In recent months, wrestling legend Keiji Muto has embarked on a farewell tour, taking on wrestlers from around the world. Now, Muto has issued his final challenge, announcing the opponent who will bring his nearly four-decade career to an end.
On January 1st, he wrestled his last singles match as his alter-ego, The Great Muta, at Pro Wrestling NOAH’s New Year show. there he took on WWE’s Shinsuke Nakamura. The pair had a classic match which came to an end after Nakamura stole one of Muta’s capsules to blast him with poison mist. He followed up with a Kinshasa for the win.
Muta’s ‘Final Bye-Bye’ is set for January 22nd in Yokohama Arena. There, the masked star will team with AEW’s Sting and Darby Allin to take on Hakushi, AKIRA, and Naomichi Marufuji.
However, that won’t be the last match for the man behind the mask, Keiji Muto himself.
Keiji Muto’s Final Opponent Revealed
Wrestle Kingdom 17 in Yokohama Arena on January 21st was built around the ongoing feud between NJPW’s Los Ingobernables de Japon and NOAH’s Kongo faction. The two groups clashed in a Best-Of-Series of singles matches on the show.
The sides traded wins all the way up to the main event, where LIJ Leader Tetsuya Naito took on Kongo’s Kenoh.
Kenoh was able to stay on top for much of the match, even taking the time to taunt his opponent at times. However, Naito refused to stay down, responding to every sequence Kenoh came up with. After Kenoh made a failed attempt at Ring of Fire, Naito came back with strikes to the nick, trying to set up for Destino, but Kenoh responded with his own strikes and, as the time limit approached, tried for a Falcon Arrow but Naito countered into a short Destino and Valencia. He then hit a full Destino for the victory.
The win meant that not only did LIJ win the Best-Of-Five series at 3-2, but NJPW beat Pro Wrestling NOAH 5-4 on the cross-promotional show.
However, things didn’t end there. After the match, Naito locked eyes with Muto, who was on commentary for the show. The legend then took to the ring microphone in hand and challenged Naito for his final bout in the Tokyo Dome on February 21st!
After some thought, Naito agreed to the match, saying he would clear his schedule for the event, which has been named “Keiji Muto Grand Final Pro-Wrestling ‘Last’ Love ~ Hold Out ~”.
The pair previously met in 6-Man Tag action at Wrestle Kingdom 17 in Tokyo Dome on January 4th. On that occasion, Muto, Hiroshi Tanahashi and Shota Umino defeated Tetsuya Naito, Sanada, and BUSHI.