Tagged: Tony Atlas

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

The 1984 steel cage card in Hartford that I never heard of

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

During this blizzard, a look back at a snow-bound Boston Garden wrestling card

As those of us in New England get ready to dig out of 20+ inches of snow from the Blizzard of 2013, my memories take me back to 1991, when some friends and I trekked out in the midst of another strong storm to head to the old Boston Garden for the monthly WWF show.

It wasn’t a blizzard on January 12, 1991, but it was a snowy, windy storm in the middle of the day — and naturally, we had a matinee card at the Garden to get to.

I was 19 at the time and still living at home, and I remember my mother going, “What? You’re still going?” as I was getting my jacket on. To me, at that age, there wasn’t even a question I was going. It’s amazing the shit you’ll travel in when you’re in college.

It was pretty rough ride into Boston. As we often did, we parked in Malden Center and hopped onto the MBTA Orange Line subway for the trip into Boston. And sure enough, there were plenty of other wrestling fans on the Continue reading

The WWE had low-brow angles and gimmicks long before CM Punk mocked Lawler’s heart attack

A certain segment of the pro wrestling community was up in arms after Monday Night Raw featured an angle that played off the real-life heart attack and near death of Jerry “The King” Lawler.

Some said the angle was in poor taste, particularly when Paul Heyman feigned his own heart attack and WWE Heavyweight Champion CM Punk pretended to administer CPR.

But such garish actions on wrestling aren’t exclusive to 2012. Unfortunately for all of us, the McMahon family has set a low bar at least since the early 1980s about what types of angles and heat are appropriate.

Here are some less-than-stellar moments that I can recall growing up Continue reading

One of the most exciting moments from WWF Saturday morning wrestling: When Atlas and Johnson won the tag titles

If you want to see a small crowd go crazy for a title switch at a TV taping, check out the ending sequence of this match from late 1983, when Tony “Mr. USA” Atlas and  Rocky Johnson defeated the Wild Samoans for the WWF Tag Team Title.

The match was big because Atlas and Johnson were the first African-American tag team to win the belts in WWF history. At least one African-American had held gold before in the WWF 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

Undeniable evidence that at one time, WWE wrestlers did not learn their promos from a script

While checking some of this blog’s stats recently, I saw that a visitor had gotten to my website via a search about whether WWE promos are scripted.

Certainly these days most of them are, which in many ways is obvious given their lack of fire and real emotion. Sure, there are exceptions. I’d be willing to bet Edge’s retirement speech on Monday Night Raw wasn’t entirely memorized by him ahead of time. He went with the flow, reacted to the fans, and got a more memorable promo out it.

Regardless of the interview arrangements today, I can guarantee you that in the 1980s, WWF promos were not scripted beyond maybe a loose idea of what Continue reading