I was at the South Broadway Athletic Club’s training facility yesterday and engaged in a brief chat with some of the guys while they were working out and honing their craft, when I heard one man there say one of the most egregiously awful things I’ve heard in years.
I was discussing Japanese wrestlers and touting the combined flash and effect their maneuvers had on opponents. I cited the Great Muta’s elbow drop as one example, only to have hot shot rookie Da’Marius Jones pipe up with, “Who’s that?”
Confused, I responded, “Great Muta. Face paint. The mist. Greatest practitioner of the shining wizard. Japanese legend. Muta?”
“Nope. Never heard of him.”
After they revived me at ringside, I sought out to find videos demonstrating just why the Great Muta is arguably the best wrestler to emerge from Japan. And that is a very short list: Muta, Misawa, Kenta Kobashi, Jushin Liger, KENTA, and that’s about it. I’m not an old fart, people. Far from it. And it’s not like Da’Marius Jones is all that young. I could maybe forgive him if he was, say, eight or nine years old. That’d just be a case of poor parenting. But to make it this far in life and to be a professional wrestler and have no clue who the Great Muta is…I mean…uh…GAAAAAH!
I’m calm. I promise.
Look, here are some videos to enjoy:
1. The Great Muta’s debut in the NWA/WCW (by the way, Gary Hart belongs on any Mt. Rushmore of greatest managers)
2. In 1992, Muta had a bout with longtime nemesis Hiroshi Hase for New Japan that would become legendary in tape trading circles and give birth to the term the “Muta Scale,” which measures the amount of blood a man loses in a match.
3. Here’s Muta in October 1996 wrestling the seemingly immortal Jushin Liger (dude moves like he doesn’t age):
4. Muta channels his inner Jack Sparrow with his entrance attire in this match, which took place in August 2007:
5. And lastly, here’s a match from January 2012, in which Muta wrestles in a 6-man tag bout:
So to those of you who don’t know about the Great Muta (and I’m looking in your direction, Da’Marius) I have only one thing to say: GET. YOUR. HEAD. RIGHT.