The 50 greatest stars in WCW history

#31 The Great Muta

During the 1980s and ’90s, it was common to see wrestlers from Japan grapple with American competitors. Arguably the most memorable — and the first to gain popularity in the United States — was The Great Muta.

Hailing from Tokyo, Japan, Muta’s epic battles with WCW’s face-painted franchise, Sting, are what truly gave rise to his legend. He typically only faced WCW’s top ring warriors in addition to The Stinger, including Ric Flair, Lex Luger and Arn Anderson. Capturing the WCW Television Championship in 1989, Muta helped pave the way for other Japanese competitors to find success in America. Competing primarily in New Japan throughout the 1990s, Muta’s ties to WCW remained strong, both battling and joining the Japanese branch of the New World Order.

While his stints in WCW were always somewhat brief, his impact on the entire world of sports-entertainment was immeasurable. — K.P.