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Pro Wrestling Examiner's Match of the Day: Tanahashi vs. Kenji Muthoh from NJPW

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Every single day in 2014, Pro Wrestling Examiner will feature one match in the most full video form we can find and break down why this particular pro wrestling performance is something to see. Sometimes it will be an incredible bout between modern superstars on TV or independent wrestlers busting their way up the ladder, no matter it will be pure pro wrestling fun. If you have a suggestion for a Match of the Day for Pro Wrestling Examiner to feature, look for us on Twitter @KevKellam and message us on Facebook.

Pro Wrestling Examiner's Match of the Day Jan 2, 2014:

Kenji Mutoh vs. Hiroshi Tanashin for IWGP Heavyweight Championship

This week New Japan Pro Wrestling, the top wrestling promotion in Japan presents Asia’s equivalent to Wrestlemania, Wrestle Kingdom 8 from the world famous Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan. The annual show held on January 4th every year has grown to be to the biggest non-WWE produced wrestling show in the world and is shown internationally now on internet pay per view through UStream. So today we look at a memorable NJPW match from the Dome.

As NJPW looks to rock the Dome yet again this year with a double main-event and a rare return by the Great Muta, we look back at a classic Wrestle Kingdom match between Muta's real life alter ego Kenji Mutoh defending the IWGP Heavyweight Championship against the new ‘pureuso’ king Hiroshi Tanahashi in 2009.

The match saw both competitors at intriguing points in their careers. Mutoh had years earlier shed his Muta monster gimmick and makeup to focus on being a lethal in-ring warrior and gaining the IWGP Heavyweight title in the process. While Tanashi was attempting to break through with his first World title victory and pay off on the all the potential that Japanese fans seen in him. This match is one of those rare yet important ‘passing the torch’ moments in pro wrestling with the established and reinvented Mutoh facing the fresh face Tanahasi who was looking to take the top spot in NJPW.

Watch this entire match in the video posted with this article. If you have never seen Japanese pro wrestling be prepared to see a completely different show with the massive crowd only getting vocal in the most dramatic parts of the match and the wrestlers being more physically aggressive than you would expect.

Check out yesterday's Match of Day at this link with WWE superstars Daniel Bryan facing Antonio Cesar years before they hit the big time.

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