Keiji Muto explains why he’s heading into retirement, adds that he does not want to quit

Next spring is when Keiji Muto is looking to retire from pro wrestling. He admitted that he truly does not want to step away

Photo Courtesy: CyberFight

Muto shares that Shinjiro Otani’s injury is part of the reason he’s choosing to retire, but not the only reason.

Promotions under the CyberFight umbrella (Pro Wrestling NOAH, DDT, Tokyo Joshi and Ganbare Pro Wrestling) came together to present the CyberFight Festival show today. At the event, Keiji Muto made the announcement that he is retiring from in-ring competition and his last match will take place next spring.

Muto is 59 years old and has tallied up almost 40 years as a wrestler. Following his announcement, Tokyo Sports was able to catch up with him and he explained that the decision to retire was his doctor’s suggestion. He mentioned that at the 2021 CyberFight Festival show, he was told not to do a moonsault but ended up performing the move anyway.

Doctor’s stoppage. To be honest, I was working on the basis of trust with the doctor, and since I am also a professional wrestler, I thought that ‘fouls’ within a five-count limit would be allowed. For example, I did a moonsault (at CyberFight Festival 2021), which I was told was forbidden. But the world is not all about the rules of wrestling….

When asked why he is choosing to retire next spring, he admitted that he truly does not want to step away. He wants to do as many matches as he can in that timeframe, but thinks if he has limited matches in NOAH leading up to the retirement match, it could be somewhat of a draw.

I don’t really want to quit. I really don’t want to quit, but I want to do as many matches as I can within that timeframe. I want to leave behind what I can in NOAH, that’s why [I decided on next spring]. I want to contribute a little. I’m sure that NOAH will have more big matches in the future. If I have my ‘limited matches’ there, it would be a little draw, wouldn’t it?

Muto went on to state that he hopes his retirement layout can set an example for wrestlers who are actively wrestling in their 50s. He wants to put together a retirement road that can fit the era of Reiwa, which is Japan’s new imperial era that began on May 1st, 2019.

And now, with so many players in their 50s active in NOAH, I want to retire in a way that sets an example for them. I want to retire in a way that everyone can follow in my footsteps. I hope I can create a new retirement road that fits the era of Reiwa. If players from other organizations can join in, that would be great.

In the past, Muto stated that he wanted to win the GHC National Championship before his 60th birthday in December.

That is no longer a goal of his and he feels that Pro Wrestling NOAH is concerned about his health. Shinjiro Otani’s injury was brought up and Muto said that incident did play a role in his decision to retire. He said his daily life is getting harder and harder.

I think I’m done with that kind of thing [goal to become GHC National Champion before my birthday]. I think the company is probably concerned about my health. They are also concerned about the [Shinjiro] Otani incident. I also have the feeling that I would cause trouble if something were to happen to me.

That’s part of it. But that’s not the only reason. My daily life is getting harder and harder.

Narihiro Takeda, Executive Director of CyberFight told the publication that they will create a suitable situation for Muto’s retirement.

He believes the event could take place in a dome setting. In regards to Muto’s matches up to that point, Takeda said he’ll have around five to six matches but the final decision will be a mix of Muto’s wishes and his doctor’s judgement. He closed by saying he’ll continue to cooperate with Keiji and try to incorporate his ideas into this process as much as possible.

About Andrew Thompson 7747 Articles
A Maryland native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.