Two Late Era WCW Puro Workers Team in 2012 NJPW

by Daniel Johnson

Keiji Mutoh and Kaz Hayashi vs. Masakatsu Funaki and Minoru Tanaka

Quick, what are two things Keiji Mutoh and Kaz Hayashi have in common? Well, if you didn’t read the headline then there may be a few things you might say. Perhaps, they are two puro wrestlers who can work a mat-based style, but still hit some impressive aerial maneuvers. On the other hand Mutoh and Hayashi can also be described as two workers whose best days are gone, but can still work in the ring better than plenty of guys still in their prime. Yet, the first thing that comes to my mind when bringing up the two in the same breath is they were excellent puro workers who were utterly wasted in the dying days of WCW. Sure, Mutoh was in his character of The Great Muta which WCW never quite got the way Japanese promotions did and Kaz had some good matches, but in both cases there was so much untapped potential.  Perhaps it was because Mutoh just didn’t give a damn by that point while Kaz gave too much of a damn when ridiculous booking rendered it pointless.

WCW is long dead yet the careers of Mutoh and Hayashi live on. There is some fancy footwork in the opening of this match when Hayashi and Minoru Tanaka try to maneuver themselves to be the dominant wrestler. When Mutoh and Masakatsu Funaki come in, Mutoh wastes no time in hitting a dragon screw and a shinning wizard. Desptie Keiji and Kaz controlling much of the match Funaki wins it with his hammerlock tombstone piledriver finisher aka the hybrid blaster. Overall, it is a decent if slightly short affair. Better than a lot of what you would see Keiji and Kaz in during their WCW runs.



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