The Great Muta (Keiji Muto) will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame later this month.
The news of Muto’s inclusion was announced by Ric Flair on Wednesday’s edition of The Bump and was first reported by Mike Johnson at PWinsider.com.
Flair noted the significance of his history with the recently retired performer, and that Muto was with his son Reid shortly before his death in March 2013. In early 2013, Reid completed a tour of All Japan Pro Wrestling that included a match on January 26 where Reid teamed with Muto against Seiya Sanada & Tatsumi Fujinami. His final match on the tour took place on March 17 and Reid passed away twelve days later at the age of 25.
Muto recently staged the final match of his career by losing to Tetsuya Naito followed by an impromptu match against Masahiro Chono at the Tokyo Dome.
Muto and Chono had their debut match against one another in 1984 with a New Japan Dojo class that included the late Shinya Hashimoto, and Jushin Thunder Liger.
After training in Florida and wrestling as The White Ninja and later, The Super Black Ninja, it was under the guise of The Great Muta that made a mark in WCW in 1989.
With Gary Hart as his manager, Muto introduced a new style and template that U.S. audiences were not accustomed to seeing on national television and was a very successful excursion for Muto.
Muto would go on to become one of the biggest draws in the industry throughout the ‘90s and was part of the first pro wrestling gate to exceed $6 million when he wrestled Nobuhiko Takada in October 1995 at the Tokyo Dome.
After a career revival in 2001 where he was many people’s pick for Wrestler of the Year, he left New Japan in 2002 to join All Japan alongside Satoshi Kojima and Kendo Kashin. Muto became the booker of All Japan and eventually, took over as president from the outgoing Motoko Baba.
After resigning in 2010, Muto formed Wrestle-1 which lasted for several years and signed a contract with Pro Wrestling NOAH in 2021.
Throughout his career, Muto held the IWGP Heavyweight, All Japan Triple Crown, and NOAH’s GHC Heavyweight Championship.
The WWE Hall of Fame ceremony takes place on Friday, March 31st from the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles following a live edition of Friday Night SmackDown.