Pat Tanaka

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Pat Tanaka
Pat Tanaka 2012.jpg
Tanaka at a MCW show in March 2012
Born (1961-08-05) August 5, 1961 (age 53)
Honolulu, Hawaii
Resides Wingate, New Mexico
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Pat Tanaka[1]
Tanaka-San
El Gato
GOKU-DO[1]
Billed height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)[1]
Billed weight 225 lb (102 kg; 16.1 st)[1]
Billed from Honolulu, Hawaii
Tokyo, Japan (as part of the Orient Express)
Sapporo, Japan (as Tanaka-San)
Mexico City, Mexico (as El Gato)
Trained by Duke Keomuka
Hiro Matsuda
New Japan Pro Wrestling Dojo
Debut April 7, 1984[1]

Patrick "Pat" Tanaka (born August 5, 1961)[1] is an American professional wrestler best known for his work in the American Wrestling Association as one half of Badd Company and the World Wrestling Federation as one half of The Orient Express. He is the son of Duke Keomuka.

In his career, which has spanned almost three decades, Tanaka has appeared in the American Wrestling Association (AWA), World Wrestling Federation (WWF), World Championship Wrestling (WCW), Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), Continental Wrestling Association (CWA) and New Japan Pro Wrestling.

Career[edit]

Early years (1984-1986)[edit]

Trained by his father, Duke Keomuka, Hiro Matsuda, and the New Japan Pro Wrestling Dojo, Pat Tanaka debuted in 1984 for NJPW. During his time there, he wrestled the likes of Keiichi Yamada, Shunji Kosugi, Black Cat, Naoki Sano, Tatsutoshi Goto, Shinichi Nakano, and Hirokazu Hata.

After a year in New Japan, Tanaka started wrestling as an Undercard in Jim Crockett Promotions in 1985.

Continental Wrestlng Association (1986–1988)[edit]

Main article: Badd Company

In 1986, Tanaka moved to Memphis, Tennessee where he worked for Jerry Lawler and Jerry Jarrett’s Continental Wrestling Association. Early on Tanaka teamed with Jeff Jarrett to win the AWA Southern Tag Team Championship.[2] In late 1986 the tag-team specialist Tanaka was teamed up with Paul Diamond, who was also seen as a tag-team specialist, to form Badd Company,[3] where they held the promotion's tag-team titles four times., a move that paid off pretty soon as the two won the CWA/AWA International Tag Team Championship, beating Tarzan Goto and Akio Sato on December 15, 1986. The first reign was short lived as The Sheepherders (Luke Williams and Butch Miller) defeated the duo on January 10, 1987.[2] Badd Company quickly regained the titles only to lose them to Tarzan Goto and Akio Sato on February 5, 1987.[2] The third reign with the tag-team titles came on May 9, 1987 when the team beat Mark Starr in a handicap match,[2] but lost them back to Starr and his new tag team partner Billy Joe Travis. Badd Company had one last run with the International tag team titles as they won the vacant titles on May 25, 1987[2] and held them until July 6, 1987 where they lost the titles to Bill Dundee and Rocky Johnson (who were the last International tag team champions).

While in Memphis Badd Company also won the CWA’s main tag team titles, the AWA Southern Tag Team Championship defeating Jeff Jarrett and Billy Joe Travis for the gold on August 8, 1987.[2] Tanaka and Diamond soon lost them as the Nasty Boys took the gold from them just over a month later.[2]

American Wrestling Association (1988–1990)[edit]

After working as a team for almost a year Badd Company moved on from the CWA to the American Wrestling Association. In the AWA they were given identical ring gear, and were accompanied by flamboyant manager Diamond Dallas Page, who always had a number of valets, known as the Diamond Dolls, with him.[3]

