  Nishimura goes up to the top rope once again, goes for the knee drop, but Mutoh rolls out of the way.  Mutoh gets up quickly and hits the Shining Wizard.  Mutoh is up first and he gives Nishimura another dragon screw leg whip.  He goes for the figure four, but Nishimura reverses it into a roll-up pin for a two count.  Mutoh goes for a dragon screw leg whip, but Nishimura reverses it into another pinning situation for a two count.  This time Nishimura is up first, Irish whip, he goes for the backslide, but Mutoh flips over and nails the Shining Wizard.  One final Shining Wizard, and this time it is over.  Your winner:  Keiji Mutoh

Match Thoughts:  Well anytime you have Mutoh, you are assured that the ring psychology will be solid.  While the match seemed to drag at times, there really wasn't anything wrong with it.  Mutoh can put on a decent match without even trying, and while this match wasn't ground breaking in any way, it was a solid encounter.  Anything that is not punch-kick-punch-kick (which was never done at all in this match) is always appreciated.  Score:  6.5

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