The Many
Faces of Mutoh
Kokushi vs. Kaz Hayashi
on July 20th, 2002

Event: All Japan "Giant Battle First"
Location:  Tokyo, Japan
Attendance:  16,300

Mutoh was imitating his friend Shinzaki throughout the match, and is decked out in full "tattoos" just like Shinzaki is when he wrestles.  Hayashi does the Mutoh rope bounce, much to the crowd's pleasure.  Waistlock by Kokushi, reversed into an arm wrench by Hayashi, but Kokushi quickly rolls out of it and applies a leg lock to Hayashi.  Hayashi tries to reverse it with a headscissors, but Kokushi avoids it and re-applies a leg submission.  Kokushi breaks the hold after Hayashi reaches the ropes, and Hayashi rolls out of the ring to regain his composure.  Back in the ring, single leg takedown by Hayashi and he crosses Kokushi's legs to apply a submission hold.  Hayashi continues pulling back on Kokushi's leg, but Kokushi gets to his feet and hits an enzigieri.  Snapmare by Kokushi and he applies a side headlock on the mat.  Hayashi slowly gets to his feet, Irish whip, but Kokushi knocks him down.  Kokushi goes off the ropes again, Hayashi drops down to the mat, but instead of jumping over him Kokushi hits the flash elbow.  Kokushi grabs Hayashi by the arm and goes up to the top turnbuckle.  He goes to walk the ropes ala Shinzaki, but Hayashi kicks the top rope and Kokushi falls off.  Hayashi then kicks Kokushi in the back while he is still straddling the top rope, sending him out of the ring.  Hayashi approaches the ropes and tries to hit a pescado down on Kokushi, but Kokushi moves out of the way.  On the outside, Kokushi Irish whips Hayashi into the guardrail.  Kokushi then gets a chair and puts it on the floor near the guardrail before grabbing Hayashi's arm.  Kokushi then proceeds to step up onto the guardrail and walk down it, before jumping off with a club to Hayashi's arm.  Kokushi tosses Hayashi back into the ring and delivers a hammerlock takedown. 

Kokushi keeps the hammerlock on, lifts Kokushi back up, and hits a thrust in the corner.  Irish whip by Kokushi to the corner, but Hayashi flips over the top turnbuckle out to the apron.  Kokushi tries to hit a shoulderblock through the ropes, but Hayashi grabs Kokushi's neck and guillotines it over the top rope.  Hayashi goes off the ropes and drops a big elbow on Kokushi.  Kokushi fires back with a punch, snapmare by Kokushi and he applies a side headlock.  Elbow to the back of the head by Kokushi and he kicks Hayashi in the gut.  Chop by Kokushi, Irish whip, but he misses a thrust and Hayashi nails a handstand springboard elbow.  Kick by Hayashi, Irish whip to the corner, and he hits Muta's handspring cartwheel elbow followed by a running facecrusher.  Backbreaker by Hayashi, he goes up top and nails a moonsault.  Cover, but Kokushi kicks out.  Hayashi goes for a kick, but Kokushi catches his leg and hits a dragon screw leg whip.  Kokushi then goes for a kick, but his leg is caught and Hayashi hits a dragon screw leg whip.  Dropkick to the knee by Hayashi, and another one, and he hits another dragon screw leg whip.  Hayashi applies the figure four leg lock, as Kokushi prays and meditates.  It seems to work, as Kokushi makes it to the ropes.  Hayashi goes for another dragon screw, Kokushi hits a thrust to block it, but Hayashi knocks him down with a spinning leg lariat.  Hayashi hits a scoop slam, goes up top again and nails a corkscrew splash.  Cover, but it only gets a two count.  Hayashi goes for a shining wizard, but Kokushi blocks it and hits a shining wizard of his own.  Praying Powerbomb by Kokushi, cover, and he gets the three count pinfall.  Your winner:  Kokushi

Match Thoughts:  Well that was surreal.  It was like Mutoh against Shinzaki, with Hayashi playing the part of Mutoh and Mutoh playing the part of Shinzaki.  Actually, the most surprising thing about this match was how much offense Hayashi got in.  Deep down you knew who would win, but Hayashi had a lot of near falls and really showed a lot of grit and emotion.  The crowd was really behind him as well, but of course not as much as they were behind Mutoh.  The "rope walk" on the guardrail was an awesome spot, and seeing Hayashi hit all of Mutoh's trademark moves was fun.  It was also interesting that while Mutoh tried to act like Shinzaki, occasionally when the match got close he would "slip" and do a Mutoh move.  A very entertaining and even match.  Score:  7.0

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