The team's first feud was against the Midnight Rockers, whom they defeated for the AWA World Tag Team Championship on March 19, 1988.[2] During their year long title reign Badd Company would feud heavily with Chavo and Mando Guerrero and the team known as the Top Guns (Ricky Rice and Derrick Dukes). They faced the team of the Top Guns and Wendi Richter (they teamed with Madusa Miceli) at the only AWA pay-per-view SuperClash III.[4] Both Badd Company’s Tag-Team Title and Wendi Richter’s AWA World Women's Championship were on the line, but since Richter pinned Miceli Badd Company remained the champions. Diamond and Tanaka’s reign ended on March 25, 1989 as they lost to the Olympians (Brad Rheingans and Ken Patera).[2] Shortly after losing their titles they split from Page, and had a short feud against each other before wrestling in singles competition until early 1990.

World Wrestling Federation (1990–1994)[edit]

Main article: The Orient Express

Tanaka signed with the World Wrestling Federation in 1990, where he formed another tag team called The Orient Express with Akio Sato, managed by Mr. Fuji.[3] While the Orient Express was supposed to represent Japan, both Tanaka and Mr Fuji were born in Hawaii.

The Orient Express kicked off a prolonged feud with The Rockers that started at WrestleMania VI, where the Sato and Tanaka were victorious via countout.[5] and continued off and on for well over a year.[6] The Orient Express got involved in the Legion of Doom / Demolition feud as Mr. Fuji managed Demolition as well. Demolition was being phased out and the Orient Express began taking on the Legion of Doom instead.[7] The Legion of Doom / Orient Express feud was extremely onesided due to the Legion of Doom’s massive size advantage.[8]

After WrestleMania VI, Tanaka and Sato only made two pay-per-view appearances while in the WWF. Firstly at SummerSlam 1990 where the team were defeated by "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan and Nikolai Volkoff.[9] They were then a part of the Sgt. Slaughter led team The Mercenaries (that also included Boris Zhukov. Sato was pinned by Bushwhacker Butch 1:46 into the match and Tanaka was pinned by Tito Santana only moments later, at 2:13 into the match.[10]

When Akio Sato decided leave the U.S. wrestling scene in the latter days of 1990, the WWF decided to reunite the team known as Badd Company, only this time with Paul Diamond wearing a mask to hide the fact that he’s not Asian and using the name of Kato.[3] During this time the team had a very well received match with their old enemies the Rockers at the 1991 Royal Rumble[11] and another against the New Foundation at the 1992 Royal Rumble,[12] which were the only two PPV appearances for the New Orient Express.

Sato briefly rejoined the team in 1991 to team with Tanaka and Kato for a series of 6-man tag-team matches on WWF house shows,[13] but Sato left the WWF after only a handful of matches together. Tanaka missed a number of appearances in 1991 due to the death of his father, Duke Keomuka, although he returned to finish out his WWF contract (which ended in February 1992) by losing a series of singles squash matches.[14]

While doing work for other organizations, Tanaka would make several appearances for the WWF in late 1993, losing to the likes of the 1-2-3 Kid, Marty Jannetty, and Razor Ramon.[15] He then made a single appearance in November 1994, losing to Doink the Clown.[16]

Eastern/Extreme Championship Wrestling (1993–1994)[edit]

After Paul Diamond also left the WWF the two reunited as Badd Company to work for Eastern Championship Wrestling (the forerunner to Extreme Championship Wrestling) in 1993. The team made their debut at NWA Bloodfest on October 1, 1993 where they beat Bad Breed (Ian and Axl Rotten).[17] Later in the night Tanaka and Diamond got a shot at the ECW Tag Team Champions, Tony Stetson and Johnny Hotbody. However, Badd Company lost.[18]

