*ahem* Paging Psycho-Blue…

And just in time to start my Megaranger viewing this evening!

You know what, I was just thinking about Astronema last week!  Truly a great character, especially when she turned cyborg.  When she first arrived she highlighed a mischievous kind of evil like Tira, but then she became a cold, calculating evil a la Kazuya.  Who’s scarier?  YOU DECIDE.

Wrestlers v Yakuza: Triple H, Tajiri, and WWE

Remember what I was talking about with the Yakuza racket for professional wrestling?

WWE didn’t really care much for that when they decided to tape RAW and Smackdown in Japan during their annual tour.  After all, they weren’t some struggling Indy fed that needed to use shady dealings to fill seats.  They were the almighty wrestling conglomerate, untouchable and unstoppable after they conquered the mighty WCW to make them the ruler of the wrestling world.

They treated their tour of Japan like any other tour, but what would make this tour that much more special is what would happen at the RAW taping, where a handful of Yakuza enforcers decided to use their connections to enter the backstage area of the arena and stir up some trouble for not receiving their usual cut from the wrestling gate.  Why they would think they need that given WWE filled the house just fine without their help, who knows.

It’s unknown exactly why they were there, but the first thing they did was hunt down Tajiri, who at one time had quite a bit of Yakuza trouble when he was learning the craft in his home country of Japan.  His Yakuza troubles are well-documented, to a point where WWE once pitched a gimmick to him as the leader of a faux-Yakuza stable, but he turned it down because he didn’t want to piss off the real deal. 

They find Tajiri and bully him a bit until Triple H spotted his co-worker looking very uncomfortable around these men, and the Game jumps in and poses a question. 

"Are these men bothering you?"

The gangsters turn around and look at this thick gaijin with the big nose and tell him to mind his own business, showing them the backstage passes they acquired.  Triple H gives them the once-over and tells them that they need to give the talent more respect if they want to continue enjoying those passes.  And thus, the commotion began.

Nothing physical really happened, but Hunter and the gangsters bickered back and forth enough for the rest of the locker room to bring their attention to these guys.  It soon became clear that whoever these guys were, they were bad news, and little by little the rest of the locker room made their way over to back up their WWE brethen.  And all the while, the other gangsters were oblivious to the backup Triple H was silently calling for…

…right up until the gargantuan Paul Wight, AKA the Big Show, gently brushed up behind them and brought their attention to him.  The Big Show looked down at them the same way Q would look down at his fallen victims, and the Yakuza turned back to Triple H who offered them a choice.

"You need to go away now, or we’re going to have some problems."

Chris Jericho has attested in his second book that the WWE locker room, when you peel away all of the politics and decorum, are as much of a brotherhood as even the most loyal of armies, and would stand united against the Taliban should the situation called for it.  If the gangsters tried something that evening, the legitimate backstage pass holders would have been treated to a special bonus match.

The gangsters decided to leave, but Tajiri did not sleep well the rest of the tour.  He would call his family on an almost hourly basis to make sure that they were safe and was afraid that the WWE’s hotel would be set on fire or explode.  The tour continued as planned and everyone returned to the States safe and sound. 

If you could shorten this story into a single sentence, it would be told like this: “Triple H buried the Yakuza.”

Wrestlers v Yakuza: The Undertaker

No, I’m not just thinking about Wrestlemania.  The next story of these heated rivalry has none other than the Deadman himself, Mean Mark Calloway, better known worldwide as the famed and terrifying Undertaker.  I said that our next entry would feature a well-known wrestler, and they don’t get much more well-known than this guy.

The monster from Death Valley was no stranger to the land of the Rising Sun when this particular incident occurred.  He had done a handful of other tours of Japan before he came to the WWE, back when he was known as Dice Morgan.  You can catch one such match with him teaming with Scott Hall against Hashimoto and Saito.  But that’s not where his encounter with the Yakuza occurred.

No, this happened while he was still rocking the Deadman gimmick, visiting Michinoku Pro as WWE’s ambassador to take on fellow WWE alumnus Hakushi, who had returned to the puroresu scene as the top face of the usually high-flying Michinoku Pro.  The match itself was fine for what it was given the huge size difference between the two guys, but if only you knew about the second match Undertaker got involved in once he went behind the curtain.

