The Many
Faces of Mutoh
Great Muta vs. Great Koji
on July 20th, 2002

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

And now Mutoh makes his third and final appearance, in what was the first time he wrestled as Great Muta since his transformation a year earlier.  To counter the Muta power, Kojima has come out in face paint as "Great Koji."  Koji charges Muta to start the match and chops him against the ropes.  Irish whip, Muta rolls through the clothesline and both wrestlers spray each other with the Mist at the same time!  With Muta now red and Koji now green, they come at each other again.  Tie-up, waistlock by Muta into an arm wrench, Koji reverses it into his own arm wrench, but Koji backs off when Muta sticks his fingers in his mouth (his way of threatening the mist).  Kick to the chest by Koji followed by chops, snapmare, and he hits a running senton.  Elbow drop by Koji and he drops another one.  Muta quickly rolls out of the ring, and then crawls under it.  Koji goes out to find him, crawling under as well.  Muta appears at the other side with a big broom stick, but Koji catches him from behind and hits him with the broom stick himself.  Kick by Koji, and he throws Muta up on the ramp.  Koji then runs all the way up the ramp way, charges Muta and kicks him down.  Muta rolls back into the ring and Koji soon follows him in.  Eye rake by Koji and he kicks Muta in the side of the head.  Koji takes off his belt and then begins to choke Muta with it.  After releasing him, Koji picks up Muta and hits a vertical suplex.  Again Koji picks up Muta and chops him in the chest.  Kick by Koji, he goes up to the second turnbuckle and hits a diving club to the back.  Koji goes off the ropes, but Muta quickly dropkicks him in the knee.  Snapmare by Muta, and he hits the flash elbow.  Muta wipes Koji's face, trying to get the face paint off, and throws him out of the ring.  Muta follows Koji out, grabs the ring bell ringer and hits Koji with it before throwing him into the ring post.  Kick to the stomach by Muta, and as he is choking him we see that Koji has been busted open.  Muta jumps over the guardrail to unlock the fence, then comes back in to throw Koji into the ring post again.  After throwing a random young wrestler at Koji and throwing him into the guardrail, Muta rolls back into the ring and waits for Koji. 

The bleeding Koji eventually makes it back in, and Muta chops him in the back of the head.  Choke by Muta, Koji tries to fight back, but Muta rakes him in the eyes.  Koji hits a Koji Cutter when Muta picks him back up, but Muta recovers and hits a back kick, sending Koji out of the ring. Muta goes out as well and hits Koji in the head with the ring bell.  The referee gets the bell from Muta, but Muta finds a silver box and hits Koji with that as well.  Koji rolls back into the ring, and after posing for the camera Muta goes back in after him.  Koji struggles to his feet, but Muta punches him into the corner.  Irish whip by Muta to the corner, he goes for his cartwheel back elbow, but Koji catches him and hits a German suplex.  Chop by Koji, Muta returns fire, and Muta floors Koji with a kick to the head.  Muta goes up top and hits a missile dropkick on Koji.  Muta kicks Koji in the corner, places him on the top turnbuckle, and after biting him he delivers the Frankensteiner.  Cover, but it only gets a two count.  Back up, Koji goes for a kick, but Muta catches his leg and hits a dragon screw leg whip.  Koji gets up quickly though, but Muta hits another one.  Again Koji springs to his feet and he nails a Michinoku Driver II on Muta.  Cover, but Muta kicks out.  Koji picks up Muta, Irish whip from the corner, and he hits the jumping elbow smash/snapmare/elbow drop.  Cover, but again it only gets a two count.  Koji clubs Muta in the back, goes for the lariat, it is blocked, Muta goes for the Shining Wizard, but Koji blocks that, and Koji then nails a lariat.  Muta rolls out of the ring after the move and lays on the mat outside.  Muta eventually gets to his feet and grabs a chair, but as he gets back in the ring he accidentally drops it.  He then demands a ring attendant hand it back to him, which he does, but in the meantime Koji has recovered and he hits Muta in the back.  Muta pushes down the referee, and when Koji goes for a lariat he holds the chair up so that it connects with Koji's arm.  Green mist but Muta to the face of Koji, and he nails a Shining Wizard off the chair.  Muta then applies a cross armbreaker to Koji's injured arm, and Koji has no choice but to submit!  Your winner:  Great Muta

Match Thoughts:  And Mutoh officially earns wrestler of the night as he saves himself money by booking himself to wrestle in three separate matches.  Any reader of my reviews knows that I am a Mutoh fan, but you also might know that I have never been real impressed with Kojima's moveset.  He is charismatic, no doubt, but his in-ring work to me is just not on that upper tier.  For example, he hits the Koji Cutter out of no where, and it really has no effect.  He did a lot of random chops and clubs to the back, which again served up purpose.  He also did no moves to help set up his lariat in any way.  I also did not like the random no-selling of the dragon screw leg whips, since again it really served no overall purpose to the match.  While Muta was his typical deliberate self (which irritates some people because they think he is being lazy), at least he had a sound plan by winning with a finisher that capitalized on the moves prior.  The chair to the arm damaged it, the Shining Wizard knocked Kojima loopy, and the cross armbreaker finished Kojima off.  Again, simple, but effective.  Mutoh is great as Muta, as he posed for the camera, used weapons constantly, and used dirty tactics in general to win the match.  Overall I was entertained by the intensity and the aura of seeing the match, even though the match itself I think was lacking in quite a few areas.  Score:  6.5

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