With both the Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber in the rearview mirror, WrestleMania season is in full swing, and fans are anxiously awaiting announcements regarding the 2023 class of the WWE Hall of Fame.
It has previously been reported that Hollywood icon and former WWE Champion Dave Bautista is set to be inducted at the event in Los Angeles, CA, and according to a new report, another name set to join him has now been revealed.
PWInsider Elite reports that WWE is set to begin announcing inductees on tonight’s episode of SmackDown, and that the company is working to finalize plans for the entire class.
The report goes on to note that multiple sources have confirmed plans to induct Keiji Muto, also known as The Great Muta. While the star never appeared for WWE itself, he did compete in WCW and had a highly regarded feud with Sting.
Muto recently retired from in-ring competition in February, wrestling Tetsuya Naito in the main event of NOAH’s Keiji Muto Grand Final Pro-Wrestling “Last Love” inside the Tokyo Dome.
Keiji Muto/The Great Muta Had A WWE Hall Of Fame-Worthy Career Despite Never Wrestling In WWE
Muto is widely regarded as one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. He 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 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.
His 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.
The WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony is set to take place on March 31st, 2023 as part of WrestleMania weekend.