On March 18, 1989, a young Japanese pro wrestling phenom named Keiji Mutoh made his way to the United States for "seasoning" under the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), where he was introduced to stateside fans by Gary Hart as "The Great Muta," the son of "The Great Kabuki" (whom Hart managed earlier in his career) on World Championship Wrestling (WCW).
And in true Gary Hart fashion, he gave him a smashing endorsement:
"It's only proper that the honorable Matsuda give the introduction to the American public of what he's brought from Japan to conquer the bigoted, prejudiced National Wrestling Alliance. You know, I have a great deal of respect for the people from the rising sun. The most honorable, the most well-trained, the greatest athletes in the world, you and I know, come from Japan. We all know that the Yen is number one, the dollar is number two. Most people only know Kung Fu ... (Muta) knows them all. He is the most unique, the most devastating, the most dangerous individual that I have had in my charge for quite some time. Once the people of America have an opportunity to see the versatility of this young man, they are going to be in absolute awe."
Hart hit all the right talking points in his promo, but whoever decided to pan the audience, which looked like the lifeless assembly room floor of a local mannequin factory, wasn't doing him any favors.
Didn't matter. Muta would do his talking inside the ring, including some terrific bouts against Sting, which also made our history feature a few months back.
Video of Muta's NWA debut:
Muta would head back to New Japan just a year later. Anyone think he should have stayed in NWA/WCW?
And now, from the desk of the CSS Senior Editor, for your viewing pleasure we bring to you:
Additional posts dusted off from the
18 - MARCH
18 MAR 2012
- TNA Victory Road 2012 results from Impact Zone: Bobby Roode defeats Sting, sets eyes on James Storm by Sergio Hernandez Mar 18, 2012 10:28 PM CDT - 2 comments
- Is WWE's developmental system set for a much needed overhaul? by Keith Harris Mar 18, 2012 9:14 PM CDT - 35 comments
- Video: WWE Smackdown from March 16, 2012, featuring Chris Jericho vs Sheamus by The General Mar 18, 2012 12:41 AM CDT - 11 comments
18 MAR 2011
- UFC In the Moment: Jon Jones - Video and Analysis by Kaleb Kelchner Mar 18, 2011 12:59 PM CDT - 2 comments
- UFC 128 Preview: Writing Off Shogun At Our Peril? by KJ Gould Mar 18, 2011 9:06 AM CDT - 4 comments
18 MAR 2010
- I swear, with God as my witness, that next Sunday I will wrestle my last match ever by Keith Harris Mar 18, 2010 5:34 PM CDT - 3 comments