Steve Borden, better known by the ring name Sting, is an American retired professional wrestler, actor and former bodybuilder. He is signed to WWE under a Legends contract. Sting is known for his time spent as the public face of two major professional wrestling promotions: the now-defunct World Championship Wrestling, which displaced the World Wrestling Federation as the leading professional wrestling organization in the United States from 1995 to 1998, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. Borden is regarded as one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time, having cultivated a legacy over a career spanning more than three decades in which he held 15 world championships. Sting's 14-year tenure with WCW and its predecessor, Jim Crockett Promotions, began in 1987. Dubbed "The Franchise of WCW", he held a total of 15 championships in the promotion – including the WCW World Heavyweight Championship on six occasions, the WCW International World Heavyweight Championship on two occasions and the NWA World Heavyweight Championship on one occasion – and made more pay-per-view appearances for the company than any other wrestler.
Sting has been described as the WCW counterpart to the WWF's Hulk Hogan. Against Hogan, Sting headlined the highest-grossing PPV event in WCW history at Starrcade in December 1997. Upon the acquisition of WCW by the WWF in March 2001, Sting and his long-term rival Ric Flair were chosen to perform in the main event of the final episode of Nitro. Following the expiration of his contract with WCW's parent company, AOL Time Warner, in March 2002, Borden held talks with the WWF, but did not join the promotion and instead toured internationally with World Wrestling All-Stars – winning the WWA World Heavyweight Championship – before joining the then-upstart TNA in 2003. Over the following 11 years, he won the NWA World Heavyweight Championship on one further occasion and the TNA World Heavyweight Championship four times, as well as being the inaugural inductee into the TNA Hall of Fame in 2012, he is the only man to hold the WCW and TNA world championships in a career. Described by WWE as the greatest wrestler never to have performed for that promotion, Sting joined the company in 2014, making his first appearance at Survivor Series and having his debut match at WrestleMania 31 the following year.
His last bout at Night of Champions in September 2015, marked his sole WWE pay-per-view main event and WWE World Heavyweight Championship contest for the organization. Sting headlined the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2016 on April 2, his induction renders him the first performer to be inducted into both the WWE and TNA Hall of Fame, as well as the second man to be inducted while an active WWE wrestler, after Ric Flair. Sting held 25 total championships throughout his career, including 21 between WCW and TNA. Readers of Pro Wrestling Illustrated named him "Most Popular Wrestler of the Year" on four occasions, a record he shares with John Cena. In 2016, Sting was inducted into the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame. Slam! Sports wrote that he holds "a lofty level of prestige that few will touch". Borden was born in Omaha and raised in Southern California, he played competitive football and basketball in high school and embarked on a career in bodybuilding, once co-owning a Gold's Gym health club.
Borden had no interest in professional wrestling and no television access to it within his home community, but decided to pursue a career in the industry after being taken to an "incredible" World Wrestling Federation event in Los Angeles where he saw Hulk Hogan, The Iron Sheik, The British Bulldogs, André the Giant and others perform. Borden wrestling under the ring name Flash, teamed with Jim "Justice" Hellwig as two members of Power Team USA in independent All-California Championship Wrestling. Power Team USA was a four-man unit featuring Garland "Glory" Donahoe and Mark "Commando" Miller, plus manager Rick Bassman. Hellwig and Borden moved to the Continental Wrestling Association, a wrestling company based in Memphis and became known as the Freedom Fighters. Fans were slow to respond to the lumbering hulks, so the team turned heel; the Freedom Fighters left the CWA after an uneventful run, the highlight of, an angle in which they broke the leg of veteran wrestler Phil Hickerson. The duo surfaced in the Universal Wrestling Federation, an organization run by Bill Watts and based in Shreveport, Louisiana where they were known as the Blade Runners.
