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.”