The Many
Faces of Mutoh
Keiji Mutoh vs. Scott Norton
on August 7th, 1991

Event: New Japan, G1 Climax
Location:  Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium
Attendance:  Unknown

Tie-up, and Norton pushes Mutoh down to the mat. Mutoh gets back up, tie-up, and again Norton shoves Mutoh off his feet. A third tie-up, side headlock by Mutoh, Norton Irish whips out of it and the two collide with neither going down. Mutoh goes off the ropes again, leapfrogs over Norton and delivers a dropkick. Side headlock takedown by Mutoh, Norton struggles to his feet and Irish whips out of it, but Mutoh hits a back kick and takes Norton back to the mat with a side headlock takedown. Norton gets back up while in the hold and goes for a backdrop suplex, but Mutoh reverses it with a side headlock takedown. Back up, again Norton goes for a backdrop suplex but it has the same result. Norton gets to his feet again and tries to Irish whip out of the hold, but Mutoh keeps it locked in. Finally Norton succeeds and he hits Mutoh with the Stun Gun. Norton picks up Mutoh and delivers a short armed lariat. Norton picks up Mutoh again and hits a military press slam, dropping Mutoh onto the top rope. Mutoh rolls out of the ring but Norton follows him out, delivering another lariat. Norton then picks up Mutoh and drops him into the guard rail before returning to the ring. Mutoh returns after a moment but Norton grabs him as he gets on the apron and snaps his neck on the top rope. Norton finally pulls Mutoh back in the ring and hits a neckbreaker. Neck crank by Norton but Mutoh gets a hand on the ropes. Another short armed lariat by Norton, cover, but it gets a two count.

Norton picks up Mutoh and the two trade blows, which Norton gets the better of. Jawbreaker by Norton and he punches Mutoh into the corner before choking him on the second rope. Backbreaker by Norton and he hits an elbow drop. Norton applies a reverse chinlock to Mutoh, Irish whip, but Mutoh rolls out of the way of the lariat and then ducks when Norton charges him, sending Norton flying out of the ring. Mutoh then goes off the far ropes and hits a crazy corkscrew plancha suicida onto Norton. Mutoh picks up Norton outside the ring, Irish whip into the railing and he delivers the cartwheel back elbow strike. Mutoh rolls Norton back into the ring, Mutoh goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a missile dropkick. Cover, but Norton kicks out. Mutoh goes up top again and hits a flying crossbody, cover, but again it gets a two. Snapmare by Mutoh, he goes up to the top turnbuckle and nails the moonsault, cover, and... it only gets a two count! The count was so close some fans started throwing streamers. Mutoh slams Norton and goes to the top turnbuckle again, Norton rolls out of the way of the second moonsault attempt, Mutoh lands on his feet but Norton knocks him down with a lariat. Both men slowly get up, elbow by Mutoh and he goes off the ropes, delivering a jumping forearm. Mutoh goes off the ropes again but Norton catches him with a powerslam for the three count! Your winner: Scott Norton

Match Thoughts: Norton was still pretty green at this point but he was being pushed by New Japan and also picked up a pinfall over Mutoh a few months earlier. Not a great match but definitely solid, it just needed more time. The first half of the match would have fit in perfectly in a 20 minute match or longer, and I enjoyed Mutoh doing something a little different with the side headlock but it went on too long considering the overall length of the match. Once that was done business really picked up, as Norton was throwing bombs and Mutoh was using his crazy flying offense trying to pick up the win. There were a few small communication problems and I don't think they planned to make Mutoh's pin attempt so close it pissed off the fans, but other then that it was a good match. Score: 6.0

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