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Keiji Muto To Retire Next Year

Keiji Muto is calling it a career next year

A legendary career will come to an end next spring as Keiji Muto announced at today's CyberFight Festival that he will have five more matches before retiring from professional wrestling. 

Muto has been dealing with knee issues from his use of the Moonsault Press since the 1990s and the 59-year-old noted today that his hip is also worsening and he will likely need hip replacement surgery. The former GHC Heavyweight Champion was out of action between January and May of this year due to a hip injury and Muto was forced to vacate the GHC Heavyweight Tag Team Titles he held with Naomichi Marufuji. Who Muto will face in his final matches is currently unknown. 

Debuting back in 1984, Muto initially began his career in New Japan Pro-Wrestling and he established himself as one of the promotion's top stars in the 1990s as one of the Three Musketeers with Masahiro Chono and Shinya Hashimoto. He became a three-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion before heading to All Japan Pro-Wrestling in 2001, becoming the promotion's president from 2002 until 2013 as well as a three-time AJPW Triple Crown Champion. Muto also added another IWGP Heavyweight Title reign to his accomplishments while AJPW President. 

Following his time in All Japan, Muto founded Wrestle-1 and the promotion remained active until it shut down in 2020. In recent years, Muto has performed for Pro Wrestling NOAH and he became one of only three wrestlers to win the AJPW Triple Crown, IWGP Heavyweight, and GHC Heavyweight titles when he defeated Go Shiozaki for the top championship in NOAH last year. 

Muto is also fondly remembered for his matches in World Championship Wrestling and for innovating his Great Muta gimmick, a persona that has spawned several copycats. 

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Aidan Gibbons

Written by Aidan Gibbons

Journalist/Editor-in-Chief of Cultaholic.com Twitter: @theaidangibbons