The Many
Faces of Mutoh
Keiji Mutoh, Mil Mascaras, and Dos Caras vs. Abdullah, Hamada, and Gran Naniwa
on July 20th, 2002

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

Whoa.  Now I have officially seen everything... what a random mixture of (mostly old) stars.  This is Mutoh's second match of the night.  Caras and Hamada start things off.  They play with the crowd for a bit, trying to get the most cheers.  Finally they tie-up, Hamada gets Caras into the corner, Caras reverses positions with him and gives a clean break.  Tie-up, hammerlock by Caras, Hamada snapmares out of it though, Hamada misses a clothesline, Caras goes for a back bodydrop, but Hamada lands on his feet.  Kick by Caras and he hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker.  Caras goes for a powerbomb, but Hamada hurricanranas out of it and Caras falls out of the ring.  Hamada follows him out with a plancha, but Caras recovers quickly and tags in Mascaras as Hamada tags in Naniwa.  Tie-up, side headlock by Mascaras and he tosses Naniwa to the mat.  Tie-up again, and Mascaras gives Naniwa a headstand headscissors takedown while keeping the head locked for a submission.  Naniwa gets to his feet, but Mascaras takes him down again.  This time Naniwa lands near the ropes and he gets the break.  Tie-up, hammerlock by Mascaras and he armdrags Naniwa to the mat.  Mascaras stretches Naniwa, Irish whip, and he hits a flying double chest chop.  Caras comes in, Irish whip, and together he and Mascaras hit a double flying chest chop.  Caras leaves, Naniwa gets a hammerlock on Mascaras, but Mascaras flings him down.  Kick by Naniwa, he tries to push down Mascaras, can't do it, Hamada comes in to help, but Mascaras bridges up and tosses them to the mat.  Mascaras then hits the double snapmare/headscissors on Naniwa and Hamada, much to the delight of the crowd.  Mascaras hits an atomic drop on Naniwa and then a slam on Hamada. 

Caras comes back in the ring, they give Naniwa a double Irish whip and hit another flying double chest chop.  Caras then sails out of the ring with a tope on Naniwa.  Mascaras gets on the top turnbuckle, but he was just teasing and he comes back down.  Mascaras tags in Mutoh, while Abdullah is tagged in.  Abdullah runs the ropes and rubs his head, showing that he is ready.  Tie-up, Abdullah pushes Mutoh into the ropes, and gets a spike out of his boot which he promptly jabs into Mutoh's neck.  Abdullah stabs Mascaras in the leg a few times before giving the spike to Naniwa.  All three take turns working over Mutoh's leg, as Hamada comes in and jumps down on it while it is propped against the second rope.  Abdullah stands on top of Mutoh's leg and then chops him in the chest before tagging in Hamada.  Hamada kicks Mutoh in the leg and tags in Naniwa, who gets in his kicks as well.  A leg submission is applied by Naniwa, but Mutoh grabs the rope.  Abdullah is tagged back in, and he hits a series of neck thrusts.  Irish whip by Abdullah, and a thrust to the neck knocks Mutoh down.  Abdullah drops the big elbow on Mutoh, cover, but Mutoh kicks out.  Mutoh quickly tags in Caras, Irish whip by Abdullah, but Caras hits a dropkick.  He goes for another one, but Abdullah hits another neck thrust to block the move and then hits him repeatedly while Caras is laying on the mat.  Mutoh and Mascaras come in to help, they give Abdullah a double Irish whip, and deliver a double flying chest chop.  Caras covers Abdullah, but Hamada breaks it up.  Abdullah tags in Naniwa, Irish whip by Naniwa on Caras, reversed, and Caras hits a tilt-a-while backbreaker.  Double underhook backbreaker by Caras, cover, but Hamada breaks it up.  Caras picks up Naniwa, nails the jumping bomb, and gets the three count pinfall.  Your winners:  Keiji Mutoh, Mil Mascaras, and Dos Caras

Match Thoughts:  You can tell the pecking order of the legends:  At the top  is Mascaras (who never got hurt), Second is Abdullah the Butcher (only got knocked down once), all the way down to Mutoh who definitely took the most offense in this match.  Even though Mil Mascaras had celebrated his 60th birthday only a few days before this event, I am almost embarrassed to admit that I enjoyed him in this match. He kept the crowd happy by hitting all his signature spots, but he didn't slow the match down since he could tag out when he got tired.  While obviously all these guys (except Mutoh) are way past their primes, in a six man match that was not meant to be taken too seriously it worked out ok.  I was expecting something terrible, but this was quite watchable as long as you weren't expecting high "workrate" and psychology.  Score:  5.0

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