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[1994-05-01-NJPW-Wrestling Dontaku] Antonio Inoki vs Great Muta

Superstar Sleeze

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Antonio Inoki vs The Great Muta - NJPW 5/1/84 Fukuoka Dome


To me this was the whole point of over one year long Great Muta IWGP Title Reign was to set up this match for Inoki's Final Countdown! Think about it Chono never gets this match. Hashimoto never gets this match. Keiji Mutoh does not get this match. The Great Muta gets this match. The Great Muta is the last great character of the Inoki era. Inoki vs Muta main events the Fukuoka Dome drawing 53000+ showing that Muta is a worthy challenger. One of things I like about Inoki is clearly likes the theatre elements of pro wrestling. Even though he is a strait-laced shooter and loves shooting, he also loves wildmen characters. The Great Muta is the last of his kind.


On paper, you would think this is probably going to suck, but you also know there is an outside chance this is going to be incredible. It is not the hidden gem that is Great Muta vs Tatsumi Fujinami from 1991. Lots and lots of stalling from Muta in the beginning. Inoki is clearly getting up there in age and he has to work around his limitations. Early matwork is tepid. The match picks up at the ten minute mark when GREEN MIST~! OH NO DOUBLE MIST~! Suplex on the ramp, running lariat on the ramp, which is silly, but I like it. Piledriver on the table! Muta claws open Inoki's forehead to get some blood flowing. It is pretty slow in between spots, but Muta is building drama and is getting violent. Violent Muta >>>> Stalling Muta.


Inoki gets an enziguiri on the floor and then a kappo kick in the ring. He has life. There is this stupid rope ladder. That Muta tried to climb early in the match and know here he tries to use it dropkick Inoki does not work. At least he chokes him with it. Inoki grabs a sleeper, but the ref declares it is a choke and makes him break. Inoki reaches down to pick up Muta GREEN MIST~! OH SHIT! BACKBREAKER! MOONSAULT 1-2-NO! BACKBREAKER! MOONSAULT! 1-2-NO! The Dome is rocking because Inoki is knocking!


Inoki sidesteps the back handspring elbow. Choke->pin 1-2-3!


That actual finish was a bit anticlimactic, but that mist->backbreaker->moonsault run was hot! If they JIP this ten minutes in right at the first Mist, you could be fooled into thinking this is a good match. Mist, blood, piledrivers this was the bare minimum to send everyone home happy. Inoki just didn't seem to have much to offer and Muta did the best he could. Still a HUGE match in the grand scheme of things. It shows how BIG The Great Muta character had become. He wrestled HULK HOGAN and ANTONIO INOKI in back to back Donakatu Dome Shows (Early May Dome Shows). Goes to show you that The Great Muta character was a huge deal in Japan.

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