Borden changed his ring name from Flash to Sting. They soon joined Hotstuff & Hyatt International, a heel stable headed by "Hot Stuff" Eddie Gilbert and Missy Hyatt. Together with "Russian" wrestler Kortsia Korchenko, the Blade Runners became henchmen in Gilbert's on-screen feud with Watts. Hellwig, who would become The Ultimate Warrior in the World Wrestling Federation, left the promotion in mid-1986, leaving Sting without a partner. Sting won the UWF World Tag Team Championship twice with Gilbert in 1986 and a third time with Rick Steiner in 1987. Following a match against Terry Taylor in mid-1987, Gilbert interfered on Taylor's behalf, costing Sting the match. Taylor and Gilbert ganged up on Sting. Adams cleared the ring and asked Sting if he was with him or against him in his feud with Taylor and Gilbert. Sting turned face by declaring his allegiance to Adams. Behind the scenes, Gilbert endorsed Borden by telling a dirt sheet that Sting would be a megastar in the future; that year, Sting was tabbed to win the UWF Television Championship h
Pat O'Connor (wrestler)
Patrick John O'Connor, was a New Zealand professional wrestler. Regarded as one of the premier workers of his era, O'Connor held the AWA World Heavyweight Championship and NWA World Heavyweight Championship the latter of which he held for two years, he was the inaugural AWA World Heavyweight Champion. Patrick John O'Connor was born on 22 August 1924 in Raetihi, New Zealand, to parents John Frederick and Isabella. While he attended high school at Feilding Agricultural High School, he helped tend to the sheep and cattle on his parents' farm, he attended Massey Agricultural College, served for six months in the New Zealand Royal Air Force in 1945. Before entering the world of professional wrestling, O'Connor was an amateur wrestler, he trained under Dave Sparrow, Don Anderson, while working as a blacksmith to pay the bills. After a tournament in 1947, he joined the Wellington wrestling team and trained under Anton Koolmann. In 1948, he represented New Zealand in the Pan American games. O'Connor won the New Zealand Heavyweight Championship in amateur wrestling in both 1949 and 1950.
The 1949 win earned him entry into the 1950 British Empire Games. At the Empire Games, O'Connor, once again representing New Zealand, won a silver medal winner in the heavyweight division, he trained to be a professional wrestler under Len Levy. On 19 March 1955, O'Connor won the NWA World Tag Team Championship with tag team partner Roy McClarity, they held the title until February 1956. In the year, he worked for Maple Leaf Wrestling. In March, he won the NWA British Empire Heavyweight Championship, but lost it on 2 May 1957 to Gene Kiniski; that same month, O'Connor and Whipper Billy Watson won the NWA Canadian Open Tag Team Championship, but lost it to Gene Kiniski and Fritz Von Erich on 31 October of that year. O'Connor held the NWA World Heavyweight Championship from 1959 to 1961, he first won the title on 9 January 1959 from Dick Hutton, who had held the title for thirteen months. O'Connor's reign was recognized by both the National Wrestling Alliance and the National Wrestling Association.
The title change was part of the rivalry between bookers Sam Muchnick and Fred Kohler, the latter of whom did not want to waste any money announcing O'Connor as the new champion. Kohler wanted O'Connor to pay him $10,000 to wrestle at shows in Chicago, while being paid less than champions earned. O'Connor was so angry at the suggestion that he walked out of their meeting and told Muchnick not to book him for events in Chicago; the men worked out a deal of sorts, on 19 February 1960, O'Connor wrestled in Chicago against Bruno Sammartino and Johnny Valentine, among others. On 29 July at one of Fred Kohler's events, O'Connor defeated Yukon Eric at an event with an attendance of 30,275. During this time, television became a factor in the burgeoning market for professional wrestling, as a result, the demand to trade wrestlers, including O'Connor, throughout the territories, was eased due to Vincent McMahon's Capitol Wrestling. In December, he worked for McMahon in the Northeast. In March 1961, he was suspended for sixteen days.
