WWE Inducting "Forbidden Door" Talent Into Hall of Fame

While it is branded as the WWE Hall of Fame, the global leader in sports-entertainment's immortalized class truly serves as a celebration for professional wrestlers as a whole. Names like Jeff Jarrett and Sting both had stints in WWE but truly made their names in promotions like WCW and TNA. WWE has doubled down on bringing in outside stars into its Hall of Fame in recent years, introducing the "legacy" wing in 2016 that often honors dozens of wrestlers that contributed to the industry on the independent circuit and the territories. This year, WWE is inducting a talent never laced up his boots for Vince McMahon's promotion but rubbed shoulders with a number of the company's top stars.

As announced on WWE's digital series The Bump, The Great Muta will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2023. Muta's longtime rival Ric Flair broke the news that was first reported by PWInsider.

Also wrestling under his real name of Keiji Muto, Muta is one of the most decorated Japanese stars of all time. He is a four-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion with New Japan Pro-Wrestling and has also reigned with Pro Wrestling Noah's GHC Heavyweight Title. His career began nearly four decades ago in 1984 and took him across the globe. Muta's most notable western stints came in TNA/Impact Wrestling, where he had sporadic matches in the 2010s. He also made two one-off appearances for AEW, showing face as a judge for the AEW World Title match at AEW Full Gear 2019 and coming to the aid of Sting at AEW Rampage: Grand Slam this past fall.

Muta recently wrapped his retirement tour in the Far East which featured an unprecedented contest against WWE's Shinsuke Nakamura. The two battled this past January in a very rare instance, as WWE seldom allows its contracted talent to wrestle for other promotions.

Muta joins Rey Mysterio in the slowly-growing WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2023. The induction ceremony is set to take place on Friday, March 31st immediately following WWE SmackDown.