also known as the Great Muta and Kokushi
Birthdate: December 23rd, 1962
IWGP Heavyweight Championship:
IWGP Tag Team Championship with Hiroshi Hase:
All Japan Triple Crown:
Other Signature Moves:
Keiji Mutoh was born on December 23rd, 1962 in Fujiyoshida, Yamanishi, Japan. Mutoh throughout school was an amateur wrestler and a student of Judo, even competing in a few competitions. Once he was able he went to try out in the New Japan Pro Wrestling Academy. He was quickly chosen for showing both great speed and technical abilities. He was placed under the guidance of Hiro Matsuda, and on October 5th, 1984 he made his professional debut against future rival Masahiro Chono. He would win his first title, the NWA Florida Heavyweight Championship, as the White Ninja on May 21st, 1986. He would only hold the title for less than a month. On March 20th, 1987, Mutoh would win his first tag team championship when he, and Shiro Koshinaka, defeated Akira Maeda and Nobuhiko Takada in a Tag Team Title League for the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship. They would only hold the titles for a few days before Maeda and Takada would win them back. After the title loss he appeared as another character known as the "Space Lone Wolf" for a short stint. He would eventually drop the Space character before making his way back to the U.S. and Puerto Rico, as the Super Black Ninja.
In Puerto Rico he would go on to wrestle in the WWC "World Wrestling Council," and he would win both their Television and Tag Team titles. In the U.S. he would wrestle for WCCW "World Class Championship Wrestling," even having a small feud with Kevin Von Erich. He would start to become a recognized character and was asked to come join the NWA where he would become the Great Muta, as he was originally gimmicked as the son of the Great Kabuki whom he resembled with his face paint and Asian Mist. On September 3rd, 1989, he would win the NWA World Television Championship from Sting. He would hold the title till January 2nd, 1990, when he would lose to Arn Anderson. After the loss he made his way back to Japan to wrestle in NJPW. Back in NJ he would team with Masahiro Chono, and on April 27th, 1990, they would win the IWGP Tag Team Championship from Shinya Hashimoto and Masa Saito. They would hold on to the titles until November 4th, 1990, when they would lose to Hiroshi Hase and Kensuke Sasaki. In 1991, he, along with Chono and Hashimoto, began to start making a lasting name for themselves and they were called the future aces of the sport. They would end up being labeled the Three Musketeers of New Japan. Mutoh would win the IWGP Tag Team Titles again on November 5th, 1991 when he, and Hiroshi Hase, defeated Rick Steiner and Scott Steiner's substitute Scott Norton. They would hold the titles till March 1st, 1992, when they lost to Bam Bam Bigelow and Vader.
On August 16th, 1992, Mutoh, as the Great Muta, would defeat Riki Choshu for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. During his first reign Mutoh underwent one of the bloodiest matches when he got cut during a confrontation with Hiroshi Hase, and left himself forever scarred. This incident at the end of 1992 is considered to be so bloody that it has even invented a comparison rating known as the "Muta Scale." On January 4th, 1993, Mutoh would win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship when he defeated Masahiro Chono, but it would be short lived when a little over a month later he would lose the NWA Heavyweight Title to Barry Windham. He would continue to carry the IWGP title though, and in the process defended it against Chono, Hashimoto, and Sting. He would hold the title for over a year until Shinya Hashimoto would finally defeat him on September 20th, 1993. In November of 1993, Mutoh and Hase would win the Super Grade Tag League when they beat Norton and Hercules Hernandez. Mutoh would seem to be a top contender for 1994 G1 Climax, but Yoshiaki Fujiwara would eliminate him. On October 30th, 1994, Mutoh and Hase won the Super Grade Tag League again when they defeated Chono and Super Strong Machine. Then on November 25th, 1994, Mutoh won the IWGP Tag Team Titles once again, with Hiroshi Hase, when they defeated the Hell Raisers.