On 30 June 1961, O'Connor dropped the title to Buddy Rogers in front of 38,622 fans at Comiskey Park, a North American professional wrestling attendance record that lasted until Toronto's The Big Event in 1986. The ticket sells of $148,000 was a professional wrestling record for twenty years; the match, a two out of three falls match, was billed as the "Match of the Century". During the match, both men had gained a pinfall, when O'Connor missed a dropkick and suffered a legit groin injury on the ropes, after which Rogers pinned him to win the match. In May 1960, while still the NWA World Heavyweight Champion, the American Wrestling Association named O'Connor as the first holder of the AWA World Heavyweight Championship when they seceded from the NWA. Therefore, he held both NWA World Heavyweight Championships simultaneously. However, he never defended the AWA World Heavyweight Championship, was stripped of it in August, after ninety days, when Verne Gagne was recognized as the new champion. On 10 November 1967, the team of O'Connor and Wilbur Snyder defeated Larry Hennig and Harley Race to win the AWA World Tag Team Championship.
They lost the title on 2 December to Dr. Moto. O'Connor and Snyder defeated Arakawa and Moto for the World Wrestling Association's WWA World Tag Team Championship on 24 September 1968, they lost the title on 26 October to the same team. On 13 October 1970, O'Connor was introduced as Jim Crockett Promotions's first NWA Eastern States Heavyweight Champion as part of a storyline to introduce the title; the title was awarded to the Missouri Mauler with the announcement that Mauler won it in New York. On 1 January 1982, O'Connor was part of the card that comprised promoter Sam Muchnick's last professional wrestling show, located in St. Louis. O'Connor was one of the owners of the St. Louis Wrestling Club. O'Connor, along with Verne Gagne, Harley Race, Bob Geigel purchased the territory from Sam Muchnick the day after Muchnick's retirement. On 18 September 1963, O'Connor was named as a co-conspirator in the monopoly that controlled professional wrestling in Missouri and Iowa. O'Connor filed a counterclaim.
On 16 November 1987, O'Connor participated in a World Wrestling Federation "old-timers" battle royal, won by Lou Thesz. O'Connor died of cancer on 16 August 1990. In December 1990, World Championship Wrestling held the Pat O'Connor Memorial International Cup Tag Team Tournament, an eight-team international tag team memorial tournament at Starrcade in honor of O'Connor
Robert Edward Turner III is an American media mogul and philanthropist. As a businessman, he is known as founder of the Cable News Network, the first 24-hour cable news channel. In addition, he founded WTBS, which pioneered the superstation concept in cable television, which on became TBS; as a philanthropist, he is known for his $1 billion gift to support the United Nations, which created the United Nations Foundation, a public charity to broaden domestic support for the UN. Turner serves as Chairman of the United Nations Foundation board of directors. Additionally, in 2001, Turner co-founded the Nuclear Threat Initiative with US Senator Sam Nunn. NTI is a non-partisan organization dedicated to reducing global reliance on, preventing the proliferation of nuclear and biological weapons, he serves as Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors. Turner's media empire began with his father's billboard business, Turner Outdoor Advertising, which he took over in 1963 after his father's suicide, it was worth $1 million.
His purchase of an Atlanta UHF station in 1970 began the Turner Broadcasting System. CNN revolutionized news media, covering the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986 and the Persian Gulf War in 1991. Turner turned the Atlanta Braves baseball team into a nationally popular franchise and launched the charitable Goodwill Games, he helped revive interest in professional wrestling by buying World Championship Wrestling. Turner's penchant for controversial statements earned him the nicknames "The Mouth of the South" and "Captain Outrageous". Turner has devoted his assets to environmental causes, he was the largest private landowner in the United States until John C. Malone surpassed him in 2011, he uses much of his land for ranches to re-popularize bison meat, amassing the largest herd in the world. He created the environmental-themed animated series Captain Planet and the Planeteers. Turner was born on November 19, 1938 in Cincinnati, the son of Florence and Robert Edward Turner II, a billboard magnate.
