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
I like to think of myself as having a vivid memory of 1980s WWF wrestling, and I can recall most angles and wrestlers from that decade. The last time I was truly surprised by something I never knew from that era was the original Royal Rumble that One Man Gang won in St. Louis.
But my friend, Ed, who is another long-time fan, mentioned to me a card he had just learned of from the early ’80s at the Hartford Civic Center that featured an unusual array of steel cage matches.
I’m not sure how or why I’ve never run across this, but sure enough, the great The History of WWE website lists the results as part of a show called “Steel Cage Turmoil,” which took place on November 23, 1984.
The highlight was a 19-match steel cage gauntlet, in which the winner of each contest kept advancing until they lost or won the whole thing. In the end, Big John Studd beat Continue reading
I was certainly surprised to read in the Wrestling Observer’s daily update that the Unpredictable Johnny Rodz turned 76 today.
Wow. Anyone who grew up watching WWF wrestling in the 1980s and earlier will no doubt remember Rodz, who was a career-long jobber in the federation, but one who was taken seriously.
That may be a hard concept to grasp these days, but there was an upper echelon of enhancement talent that got respect from the fans. People like Rodz, Jose Luis Rivera, Baron Mikel Scicluna, Jose Estrada, S.D. Jones, and others gave the stars real fights during bouts.
My friend Tom likes to remind me that Rodz actually was a star in Continue reading
I finally had a chance to try out the new WWE Network last night — and of course the first stop I made was an old WWF house show from Madison Square Garden in April 1981.
A lot of my inspiration for writing this blog comes from my nostalgia of the ’80s wrestling scene that I grew up on, and the WWE Network is a pipeline back to those halcyon days.
With house shows filed under the “Old School” heading on the website, I have high hopes that an old Boston Garden card may eventually show its face on the network, as the intro mentions the Garden, MSG, and the Spectrum.
For the record, the MSG clip I watched wasn’t actually the full house show, but instead an hour of the featured matches. Many of the prelim bouts that filled out the house show cards in those days were skipped on the network clip. I’m not sure how I feel about that. On the one hand, do I really need to see Baron Mikel Scicluna fight S.D. Jones? On the flip side, why not just post the whole show and let the viewer decide what to watch?
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
Former WWF upper-tier prelim wrestler Jim Powers made the news earlier this week with word that he was in the hospital with a serious infection following hip replacement surgery.
“[Powers] is currently in a rehab facility receiving antibiotics through an IV,” according to the Wrestling Observer website. “He is expected to be in the facility for at least another two weeks and then will have to get another hip surgery.”
Powers was an S.D. Jones-level star in terms of Continue reading
This comment from a fan on the Wrestling Observer website regarding December’s WWE TLC pay-per-view caught my attention:
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