A former WCW star and NWA World Heavyweight Champion has announced that they are bringing the curtain down on their illustrious wrestling career.
The Great Muta, also known as Keiji Muto, is one of Japan’s greatest wrestling stars of all time, with a career that spans an incredible five decades.
The 59-year-old star appeared at the recent CyberFight Festival that was held by Pro Wrestling NOAH, DDT Pro, and Tokyo Joshi Pro-Wrestling. Muto took to the ring and announced that he is hanging up his boots in the spring of 2023.
Keiji Muto recently suffered a hip injury but returned to action at May’s Pro Wrestling NOAH’s Dream On Final show. In the main event, he teamed with Naomichi Marafuji and Satoshi Kojima but the trio fell to defeat at the hands of Go Shiozaki, Masato Tanaka, and Kaito Kiyomiya.
Muto also wrestled on night 3 of Wrestle Kingdom back in January 2022. That night saw the best of Pro Wrestling NOAH take on the best of New Japan Pro Wrestling inside Yokohama Arena. Kaito Kiyomiya teamed with Keiji Muto in the main event but NOAH’s pair fell at the hands of the NJPW dream team of Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kazuchika Okada.
— プロレスリング・ノア ｜PROWRESTLING NOAH (@noah_ghc) June 12, 2022
Keiji Muto began his wrestling career in New Japan Pro Wrestling but he became one of the first Japanese stars to achieve international fame when he spent a year in WCW between 1989 and 1990. During his time in the company, he was known as The Great Muta and captured the NWA World Television Title from Sting before going on to challenge Ric Flair several times for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.
The Great Muta went on to capture that title from compatriot Masahiro Chono in early 1993 before losing the gold to Barry Windham at WCW’s SuperBrawl III show in February of the same year.
Muto has held the IWGP Heavyweight Championship in New Japan Pro Wrestling, the All Japan Triple Crown Heavyweight Title three times as well as NOAH’s GHC Heavyweight Championship in addition to countless other accolades that make him one of the most decorated Japanese wrestlers in history.
Keiji Muto’s influence in wrestling has also been seen outside of the ring as he has served as President of All Japan Pro Wrestling and founded the Wrestle-1 promotion in 2013 when AJPW suffered an exodus of stars following Muto’s departure.