When he was nine, his family moved to Georgia. He attended a private boys' preparatory school in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Turner attended Brown University and was vice-president of the Brown Debating Union and captain of the sailing team, he became a member of Kappa Sigma. Turner majored in Classics. Turner's father wrote saying that his choice made him "appalled horrified", that he "almost puked". Turner changed his major to Economics, but before receiving a degree, he was expelled for having a female student in his dormitory room. Turner was awarded an honorary B. A. from Brown University in November 1989 when he returned to campus to keynote the National Association of College Broadcasters second annual conference. After leaving Brown University, Turner returned to the South in late 1960 to become general manager of the Macon, Georgia branch of his father's business. Following his father's March 1963 suicide, Turner became president and chief executive of Turner Advertising Company when he was 24 and turned the firm into a global enterprise.
He joined the Young Republicans, saying he "felt at ease among these budding conservatives and was following in Ed Turner's far-right footsteps," according to It Ain't As Easy As It Looks. During the Vietnam War Era, Turner's business prospered; the book observed that Turner "discovered his father had sheltered a substantial amount of taxable income over the years by lending it back to the company" and "discovered that the billboard business could be a gold mine, a tax-depreciable revenue stream that threw off enormous amounts of cash with no capital investment." In the late 1960s, Turner began buying Southern radio stations. In 1969, he sold his radio stations to buy a struggling television station in Atlanta, WJRJ, Channel 17. At the time, UHF stations did well only in markets without VHF stations, like Fresno, California, or in markets with only one station on VHF. Independent UHF stations were not ratings winners or that profitable in larger markets, but Turner had the foresight that this would change as people wanted more than several choices.
He changed the call sign to WTCG. The station ran old movies from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, along with theatrical cartoons and old sitcoms and old drama shows; as better syndicated product fell off the VHF stations, Turner would acquire it for his station at a low price. WTCG ran second- and third-hand programming of the time, including fare such as Gilligan's Island, I Love Lucy, Star Trek and Bugs Bunny. WTCG acquired rights to telecast the Atlanta Braves baseball games in 1973. Turner purchased UHF Channel 36 WRET in Charlotte, North Carolina and ran it with a format similar to WTCG. In 1976, the FCC allowed WTCG to use a satellite to transmit content to local cable TV providers around the nation. On December 17, 1976, the rechristened WTCG-TV Super-Station began to broadcast old movies, situation comedy reruns and sports nationwide to cable-TV subscribers; as cable systems developed, many carried his station to free their schedules, which increased his viewers and advertising. The number of subscribers reached 2 million and Turner's net worth rose to $100 million.
He bought a 5,000-acre plantation in South Carolina, for $2 million. In 1978, Turner struck a deal with a student-operated radio station at MIT, Technology Broadcasting System, to obtain the ri
Richard Henry Blood Sr. better known by his ring name Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, is an American retired professional wrestler. He is best known for his work with the American Wrestling Association, Jim Crockett Promotions, World Championship Wrestling, the World Wrestling Federation. In JCP and WCW, he was a one-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion, a four-time United States Heavyweight Champion, a four-time World Television Champion, a twelve-time World Tag Team Champion, a two-time Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Champion. In the WWF/E, Steamboat was a one-time Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2009. Blood went to high school in New York, graduated in 1971 from Boca Ciega High School in Gulfport, Florida where he was on the school wrestling team, he was a Florida state champion. Blood debuted in 1976 as a babyface in the American Wrestling Association under his real name Rick Blood, he went from the AWA to Championship Wrestling from Florida. Before his debut at CWF, Eddie Graham gave him the ring name Ricky Steamboat based on his resemblance to Hawaiian wrestler Sammy Steamboat.
According to Steamboat, Graham thought. In 1977, Steamboat entered the National Wrestling Alliance-sanctioned Jim Crockett Promotions, where he would remain for the next eight years of his career. Steamboat, brought in by JCP booker George Scott on the recommendation of Wahoo McDaniel, was billed as a babyface protege of Wahoo, spoke above whispers in interviews. Matching him with his brash young counterpart, Ric Flair, was a natural fit. Steamboat stepped up to the plate during an interview on the syndicated Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling when Flair, the then-Mid-Atlantic television champion, began goading the youngster. Steamboat knocked Flair out with a backhand chop to set up a match between the two. Steamboat's star making performance came when he pinned Flair after a double thrust off the top rope to win the NWA Mid-Atlantic Television Championship at WRAL studios in Raleigh, North Carolina. Over the next eight years in JCP, Steamboat captured the NWA United States Heavyweight Championship three times and the NWA World Tag Team Championship six times.
