The Many
Faces of Mutoh
Keiji Mutoh vs. Owen Hart
on July 5th, 1990

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

They circle each other to start, and Mutoh hits a side headlock takedown. Mutoh brings them to their feet while maintaining the hold, but Hart muscles out of it and applies a wristlock. Monkey flip by Mutoh and he applies a wristlock on the mat. Hart rolls out of it and reverses the hold, wringing Mutoh's arm. Flying headscissors takedown by Hart and he keeps the headscissors applied, but Mutoh gets out of it and throws Hart out of the ring. Mutoh goes out after him and throws Hart into the guard rail. Mutoh slides Hart back in the ring, goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a diving elbow. Mutoh tosses Hart out of the ring again and again throws him into the railing. Hart finally fights back and the two trade blows, with Mutoh connecting with a back kick. Mutoh slides Hart back in, but Hart recovers and does as snapmare followed by a kneedrop for a two count. Mutoh regains the advantage with a leg submission hold, but Hart reverses it with a side headlock. Mutoh Irish whips out of it but Hart nails the enzigieri. Cover, but it gets a two count. Hart picks up Mutoh, snapmare, and he applies the crossface chickenwing. Mutoh rams Hart back into the corner to break the hold and hits the backflip kick. Snapmare by Mutoh, he goes off the ropes and delivers the Flashing Elbow for the two count. Snapmare again, and Mutoh applies a reverse chinlock. Hart fights back and hits a standing dropkick. Hart picks up Mutoh and tosses him out of the ring, coming off the apron with a club to the back. Uppercuts by Hart and he throws Mutoh into the guard rail. Hart slides Mutoh back into the ring and applies an abdominal stretch. Mutoh hiptosses out of it, Irish whip by Mutoh to the corner but Hart rebounds out with a crossbody for a two count. Bodyslam by Hart, cover, but again he gets two. Hart hits a leg drop, another cover, but Mutoh kicks out. Hart slaps on a reverse chinlock, Mutoh gets back to his feet and Irish whips out of it, but Hart shoulderblocks him down. Hart goes off the ropes but Mutoh catches him with a dropkick. Scorpion Deathlock by Mutoh, but he releases it so that he can apply the Muta Lock. Hart rakes Mutoh's eyes to break up the hold, and Hart hits a series of mounted punches. Neckbreaker by Hart, cover, but it gets a two count. Hart picks up Mutoh and hits a scoop slam. Hart goes up to the second turnbuckle and delivers a diving headbutt. Cover, but Mutoh gets a shoulder up. Side headlock by Hart, Mutoh Irish whips out of it but Hart shoulderblocks him down. German suplex hold by Mutoh, but it only gets a two count. Hart picks up Mutoh, Irish whip and he hits a belly to belly suplex. Cover, but again he can only get a two. Backbreaker by Hart, he picks up Mutoh and slams him in front of the corner. Hart goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits the moonsault, cover, but Mutoh kicks out at two. Hart goes for a vertical suplex but Mutoh lands on his feet and hits a German suplex hold for a two count. Face crusher by Mutoh, he picks up Hart and hits the rib breaker. Mutoh goes up to the top turnbuckle, nails the moonsault and picks up the three count! Your winner: Keiji Mutoh

Match Thoughts: Started basic but really picked up and became a decent back and forth match. I was surprised how much of the offense that Hart controlled considering he was a Jr. Heavyweight wrestler while Mutoh was a Heavyweight wrestler, but they are similar enough in build that it didn't come across as odd. Also unusual for someone else to do the moonsault on Mutoh. You could tell they were not familiar with each other as there were a lot of "reset" moments (headlocks and Irish whips out of side headlocks), which sometimes came at odd times in the offense. Overall though, aside from them obviously feeling each other out as they went, it wasn't a bad match. Score: 5.5

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