The next night at NWA Bloodfest: Part 2 Badd Company came up against one of ECW's new creations Public Enemy (Rocco Rock and Johnny Grunge) in one of their very early matches.[19] Later in the show Badd Company and the Public Enemy would clash again, this time in a Three way, Steel cage match that also included Bad Breed; this time Public Enemy were victorious.[19] At ECW's next big show Terror at Tabor on November 12, 1993 Badd Company beat the makeshift team of Don E. Allen and Mr. Hughes.[20] After the match Badd Company called out Public Enemy resulting in an impromptu match between Paul Diamond and Rocco Rock which Diamond won.[21] Public Enemy quickly got revenge on Badd Company as they defeated the duo in a "South Philly hood" match the very next day at November to Remember.[22] At Holiday Hell 1993 on December 26, 1993 Tanaka defeated Rocco Rock in a "Body Count" match.[23]

In early 1994 Badd Company set their sights on ECW Tag Team Champions Kevin Sullivan and The Tasmaniac, defeating them twice in non-title matches.[24][25] At The Night the Line was Crossed on February 5, 1994 Tanaka and his one night only partner The Sheik defeated Sullivan and Tasmaniac, unfortunately the team had been stripped of the titles the night before.[26] When Tanaka was rejoined by Diamond the team lost, once again, to the tag-Team champions when the gold was finally on the line.[27] On March 27, 1994 Badd Company wrestled its last match for ECW, a house show victory over Rockin' Rebel and Pitbull #1.

World Championship Wrestling (1994–1999)[edit]

By the time Badd Company wrestled their last match for ECW Tanaka and Diamond had already signed with World Championship Wrestling, Tanaka had even made his on screen debut as Tanaka-San.[28] Paul Diamond showed up with the Kato mask on using the name Haito only days after their last ECW match.[29] The duo reprised their "Orient Express" gimmick but could not use the name since the WWF owned the copyright to it. The two men wrestled a couple of matches together[30][30][31] but they never achieved any notoriety in WCW. Badd Company / The Orient Express finally split up for good by the end of 1994.[3]

While Paul Diamond left WCW soon after, Tanaka would continue to appear on WCW programming (as Pat Tanaka) as a "jobber to the stars." In 1996 Tanaka made a few brief appearances as the masked El Gato, most notably against Konnan, who successfully defended the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship against El Gato at Great American Bash 1996 on June 16, 1996.[32]

Tanaka notably used the same ring music that would later be the theme of Bill Goldberg.

Japan (1999–2001)[edit]

In 1999, Tanaka wrestled in Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling. In 2001, Tanaka returned to New Japan as GOKU-DO. Tanaka also partnered with "High Profile" Dyan Night with his Manager Candilynn Lockhart, The Blonde Geisha, to become known as The New Orient Express.

Independents (2005–present)[edit]

Since 2005, Tanaka has made numerous appearances on the independent circuit, wrestling for various promotions in North America. Included among these is Dory Funk, Jr.'s BANG! promotion in Florida in 2005.

On January 30, 2011 he made his Wrecking Ball Wrestling debut at Winter Warfare defeating Rudy Boy Gonzalez in Athens, TX.[33]

Tanaka is now the Creative Director for Micro Championship Wrestling and the Head Trainer. Johnny Greene and long time friend of Pat Tanaka are in the Pilot Taping of Micro Championship Wrestling as a referee on March 4, 2010 at Universal Studios in Orlando, FL. He continues to be active in-ring all over the North American independent scene and elsewhere, looking as sharp as he did in his prime.

Personal[edit]

In mid-March 2006, Tanaka opened Fighting Spirit Dojo in Minster, Ohio with shoot-fighter Jody Poff. Poff teaches a group of mixed-martial-artists while Tanaka teaches judo to more than 50 students.[34] Not long after, Tanaka and Poff moved their dojo to St. Marys, Ohio. Rekindled a Partnership with longtime friend and Partner High Profile Dylan Night and Manager Candilynn, to appear in a number of Wrestling venues across the United States and Canada. Tanaka has also worked security for the horrorcore rap group Insane Clown Posse.

