WWE | Pro Wrestling

TNA Must Stop Cheating on The Exam

At some point, TNA is going to have to come up with its own material and stop immediately using a program the mother ship, WWE, is currently involved in.

The program with Sanada and James Storm – which led to the Japanese star turning on his mentor and one of the 10 greatest international wrestlers of all time in The Great Muta, was simple appalling.

I have been wanting to write a piece about Muta for some time now and maybe this is the right spot, but under the wrong circumstances. The lesson here with TNA, which looks every bit the sinking ship that I don’t want it to be, is that if you continue to cheat when it comes to test time (live or taped programming) sooner or later, you get caught with your pants down.

In this case, as it is so obvious with a chair shot to his mentor, Sanada is trying to be the rebel Seth Rollins, which does not make the least bit of sense. Someone please help the writers for TNA. Maybe Dave Lagana and Matt Conway need to go.

OK, I am done with my rant of Thursday night’s show. We can now move on to the part where we discuss The Great Muta. Ah, I feel a lot better now… Forgive the need to vent – I was losing sleep over this one.

As a teen and college student, there wasn’t a Japanese or foreign superstar I could think that was as dynamic as Muta – a man whose resume in this business reads like one of the great performers of our time.

He is considered a semi-retired Japanese professional wrestler who first gained international fame in the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA). He is mostly known for his work as The Great Muta in New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) during the 1990s, but he has also worked in United States, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Taiwan. He is a former owner and president of All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW), as well as being a full-time wrestler for the promotion from 2002 to 2013. He also gained the rank of the Master Sergeant during his military service in Japan.

Mutoh (which is his real name) is credited as one of the first Japanese wrestlers to achieve a fan base outside of his native Japan in the United States. The Great Muta gimmick is one of the most influential gimmicks in puroresu, having been emulated by many wrestlers including Satoshi Kojima (as The Great Koji), Kazushi Miyamoto (as The Great Kazushi) and Atsushi Onita (as The Great Nita). In addition, countless independent wrestlers have paid tribute to Muta through emulation and imitation.

He is one of three wrestlers to hold the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, the AJPW Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship and the IWGP Heavyweight Championship (the other being Shinya Hashimoto and Satoshi Kojima). He is an eight-time World Champion, having held the NWA World Title once, the IWGP Title four times, and AJPW’s Triple Crown three times. He also has held a dozen World Tag Team Championships in the U.S. and Japan. Between NJPW, AJPW, and World Championship Wrestling (WCW), Mutoh has held 21 total championships.

What Muta did in the 1980s and 1990s was create a cross-culture of acceptance of Japanese stars who were considered equals of the Flairs and Stings and Windhams of the time and when he challenged Sting and Windham (after Flair bolted for the WWF) the cross connection of wrestling as a world-wide appeal was complete.

This latest foray between TNA Impact and Muta’s Wrestle-1 (W-1) is something the WWE has not tried as a luxury to introduce new wrestlers (Sanada) into American-based programming. For that, Impact gets a pass, but not for the way the Japanese style is portrayed.

What this segment, which ultimately will lead to a Storm-Muta
confrontation, does is show how poorly the company has booked one of its best commodities in Storm. There basically is not place for him in the company right now, with no true program and no real angle. His heal turn is wasted because of a poor creative unit.

And in the process, it has embarrassed one of the true all-time greats in the ring – purely because TNA wants to try and capitalize on something the WWE is winning with, not something that could have been more original and could have paid homage to Muta’s greatness – not make a mockery of him.

Follow David on Twitter @davidlevin71

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