The Many
Faces of Mutoh
Great Muta and Great Kabuki vs. Tatsutoshi Goto and Michiyoshi Ohara
on August 8th, 1998

Event: New Japan "Rising the Next Generation"
Location: Osaka Dome, Japan
Announced Attendance: 45,000

Before the match both Muta and Kabuki spit mist into the air, but Goto and Ohara jump them when the bell rings. Muta is singled out in the ring as Ohara hits a vertical suplex. Muta rolls out to ring side and scares some fans before getting back into the ring. Muta and Ohara circle each other, tie-up, and Muta chops Ohara in the back of the head. Muta tags in Kabuki, Kabuki goes up to the second turnbuckle and hits a fist drop. Throat thrusts by Kabuki but Ohara rakes his eyes and tags in Goto. Goto punches Kabuki to the mat, picks him up and gives him multiple headbutts. Kicks to the midsection by Goto and he chops Kabuki against the ropes. Kabuki comes back with a throat thrust however and the two begin trading blows. Kabuki makes the tag to Muta, Irish whip by Muta but Goto kicks him when he goes for a back bodydrop and throws Muta out onto the ramp. Goto joins him on the rampway and hits a piledriver. He then runs all the way up the ramp and charges back, hitting Muta with a lariat. Back in the ring, Irish whip by Goto, but Muta rolls out of the way of the lariat attempt and connects with a dropkick. Muta throws Goto onto the ramp, hits a face crusher, goes up the rampway and charges back with a lariat of his own. Muta tosses Goto back in the ring and makes the tag to Kabuki. Irish whip by Kabuki and he hits a shoulderblock. Cover, but it gets a two count.

Goto tags in Ohara, chops by Ohara and he hits a side slam. Ohara picks up Kabuki and headbutts him in the lower midsection. Cover, but it gets a two count. Ohara tags in Goto, lariat by Goto with a cover, but it gets another two count. Goto throws Kabuki into the corner and tags Ohara back in. Headbutts by Ohara but Kabuki comes back with a throat thrust. Ohara hits a throat thrust of his own, Irish whip, but Kabuki catches him with a savate kick and makes the tag to Muta. Irish whip by Muta to the corner on Ohara and he delivers his handstand elbow strike followed by a face crusher. Dragon leg screw whip by Muta, Ohara rolls out of the ring but Muta quickly follows him. Muta throws Ohara onto a table, picks him up and hits a piledriver as the table collapses. Muta tosses Ohara back into the ring, goes onto the top turnbuckle and goes for a chop, but Ohara catches him with a chokeslam. Ohara tags in Goto, and Muta makes the tag to Kabuki. Goto knocks down Kabuki with a lariat, Kabuki gets up and Goto hits another one. Double Irish whip to Kabuki and they drop Kabuki throat-first onto the top rope. Goto picks up Kabuki and hits a backdrop suplex, cover, but Muta breaks it up with a steel chair shot. Ohara runs in and hits a jumping lariat on Muta, gets the chair, and hits Kabuki with it. Ohara goes for a powerbomb on Muta, but Muta spits the red mist in his face as he gets him in the air! Backdrop suplex by Goto on Kabuki, he goes up to the top turnbuckle, but as he jumps off both Muta and Kabuki spray mist at him! Face crusher by Muta on Goto, Kabuki waits for Goto to get up and he nails the lariat! Cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winners: Great Muta and Great Kabuki

Post match: Kabuki gives a speech as this was (at the time) his last appearance in New Japan before retiring. Backstage afterwards, Muta can be heard saying (in English) "I miss Daddy. Where Kabuki? I love you! I miss you!" Isn't that sweet?

Match Thoughts: While lacking quality in-ring action, this match was about so much more then that. When Muta debuted, he was billed as Great Kabuki's son. The two had a few battles in the early 90s in both New Japan and WAR. This was during Kabuki's retirement tour, which he mostly kept to after his official retirement show in 1999. At this point Kabuki was 50 years old but he still had presence in the ring and even though he was slower he didn't look too bad. For historical significance this was a necessary match and one that the crowd really enjoyed, so it certainly belonged on the show even if it wasn't a technical masterpiece. Score: 6.0

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