In wrestling[edit]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

  • Pro Wrestling Illustrated
    • PWI ranked him #355 of the 500 best singles wrestlers during the "PWI Years" in 2003
    • PWI ranked him #99 of the 100 best tag teams of the "PWI Years" with Paul Diamond in 2003

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Pat Tanaka profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-08-29. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Greg Oliver and Steve Johnson (2005). The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Tag Teams. ECW Press. ISBN 978-1-55022-683-6. 
  4. ^ a b c prowrestlinghistory.com. "AWA SuperClash Results (III)". Retrieved 7 April 2007. "Ricky Rice, Derrick Dukes, & Wendi Richter beat Paul Diamond, Pat Tanaka, & Madusa Micelli beat (5:43) when Richter pinned Micelli." 
  5. ^ prowrestlinghistory.com. "WWF WrestleMania Results (VI)". Retrieved 3 April 2007. "The Orient Express (Sato & Tanaka) beat The Rockers (7:38) via countout" 
  6. ^ prowrestlinghistory.com. "WWF UK Tour Results (UK Rampage 91)". Retrieved 3 April 2007. "The Rockers beat The Orient Express via pinfall." 
  7. ^ Graham Cawthon. "WWF Show Results 1990". Retrieved 3 April 2007. "October 9, 1990: The Legion of Doom defeated the Orient Express (w/ Mr. Fuji) via disqualification at 3:21 when Demolition Ax, Smash, & Crush interfered; after the bout, LOD were assaulted by all five wrestlers, with Fuji using his cane as a weapon (Fuji's reunion with Demolition" 
  8. ^ prowrestlinghistory.com. "WWF The Main Event Results (V)". Retrieved 3 April 2007. "The Legion of Doom beat The Orient Express (Kato & Tanaka) (5:11)." 
  9. ^ prowrestlinghistory.com. "WWF SummerSlam Results (1990)". Retrieved 3 April 2007. 
  10. ^ prowrestlinghistory.com. "WWF Survivor Series Results (1990)". Retrieved 3 April 2007. 
  11. ^ prowrestlinghistory.com. "WWF Royal Rumble Results (1991)". Retrieved 3 April 2007. "The Rockers beat The Orient Express (Tanaka & Kato) (19:15)" 
  12. ^ prowrestlinghistory.com. "WWF Royal Rumble Results (1992)". Retrieved 3 April 2007. "Owen Hart & Jim Neidhart beat The Orient Express (Tanaka & Kato) (17:18)" 
  13. ^ Graham Cawthon. "WWF Show Results 1991". Retrieved 7 April 2007. "Ricky Steamboat, Davey Boy Smith, & Kerry Von Erich defeated the Orient Express (Kato, Tanaka, & Sato) (w/ Mr. Fuji) when Steamboat pinned Kato with the flying crossbody at 10:28" 
  14. ^ Graham Cawthon. "WWF Show Results 1992". Retrieved 7 April 2007. "February 17, 1992: Virgil defeated Pat Tanaka via submission with the Million $ Dream at 7:16 (this was Tanaka’s last match in the WWF)" 
  15. ^ http://www.angelfire.com/wrestling/cawthon777/93.htm
  16. ^ http://www.angelfire.com/wrestling/cawthon777/94.htm
  17. ^ prowrestlinghistory.com. "ECW Show Results October – December 1993". Retrieved 7 April 2007. "Paul Diamond & Pat Tanaka beat Ian & Axl Rotten" 
  18. ^ prowrestlinghistory.com. "ECW Show Results October – December 1993". Retrieved 7 April 2007. "ECW Tag Champs Tony Stetson & Johnny Hot Body beat Paul Diamond & Pat Tanaka" 
  19. ^ a b prowrestlinghistory.com. "ECW Show Results October – December 1993". Retrieved 7 April 2007. "Paul Diamond & Pat Tanaka beat The Public Enemy" 