He held the NWA Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship singles crown twice and wore the NWA Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Championship straps four times. He won the Television title a second time. Fans in the Mid-Atlantic territory to this day talk about classic Steamboat moments: the day Flair dragged his face around the television studio, causing facial scarring, Steamboat retaliating the following week by ripping Flair's expensive suit to shreds. Slaughter and Don Kernodle. After having creative differences with JCP booker Dusty Rhodes, Steamboat left the NWA. In 1985, Steamboat was offered a contract by Vince McMahon and he joined the World Wrestling Federation. Shortly after his debut, Steamboat was given the gimmick of a babyface nicknamed "The Dragon". Steamboat's mother is Japanese American, hence his Asian features which were crucial for his "Dragon" gimmick. Steamboat kept the gimmick for the remainder of his career, he appeared at the inaugural WrestleMania where he defeated Matt Borne in the third match on the card.
On the September 14, 1985 edition of Championship Wrestling, Steamboat defeated Mr. Fuji, but after his victory he was attacked by Fuji's protege Don Muraco, pitting Steamboat in a feud against Muraco and Fuji. During a televised episode of WWF Championship Wrestling and Muraco were scheduled for a match that never started after Muraco jumped Steamboat before the bell. Following the beat down and Fuji used Steamboat's Karate black belt to hang him outside the ring from the top rop before Steamboat was saved by Tito Santana and the Junkyard Dog. On the November 2 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event, he defeated Fuji in a Kung Fu Challenge. On the January 4, 1986 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event, his intense feud with Muraco ended after he and the JYD beat Muraco and Fuji in a tag team match. In the opening round at WWF The Wrestling Classic, Steamboat faced Davey Boy Smith in a rare match pitting two fan favorites against each other; the match moved back and forth until Smith landed in the ropes trying to attack Steamboat, but Steamboat sidestepped and Smith injured his groin and was unable to continue, so Steamboat was awarded the
NWA World Heavyweight Championship
The NWA World Heavyweight Championship is a world heavyweight championship in the National Wrestling Alliance. Although formally established in 1948, its lineage has been traditionally traced back to the first World Heavyweight Wrestling Championship, which traces its lineage to the title first awarded to George Hackenschmidt in 1905; this makes it the oldest surviving wrestling championship in the world. The title has been competed for in the World Wide Wrestling Federation, New Japan Pro-Wrestling, World Championship Wrestling, Eastern Championship Wrestling, Ring of Honor, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. With many territorial promotions appearing across the United States, the NWA was formed in 1948 as an overall governing wrestling body. Like franchises, these territories had the option of NWA membership; the promotion owners had to recognize the NWA Heavyweight, Junior Heavyweight, Light Heavyweight Champions as world champions while retaining their own ownership and top champion. Ric Flair holds the record for the most reigns with nine.
The current champion is Nick Aldis, in his second reign. Every year, the NWA World Heavyweight Champion would travel to each territory and defend the title against the territories' top contender or champion; the purpose of the world champion was to still hold the title. The NWA board of directors, composed of territory owners, decided when the title changed hands via a vote. By the late 1950s, the system began to break down; as Lou Thesz continued to hold the title, other popular wrestlers such as Verne Gagne became frustrated over the lack of change. There were disputes over the number of appearances the champion would make in different regions. On June 14, 1957 in Chicago, Thesz defended the world title against Canadian wrestler Édouard Carpentier in a two out of three falls match. Thesz and Carpentier split. In the third fall, Thesz was disqualified by referee Ed Whalen who raised Carpentier's hand in victory; the NWA voided the title change based on the disqualification. Thesz defeated Carpentier by disqualification in a Montreal rematch on July 24.
