Skip to content

SMARK COUNTRY: Puroresu Makes An Impact

This past Sunday, TNA Wrestling’s Lockdown pay-per-view featured a six-man tag team match between Chris Sabin, Christopher Daniels, and Kazarian vs Yasu, Sanada, and wrestling legend The Great Muta. Muta’s appearance was quite a treat as he put on a clinic in the ring. Thankfully, this rare U.S. appearance won’t be so rare in the future.

For those of you in the dark, Keiji Mutoh (also known as The Great Muta) is an extremely popular personality in puroresu, or the Japanese professional wrestling scene. His career spans 30 years, during which he has built an extremely loyal following and an exemplary reputation in and outside of the ring. He is perhaps most famous for participating in one of the bloodiest professional matches of all time against Hiroshi Hase in 1992. Muta lost so much blood that many wrestling fans now judge blood loss in the ring on the Muta Scale, 0.0 Muta being no blood loss and 1.0 Muta being as much blood as Muta lost in that match. Needless to say, he has given much of himself to promote the wrestling industry. That explains why he has so many passionate fans, both in Japan and in the United States.

Muta launched his Wrestle-1 promotion last summer and has had an ongoing partnership with TNA since. Fears were prevalent that a lack of presence of Jeff Jarrett, who has since left TNA, would kill this deal. After all, it was Jarrett who helped to solidify this partnership. But Wrestle-1 and TNA have had a prosperous partnership. Several TNA superstars have showed up for shows in Japan and vice versa.

Muto stated that they need to make a name in Japan first, as they attempt to do 70 shows within their first year. With his 30 years in the business, especially his prolific runs in NWA and WCW, he knows how to work over crowds and knows what works for a Japanese wrestling crowd as well as an American one. Here’s hoping that Wrestle-1’s first year is a successful one and their alliance with TNA helps them gain the exposure in the United States that they most desperately need to compete on a global stage.