Keiji Muto Announces Retirement Match

Wrestling legend Keiji Muto, perhaps best known for his run as The Great Muta, has announced his impending retirement. With Pro Wrestling NOAH returning to the Tokyo Dome for the first time since 2015, the 59-year-old legend will retire in February.

Muto is one of the most successful professional wrestlers of all-time, being one of only four wrestlers to win all three major puroresu championships. Muto is a four-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion and three-time AJPW Triple Crown Heavyweight Champion, as well as a former NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion and GHC Heavyweight Champion across stints in All-Japan Pro Wrestling, New Japan Pro Wrestling, Pro Wrestling NOAH and WCW. Muto was the President of AJPW from 2002 to 2013.

Muto returned to the ring from a hip injury in May, stating that doctors have told him he may require a hip replacement surgery in the not-so-distant future. The retirement isn’t exactly on Muto’s terms. The remaining dates on his retirement tour are as-followed:

  • September 25, 2022 at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium.
  • October 30, 2022 at Ariake Arena in Tokyo.
  • January 22, 2023 at Yokohama Arena (final match as The Great Muta persona).
  • February 21, 2023 at Tokyo Dome.

Muto has been wrestling since his NJPW debut in October of 1984. He’s been with Pro Wrestling NOAH since the start of 2020 and has had a successful stint with the promotion after a tenure with Wrestle-1. He defeated Go Shiozaki for the GHC Heavyweight Championship at Destination 2021 and held the gold until he lost to Noamichi Marufuji at CyberFight Festival in June of 2021. He announced a tentative retirement plan at the CyberFight festivities a year later.

Muto will perhaps be best remembered for his matches with the likes of Barry Windham, Genichiro Tenryu, Shinya Hashimoto, Ricky Steamboat, Vader and Kaito Kiyomiya; as well as how he innovated the style across the industry over his 38 years of service. Bodyslam wishes Muto the best in his impending retirement.

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