Keiji Mutoh captures the GHC Heavyweight Championship

Originally published at Keiji Mutoh captures the GHC Heavyweight Championship

Pro Wrestling NOAH held their ‘Destination’ show today in Tokyo, Japan at the Budokan arena. The headlining match of the night was Go Shiozaki putting the GHC Heavyweight Championship on the line against Keiji Mutoh, also known as The Great Muta.

The finish of the match saw Shiozaki hit the ropes and charge at Mutoh but Mutoh leaped up and hit a hurricanrana, followed up with a pin and held down Shiozaki down to secure the win and become champion.

フランケンで!!!!!!!! @ABEMA で視聴中 #noah_ghc #ノア日本武道館

— プロレスリング・ノア (@noah_ghc) February 12, 2021

Post-match, former GHC Heavyweight Champion Kaito Kiyomiya came down to the ring and stared Mutoh down as the in-ring portion of the show concluded. Kiyomiya reigned as GHC Heavyweight Champion for over a year before being defeated by Go Shiozaki at NOAH’s ‘New Sunrise’ show in January of 2020.

The match between Shiozaki and Mutoh was billed as a clash of generations with Mutoh being 58 and Shiozaki being 39. With this win, Mutoh has now held the All Japan Triple Crown Heavyweight, IWGP Heavyweight and now GHC Heavyweight Championships.

I’m still a relative newcomer to NOAH, but this move really bugs me. It’s a crappy way for Shiozaki’s fantastic title run to end and Kiyomiya will gain nothing by knocking over an over-the-hill legend with no knees to take the title “back to NOAH”. Shiozaki deserves credit for being able to carry Mutoh to a decent match, but if their previous match is anything to go on, I don’t think Kiyomiya will be able to do the same.

All that said, overall the second half of Destination was really solid (was watching on Wrestle Universe, so I didn’t see the undercard). The Jr Heavyweight match was quite good, and Inamura gained a lot by mixing it up with the likes of Akiyama and Marifuji (vets who have a lot more left in the tank than Mutoh).

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