Not long after he walks back into the locker room area from his match with Hakushi, an unknown man starts yelling at him in Japanese.  Undertaker gives him a curious glance before looking to continue on his way, but the stranger steps in front and starts yelling at him more.  Apparently Undertaker didn’t listen one of the rules that Michinoku Pro’s “sponsors” set forth and this guy was giving him an earful.

Undertaker was going to have none of this and pushed the guy out of his way so that he can continue on with his business.  After all, the ambassador of WWF didn’t answer to this stranger…but something he would most certainly answer to is what happened next.

A couple of seconds after the guy got pushed, he shouted for others to come out, and suddenly the locker room morphed into a re-enactment of Final Fight.  A little over half-dozen guys emerged from the corridors and made a bee line right for Undertaker with their intentions clear: to try an maim this uppity gaijin who disrespected their leader.

Key word: “try.”

With the writing on the wall, Undertaker put up his dukes and took a swing at anyone and everyone who came close to him, fighting for dear life for reasons that he didn’t know or care about.  The fight lasts for less than 30 seconds as the rest of the locker room hears the commotion and quickly comes to Undertaker’s aid, but by the time it ended, more than one of the guys were writhing on the ground clutching themselves.

One of the other wrestlers who knew both English and Japanese did his best to smooth it over, but at this point, both sides were ready for round 2.  Undertaker reportedly told the mediator, “Tell them the next man who touches me is a cripple.”  

The rest of Undertaker’s stay is anything but a pleasant tour.  He is accompanied by policemen almost everywhere he goes all the way up to his flight back to America, where he returned to the United States and told Papa Vince about what had transpired.  Needless to say, that was the last time WWE loaned a main event caliber wrestler to a puroresu fed.

Tune in next time, where the WWE once again takes center stage as the Yakuza attempt to the Game and see if they can withstand a true Burial!

Wrestlers v Yakuza: Sabu and Mike Awesome

For those of you who aren’t in the know about why I’m writing up a series on this clandestine rivalry, let me explain the link between these two professions.  Japanese wrestling in Japan, like many combat sports, have had many supposed ties to the Japanese mob as far back as professional sports became a thing in Japan following the end of World War II.  The way it works is that the Yakuza would get their hands in the results of the card so as to affect the betting odds and the way the money goes, and in return, the Yakuza “convince” people to go to their shows and buy the expensive seats.  Everyone leaves happy, and the Yakuza even get the best seats at a discounted price when all is said and done.

This practice was common as late as the 1990s, where an upstart fed known as Frontier Martial Arts Wrestling (FMV, before that became the abbreviation for those cutscene videos in the PS1 era) was making its name known for its particularly violent brand of pro wrestling.  Athletic showcases such as the exploding barbed wire match, the Japanese death match, and El Pandita were put on display and these matches became the audition tapes that Mick Foley needed to secure a spot with WWF.  

But if you thought it was dangerous in the ring, two other ECW Originals found something deadly without having to go through a single table.  The name Sabu should be familiar to anyone who knows something about ECW, but to those who are just in this for the Yakuza stories, Sabu’s gimmick is that he’s an Arabian psychopath who will tear apart anyone he comes across in heinous high-flying ways, even if it means he potentially gets the worst of it.  Like many other Extremists before they came back stateside, Sabu sharpened his knives in FMV for a decent paycheck.  During a bout with the Gladiator, who would later become known as Mike Awesome, the battle spilled out to ringside and they went into the crowd to continue the match.

Here’s a little known fact about the Yakuza/Wrestling connection: all wrestlers are prohibited from brawling in the area where the Yakuza are.  Yes, I know that in the USA, being privy to a ringside brawl is like the coolest thing ever and the reason why you buy a front row ticket, but the Yakuza are weird like that, I guess.  Sabu wasn’t made privy to this and figured that it’d be like the States and he’d give the crowd a show.