It had been planned that the NWA would present Thesz and Carpentier as rival champions in different cities following a similar pattern to the successful title dispute matches between Thesz and Leo Nomellini. Carpentier would be able to make appearances in the US as champion while Thesz was on an overseas tour. However, as a result of various disputes within the NWA, Carpentier's manager, wrestling promoter Eddie Quinn, left the organization in August making Carpentier unavailable to the NWA; the organization dealt with the situation by announcing 71 days after Carpentier's win in Chicago that it did not recognize Carpentier's win and had never recognized it. Quinn started promoting Carpentier as the true NWA world champion based on the match with Thesz. In 1958, Quinn started shopping Carpentier around to promoters interested in leaving the NWA. A victory over Carpentier could give a local champion a credible claim to the world championship of wrestling. Verne Gagne, trying to become NWA World Heavyweight Champion for some time, defeated Carpentier in Omaha, Nebraska on August 9, 1958.
This was recognized as a title change by those NWA affiliate promotions that would evolve into the American Wrestling Association in 1960. This disputed version of the NWA World Heavyweight Title was known as the World Heavyweight Championship; the title was unified with the AWA World Heavyweight Championship on September 7, 1963. The AWA title continued to exist until the AWA ceased operations in 1991; the Boston NWA affiliate known as the Atlantic Athletic Commission arranged a match between Killer Kowalski and Carpentier in 1958. Kowalski's victory created what was after known as the ACC World Heavyweight Title and the Big Time Wrestling World title, active until 1975 reforming in the early 2000s; the NAWA/WWA in Los Angeles recognized Carpentier as NWA champion in July 1959 as part of splitting from the NWA. On June 12, 1961, Carpentier lost a match to Freddie Blassie which created the basis for the WWA World Heavyweight Championship; the title ceased to exist when the WWA returned to the NWA on October 1, 1968.
The World Wide Wrestling Federation, which evolved into today's WWE, was the major wrestling promotion in the northeast United States in the early 1960s. Vincent J. McMahon's Capitol Wrestling Corporation, the precursor to the WWWF, seceded from the NWA for a variety of reasons including the selection of the NWA World Heavyweight Champion and the number of dates wrestled by the champion in the promotion. Ostensibly, the dispute was over "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers losing the NWA World Heavyweight Championship to Lou Thesz in one fall instead of a best-of-three — the format in which NWA World Heavyweight Championship matches were traditionally decided at the time. Capitol Wrestling Corporation executives held majority control over the NWA while in NWA board of directors at the time. Following Lou Thesz's World Heavyweight Championship win, Capitol Wrestling Corporation seceded from the NWA and became the World Wide Wrestling Federation. "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers was recognized as the first WWWF World Heavyweight Champion.
When Ric Flair won the NWA World title in 1981, he traveled to other NWA territories and defended the belt. He would regain it, as the NWA board of directors decided. On more than one occasion, Flair lost and regained the belt without the official sanctioning of the NWA. In most cases, these
Keiji Mutoh is a Japanese professional wrestler who first gained international fame in the National Wrestling Alliance. He is known for his work as The Great Muta in New Japan Pro Wrestling during the 1990s, but he has worked in the United States, Puerto Rico and Taiwan, he is a former president of All Japan Pro Wrestling, as well as being a full-time wrestler for the promotion from 2002 to 2013. Mutoh is credited as one of the first Japanese wrestlers to achieve a fan base outside of his native Japan; the Great Muta gimmick is one of the most influential gimmicks in puroresu, having been emulated by many wrestlers including Satoshi Kojima, Kazushi Miyamoto, Atsushi Onita, Seiya Sanada. In addition, countless other wrestlers have paid tribute to Muta through imitation. Mutoh is one of three wrestlers to hold the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, the AJPW Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship, the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, he is a former five-time AJPW World Tag Team Champion and a six-time IWGP Tag Team Champion.
