The Great Muta was recently announced as the latest induction into the WWE Hall of Fame.
Also known as Keiji Mutoh, the Japanese star is a legend of the ring, wrestling for nearly 4 decades in a wide variety of companies, winning gold wherever he went.
However, it is interesting to note that he never won any championships in the WWE. In fact, he is one of the few WWE Hall of Famers to NEVER wrestle in the WWE at all.
Despite wrestling all over the world, in as many countries as you can name, The Great Muta never set foot inside a WWE ring. The first time he does will be at the WWE Hall of Fame, honouring his life and legacy in professional wrestling.
It seems likely that the WWE will be paying tribute to Muta due to his work in World Championship Wrestling. The Japanese legend had a long spell in WCW, most notably sharing the ring Sting, both as an opponent and as a partner.
The Great Muta’s WCW Debut
The Great Muta made his debut in WCW all the way back in 1989. This was when the company was still affiliated with the National Wrestling Alliance, and used the NWA World’s Heavyweight Championship as it’s flagship title.
His first televised match took place on 12th March, 1989. Wrestling as The Great Muta, he took on Cougar Jay, a jobber from North Carolina, on the NWA World Championship Wrestling TV show.
Muta was referred to by the pre-match graphics as “Great Mota”, although his name would soon be corrected in the following bouts. He was also joined by Gary Hart as his manager for the bout.
Wearing blue and white face paint, Muta cut a mysterious figure upon his WCW debut. He was a brand-new sight to the fans and there was little expectation as to what he would do in the ring.
In The Great Muta’s debut match in WCW, he looked impressive. He hit some brutal looking punches, kicks and elbows, although Jay’s selling left much to be desired.
He even jumped over the top rope onto the outside – a rarity back in the 1980s. The Great Muta won his debut match with a spinning karate kick, although once again it was not sold well by Cougar Jay.
This began a great run in WCW that was highlighted by some fantastic Sting vs The Great Muta matches. The pair reunited in 2022 in AEW, and then Sting wrestled in Muta’s last ever match in Pro-Wrestling NOAH before he retired in 2023.