Instead, the crowd started to attack him!  Sabu instinctively punched the dude who came at him, and like a den of hyenas, everyone around him sought to tear him apart.  Sabu quickly made his way back to the ring but the gangsters weren’t going to let him off that easy.  Realizing what was happening, Mike put himself in harm’s way to give Sabu the chance he needed to escape, and Mike trailed close behind.

By the time all of this ended, Mike and Sabu were hiding in their locker room, hoping this would blow over.  Fortunately the promoter was able to smooth it over, because there were quite a few gangsters hovering around that door waiting for them to step out, eager to shove some knives into their ribs.  

In our next installment, an even more well-known American wrestler will encounter this kind of danger, but unlike Sabu and Gladiator, he chooses a different approach to mediation…

Wrestlers v Yakuza: Stan Hansen and Hacksaw Jim Duggan

This comes from Stan Hansen’s autobiography (which, by the way, is a great read and very telling of why the territory system would not work today even if WWF didn’t rise to prominence).

Stan and Hacksaw were enjoying a night in Japan, going around town admiring the sights and drinking some beer.  They eventually come to a quiet sushi stand where they can sit down and enjoy some drinks away from the crowds and nightclubs.  Unfortunately, it does not stay quiet very long as a Japanese man peers between them and tells them in his Engrish to take off their glasses.

Obviously, telling someone to take off their glasses means you want to slug it out with them.  Stan and Hacksaw, not wanting to stir up trouble and risk deportation, ignore the guy and continue on with their business.  The Japanese guy who threatened them turns away, only to suddenly attempt to punch Hacksaw in the back.  Stan cross-counters and puts the guy on his back, and it is officially on.

The Japanese guy was not alone.  A few of his buddies were nearby and saw him get clocked by these two uppity gaijin in glasses, and they come to his “rescue.”  It is here that Stan and Hacksaw stand up from their seats and do as best they can to defend themselves.  It’s mostly a lot of shoving as they use their football background to keep the other guys from dogpiling on them while they handle whoever they can get their hands on. 

At one point, Stan screams out, “GIVE ME SOME FIGHTING ROOM!” as they tumble into a nearby restaurant.  The brawl becomes so out of control at this point that it almost destroys the restaurant’s flimsy foundations being this was the early 80s and several structures in Japan at this point still had the classic paper walls.  The restaurant owners call the police and they arrive on the scene to break things up.

As the gaijin are talking to the cops, Stan catches the guy who started everything rubbing his eye vigorously in order to make the bruise he got from Stan that much worse.  He gives him a mischief-making grin and things suddenly aren’t looking too good.  Thankfully, the promoters (I believe they were with AJPW at this point so it’d be Baba’s group) are able to take care of things and they avoid any charges.  It turns out they just had a run-in with low-level Yakuza who recently had been making a game of goading in unsuspecting gaijin athletes and then suing them for a quick buck and the delight of knowing they got a foreigner in trouble. 

There are many more stories like this.  STAY TUNED!

But a big one was Miz being in the main event at Wrestlemania. There wasn’t a better bad guy in the business than me and to watch somebody literally just get handed this and you know I was just standing there looking at everybody like… ? He likes to say,”Really?” and that was, you know, me standing there like… I just didn’t get it. It was a monumental slap in the face to somebody that has as much pride as I do. And I just figured in my world the best good guy fights the best bad guy in the best show in the year. And it was just another time I got passed over. To me there wasn’t really any validation for it. It wasn’t cause he worked harder than me, it wan’t cause he looked better than me, or he was a better bad guy. Nobody could tell me any good reason as to why I was once again you know, taking a back seat.
CM Punk’s thoughts on one Michael “Saltmaker” Mizanin, ladies and gentlemen.  If you want the definition of success, you should strive so that one day, someone says these exact words about you because you have accomplished something against all naysaying and player-hating.  Because in their bitterness and jealousy, you are also inspiring them to get on your level.

For whom the bell tolls; time marches on.

Yo, these hands should have stayed around for the rest of the show!

*legion of souls try to pull Rock into the abyss


Psycho Power!

Yessss…next Capcom crossover fighting game please!



whats the point of making a new tmnt movie when we have this masterpiece

I still need to see this.