He is famous for taking part in what was considered to be the bloodiest professional wrestling match of all time against Hiroshi Hase, leading to the creation of the "Muta scale". Mutoh is the owner and founder of Wrestle-1, where he also wrestles semi-regularly, Mutoh made special appearances for American promotion Total Nonstop Action Wrestling as part of the TNA/W-1 talent exchange partnership. Between AJPW, NJPW, World Championship Wrestling and W-1, Mutoh has held a total of 22 championships. Mutoh was a judo black belt with experience in many national competitions prior to being trained by Hiro Matsuda in the New Japan Pro Wrestling Dojo, he debuted on October 1984 against Masahiro Chono. In 1985, Mutoh was sent on his first learning excursion to the United States. Wrestling in Florida as the "White Ninja", Mutoh teamed with Kendo Nagasaki before returning to New Japan in 1986, where he was nicknamed "Space Lone Wolf", a space-age type character, revived in 2005 by NOSAWA Rongai. In March 1987, Mutoh won the IWGP Tag Team Championship with Shiro Koshinaka, before losing the titles to Akira Maeda and Nobuhiko Takada six days later.
In the summer of 1987, Mutoh took part in the NOW vs. NEW feud, in which he aligned himself with Antonio Inoki and his group, teaming with the likes of Inoki, Seiji Sakaguchi, Yoshiaki Fujiwara, Kantaro Hoshino, battling the likes of Tatsumi Fujinami, Riki Choshu, Akira Maeda, Kengo Kimura, Super Strong Machine. In January 1988, Mutoh went on another excursion, this time in Puerto Rico for the World Wrestling Council under his new ring name, "The Super Black Ninja", he feuded with Miguel Perez Jr. with whom he lost a hair vs. hair match to that April. It was in Puerto Rico he formed The Three Musketeers with Shinya Hashimoto, he wrestled only one match in New Japan during this period on July 29, before returning to Puerto Rico. In the fall of 1988, Mutoh moved to the Dallas, Texas-based World Class Championship Wrestling, where he reunited with Kendo Nagasaki and had a short lived feud with Kevin Von Erich before departing the organization in March 1989. Mutoh's personality and ring skills shown in his early American matches earned him a high billing within the National Wrestling Alliance.
Mutoh first appeared as "The Great Muto" in the NWA on the March 18, 1989 edition of WCW Saturday Night, although announcer Jim Ross pronounced the name as "The Great Muta". His manager Gary Hart introduced him as the son of the Great Kabuki, whom Gary Hart had managed years earlier, he wrestled his first match under the new persona on April 2 against Scott Casey. Muta would feud with stars like Lex Luger, Ric Flair, Sting, from whom he would capture the NWA World Television Championship on September 3, 1989. Mutoh lost the championship to Arn Anderson on January 2, 1990, which aired on the January 12, 1990 edition of WCW Power Hour, some time after the Clash of the Champions on February 6, Mutoh would return to New Japan, going between his real name and his Muta gimmick as he pleased. Mutoh rose in the ranks upon returning to New Japan in March 1990, his Great Muta persona would make its NJPW debut six months later. In April 1990, he won his second IWGP Tag Team title with Masahiro Chono, defeating Shinya Hashimoto and Masa Saito.
He and Chono would hold the titles for over six months, before losing them to Hiroshi Hase and Kensuke Sasaki. Meanwhile in World Championship Wrestling, it was announced on Clash of the Champions XIII that The Great Muta would be returning at Starrcade'90 to team with Mr. Saito. Less than a month Mutoh teamed with Saito in the Pat O'Connor Memorial Tag-Team Tournament at Starrcade; the duo defeated The New Zealand Militia in the quarterfinals Victor Zangiev and Salmon Hasimikov in the semi-finals. Muta and Saito were defeated by US Tag Team Champions The Steiner Brothers in the finals. Muta continued to make sporadic appearances within WCW during 1991 while wrestling in New Japan, he was shown in attendance at WrestleWar 91, defeated old rival Sting at the combined New Japan/WCW Starrcade event on March 21, 1991 in Tokyo, Japan. Mutoh was entered into a match with United States Heavyweight Champion Lex Luger to determine the Number One Contender for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. On June 12 at Clash of the Champions XV, Muta was pinned by Luger to ear