NJPW: Scott Norton vs. Keiji Muto (January 4, 1999)

I want to try to review all the Wrestle Kingdom main events while they’re free on New Japan World.

Muto’s not NWO anymore, but Norton is.

The early part of this match involves mat wrestling – the slow, waiting-for-an-opening kind. Then Muto has trouble overcoming Norton’s size – until Norton hits him with a shoulder breaker, and Muto notices him shaking out his right leg afterwards.

Muto gets an opening after reversing a powerbomb into a Frankensteiner. He hits a dropkick from the top to Norton’s tree trunk of a leg, then gets him with a Dragon Screw off the apron (really, he’s just yanking his leg and pulling him to the floor). After that, there are a lot of figure four leg locks. Like, at least four. Norton still puts up a fight. He hits lariats and a powerbomb, but hurts his leg and can’t really capitalize. He even goes up top (to a big reaction) and hits a flying shoulder block. But Muto moonsaults onto his legs, dropkicks him in the chest, and finally locks in one too many figure fours for Norton to take. Scott submits and loses his title.

Winner – Keiji Muto

Rating – Good

I like Scott Norton, and I like Muto having to work really hard to hurt his leg enough to submit him. This was interesting, though my excitement didn’t hold for long periods. I think it got too predictable with all the figure fours.


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