With this week's AEW Rampage taped directly after last night's Dynamite from Arthur Ashe Stadium, those in attendance were left shocked by an appearance from the legendary Great Muta.
Muta came to the ring during the Sting and Darby Allin vs. Buddy Matthews and Brody King match, with the Stinger handcuffed to a chair and about to be decimated by a baseball bat-wielding Matthews. From there, the Pearl of the Orient made his way out, initially stared at Sting, then turned his attention to Buddy and ultimately hit the Australian with his patented mist.
Sting would pick up the win for his team, and he and Muta shared an embrace during the post-match celebrations.
Of course, Sting and the Great Muta have a storied history both as rivals and as partners.
The pair would first cross paths in 1989 when Gary Hart brought Muta into the NWA's WCW territory, and the Japanese star would even topple the Stinger to embark on a 121-day reign as the NWA World Television Champion. As alluded to, these two icons would eventually form an alliance, and one particularly notable bout saw Sting and Muta team up to battle the Steiner Brothers at 1992's NJPW Super Warriors in Tokyo Dome event.
Skipping ahead a couple of years, these two face-painted superstars would find themselves donning nWo colours at various points, and they'd also once again butt heads during the Great Muta's return to WCW in 2000.
For those maybe not familiar with the Great Muta, Keiji Mutoh is a true great of the industry and one of the most influential talents of all time, with him having amassed major success in the likes of New Japan Pro-Wrestling, All Japan Pro Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Noah, Jim Crockett Promotions/WCW, Championship Wrestling from Florida, and Puerto Rico's World Wrestling Council across his 38-year (and counting) career.
Currently signed with Pro Wrestling Noah, the 59-year-old Mutoh is in the midst of a retirement tour right now, with the final match of his stunning career scheduled to take place from Yokohama Arena on 22 January 2023.