Tagged: Mr. Saito

Mr. Fuji, perennial tag champ and star of ‘Fuji Vice,’ dies at 82

Many of us growing up in the Boston area during the 1970s and ’80s will best remember Mr. Fuji as a tag team champion wrestler who held the WWWF and WWF Tag Team Title five times with Professor Toru Tanaka and Mr. Saito.

For me, however, Fuji will stay forever in my mind for his slapstick comedy in skits with Magnificent Muraco, such as “Fuji Vice,” a parody of a hot TV show at the time called Miami Vice. If you’ve never seen “Fuji Vice,” then you must watch it right now below as an homage. I just did.

 

Fuji, whose real name was Harry Fujiwara, died on August 28 at the age of 82.

He had lengthy runs in the WWF as an active wrestler and then became the manager of stars such as Continue reading

Looking back at Albano’s legacy of managing tag team champions

When I started watching pro wrestling in February 1981 (I can’t believe it’s been 31 years), Captain Lou Albano was known as the WWF manager of tag teams.

The first tandem I saw him guide was Rex and King, the Moondogs (Spot later joined the team after King was stopped at the Canadian border in real life and not allowed into the United States). Most of Albano’s teams, the Moondogs included, held the WWWF or WWF Tag Team Title.

Albano’s start in tag teams happened well before the ‘80s, as he managed several teams in the 1970s. Here is who I can remember Albano managing (and if I’ve got anything or missed a team, let me know): Continue reading

Ken Patera tells a crazy Andre story during a recent radio interview

I heard an entertaining whopper of an interview with former WWF Intercontinental Champion Ken Patera on a Minneapolis radio station recently.

Patera was very up front with the hosts about the long-term effect of his ring injuries (“I’m basically an invalid”), but he, like many others, told a dubious Andre the Giant drinking story.

According to Patera, at some point in the 1980s, he, Andre, Dick Murdoch, Dino Bravo, and Captain Lou Albano were in Las Vegas for a WWF show. Thinking about the names involved, I’d have to guess this alleged tale took place around 1984 or 1985, which were the only years I can think of that Murdoch was in the WWF.

Anyway, rather than get breakfast at Caesars Palace, Murdoch challenged Andre to a beer drinking contest that went Continue reading

Brooklyn Brawler credits Steamboat and Heenan for big career breaks

The Art of Wrestling podcast had a tremendous interview with Steve Lombardi, a.k.a. the Brooklyn Brawler, who is one of those competitive prelim wrestlers everyone remembers from the 1980s.

The interview was conducted by well-known independent wrestler Colt Cabana, and as such, had plenty of behind-the-scenes Continue reading

“They’re literally hanging off the rafters” is my favorite of many Gorilla Monsoon quotes

A while back, I got a kick out of listing some of the great one-liners that Vince McMahon user to utter during his play-by-play announcing days, and since then I have looked forward to the day I also review Gorilla Monsoon’s memorable quotes.

So here goes, with a nod to Monsoon as an announcer and as co-host of Prime Time Wrestling (the precursor to Monday Night Raw on the USA Network): Continue reading

Chief Jay Strongbow dies: Former tag champ who came up with the name “Duke of Dorchester” for Pete Doherty

The death of Chief Jay Strongbow on April 3 will no doubt set off some memories of long-lost wrestling fans who watched him in the WWF in the 1980s (and the WWWF in ‘70s).

Strongbow — who was actually Italian — became synonymous with the WWF due to his tenure there. Many of us who grew up in the ‘80s best remember him for his tag team with “brother” Jules Strongbow, and the duo won Continue reading

Jay and Jules Strongbow refused to leave the ring until they got their tag title rematch

I was a little embarrassed when I recently realized that this blog had virtually no mention of the Strongbow Brothers, Jay and Jules.

Well, they weren’t really brothers, and Jay wasn’t really an American Indian (I’m not sure about Jules). But as a tandem, these guys were quite popular when they defeated Continue reading

Remembering some of the old-school WWF jobbers

Between the classic pro wrestling video clips I’ve watched recently and some of the great comments from visitors of this blog, I’m reminded about the many, many WWF jobbers that I grew up with each Saturday morning on TV and also saw in person at the monthly shows at the old Boston Garden.

Here are some of the guys I remember well:

The Unpredictable Johnny Rodz – Rodz was one of those prelim wrestlers who was a step above the normal jobber, in that Continue reading

The WWF/WWE Tag Team Title has always been secondary, even in the 1980s

This comment from a fan on the Wrestling Observer website regarding December’s WWE TLC pay-per-view caught my attention:

The tag belts are so devalued somebody might as well steal them and throw them in the trash can because tag team wrestling in WWE is nonexistent.

I’m not sure the Tag Team Title is devalued as much as it was never really worth a lot to begin with. The WWE and the WWF could never be confused as long-term hot beds for tag team action.

Yes, we lived through points in the late 1980s and 1990s when the WWF had an abundance of good tag teams and there seemed to be a switch in thinking about these types of matches. But generally, the WWF/WWE always was Continue reading

Thankfully, Jericho and Helms aren’t the 2010 version of Patera and Saito

With all the Internet chatter about the WWE’s Chris Jericho and Hurricane Helms being arrested for public drunkeness, I couldn’t help but think the police who responded were lucky they didn’t instead have to arrest Ken Patera and Mr. Saito.

Back in 1984, Patera and Saito were apparently upset that a McDonald’s in Wisconsin was closed for the night and wouldn’t serve them food. Patera hurled a boulder through the restaurant’s window and the pair went back to the hotel. Police soon came looking for them, and a brawl broke out. As Dave Meltzer in the Wrestling Observer wrote recently Continue reading