Mutoh would then get his revenge on Hashimoto on May 3rd, 1995, when he finally defeated him for the IWGP Championship. After he won the title he relinquished his Tag Team Championship to focus solely on his Heavyweight Title run. On August 15th, 1995, Mutoh finally won the G1 Climax when he defeated Hiroshi Hase in the finals. Mutoh would go on to keep the title around his waist for nearly five more months, but the persistent Nobuhiko Takada finally was able to defeat him on January 4th, 1996. Mutoh would go on to fight Chono and his wolf army, which later formed nWo Japan, even though as Mutoh he disliked Chono his alter-ego Muta was a member of the nWo. Mutoh would turn completely to the nWo on September 23rd, 1997, when instead of turning on the nWo he instead turned on Kensuke Sasaki and Kazuo Yamazaki. Mutoh, along with Masahiro Chono, would win the IWGP Title on October 19th, 1997. They would dominate and hold on to the titles for months, but on May 7th, 1998, they would be forced to vacate the titles after Mutoh suffered a knee injury.
Mutoh would take it easy for the remainder of the year, but on January 4th, 1999, Mutoh would defeat Scott Norton for the IWGP Heavyweight Title. He also started feuding with Chono over the nWo name at this time as both of them saw themselves as the rightful owner of the group's name. Chono would branch out and create Team 2000 with Don Frye, nWo Sting, and others against Mutoh, Tenzan, and Satoshi Kojima. During this feud he also went on to defend his IWGP Championship against Sasaki, Manabu Nakanishi, and he even submitted the very skilled MMA fighter Don Frye. He would finally lose the title to Genichiro Tenryu on December 10th, 1999. In early 2000, Mutoh and Chono's feud would finally end, for the time being, when Chono defeated Mutoh in April. Even with the loss Mutoh got a chance to win back the heavyweight title, but he would be defeated by the Power Warrior.
After the loss Mutoh would head back to the U.S. to join WCW. Back in the states, as the Great Muta, he joined with Vampiro and his group. On August 18th, 2000, he feuded with Earnest Miller and lost against him, but on the same night he and Vampiro won the WCW Tag Team Titles from Kronik. The victory would be only short lived, as they would lose the titles the next night to Rey Mysterio, Jr. and Juventud Guerrera. Muta would eventually start feuding with Vampiro and even Sting, leading up to WCW's Fall Brawl PPV where Sting defeated both of them in a triangle match. After that he had enough of the WCW stint and he headed back to NJPW. His comeback came with a whole new look, a shaved head and a goatee. He made his return on January 4th, 2001, with Shinjiro Ohtani against Nakanishi and Liger, whom they defeated rather quickly. On March 18th, 2001, during his first singles match back he introduced a new move that he created called "The Shining Wizard." He also created a new group known as BATT "Bad Ass Translate Trading" with Ohtani, Don Frye, Jinsei Shinzaki, and Taiyo Kea. On June 8th, 2001, Mutoh won the AJPW Triple Crown for the first time when he defeated Genichiro Tenryu. Then on October 22nd, 2001, he, along with Taiyo Kea, won the AJPW World Tag Team Championship. To add onto them, just days later, they would win the IWGP Tag Team Titles as well. On February 12th, 2002, Mutoh and Kea would lose the IWGP Tag Team Titles due to him leaving NJPW and going to AJPW full time. Just days later he would lose the AJPW Triple Crown to Toshiaki Kawada on February 24th, 2002. A month later Kawada would suffer a knee injury, but Mutoh lost to Tenryu during the Grand Champion Carnival. On July 17th, 2002, Mutoh and Kea lost the AJPW World Tag Team Titles to Brian Adams and Bryan Clark.
In September of 2002, Mutoh was appointed president of AJPW, and was given control of Giant Baba's stock. Then on October 27th, 2002, Mutoh, as the Great Muta, he would get his revenge on Tenryu when defeated him and took back the Triple Crown Championship. He would be successful at keeping the belts around his waist till February 23rd, 2003, when Hashimoto defeated him. On June 8th, 2003, Mutoh, along with Arashi, won the AJPW World Tag Team Titles from Satoshi Kojima and Jimmy Yang during the Tournament finals of Super Power Series tour. They would keep the titles for around six months when they lost them to Kojima and Kaz Hayashi. In December of 2003, Mutoh made his return to the U.S. and competed in Ring of Honor for an inter-promotional event. In April of 2004 he won the Champion's Carnival once more when he defeated Takao Omori in the semi-finals, and Kensuke Sasaki in the finals.