  20. ^ prowrestlinghistory.com. "ECW Show Results October – December 1993". Retrieved 7 April 2007. "Pat Tanaka & Paul Diamond beat Don E. Allen & Mr. Hughes" 
  21. ^ prowrestlinghistory.com. "ECW Show Results October – December 1993". Retrieved 7 April 2007. "Paul Diamond beat Rocko Rock" 
  22. ^ prowrestlinghistory.com. "ECW Show Results October – December 1993". Retrieved 7 April 2007. "The Public Enemy beat Pat Tanaka & Paul Diamond (16:40) in a "South Philly hood" match" 
  23. ^ prowrestlinghistory.com. "ECW Show Results October – December 1993". Retrieved 7 April 2007. "Pat Tanaka pinned Rocco Rock in a "body count" match" 
  24. ^ prowrestlinghistory.com. "ECW Show Results January – March 1994". Retrieved 7 April 2007. "Tommy Dreamer, Pat Tanaka, & Dylan Knight beat Johnny Hotbody, Kevin Sullivan, & The Tazmaniac when Tanaka pinned Hotbody" 
  25. ^ prowrestlinghistory.com. "ECW Show Results January – March 1994". Retrieved 7 April 2007. "Pat Tanaka & Paul Diamond beat Kevin Sullivan & The Tazmaniac" 
  26. ^ prowrestlinghistory.com. "ECW Show Results January – March 1994". Retrieved 7 April 2007. "The Sheik & Pat Tanaka beat The Tazmaniac & Kevin Sullivan (3:15) when Tanaka pinned The Tazmaniac" 
  27. ^ prowrestlinghistory.com. "ECW Show Results January – March 1994". Retrieved 7 April 2007. "Kevin Sullivan & The Tazmaniac beat Pat Tanaka & Paul Diamond" 
  28. ^ Graham Cawthon. "WCW Show Results 1994". Retrieved 7 April 2007. "March 24, 1994: WCW US Champion Steve Austin defeated Tanaka-san" 
  29. ^ Graham Cawthon. "WCW Show Results 1994". Retrieved 7 April 2007. "March 30, 1994: Arn Anderson defeated Hyeeto (Paul Diamond) via disqualification when Tanaka-san interfered" 
  30. ^ a b Graham Cawthon. "WCW Show Results 1994". Retrieved 7 April 2007. "March 30, 1994: Ricky Steamboat & Arn Anderson defeated Tanaka-san (Pat Tanaka) & Hyeeto" 
  31. ^ Graham Cawthon. "WCW Show Results 1994". Retrieved 7 April 2007. "Spring Stampede 94, dark match: Kevin & Dave Sullivan defeated Pat Tanaka & Paul Diamond" 
  32. ^ Graham Cawthon. "WCW Show Results (1996)". Retrieved 13 April 2007. "WCW US Champion Konnan pinned El Gato at 6:02 with a modified spinebuster out of the corner into a roll over" 
  33. ^ http://www.wrestlingclothesline.com/WB.htm
  34. ^ "Fighting Spirit Dojo, Instructors". Retrieved 13 April 2007. 
  35. ^ a b c d American Wrestling Association (1988-04-10). "Badd Company (c) w/ DDP & Tonya Vs. Jim Evans & Riki Ataka". AWA.
  36. ^ a b c d American Wrestling Association (1988). "Badd Company w/ DDP Vs. Rock 'n' Roll RPMs". AWA.
  37. ^ a b c American Wrestling Association (1988-09-05). "Badd Company (c) w/ DDP, Jennifer & Torri Vs. Nature's Best". AWA.
  38. ^ a b Continental Wrestlng Association (1986). "Pat Tanaka vs Keith Erich; followed by Paul Diamond interview talking about his leg injured by Akio Sato". CWA.
  39. ^ Amarican Wrestling Association (1988-02-21). "Badd Company Vs. Hurricane Kid & Bill Anderson". AWA.
  40. ^ "Bruno Lauer's profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  41. ^ "DDP's profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  42. ^ Greg Oliver and Steve Johnson (2005). The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Tag Teams. ECW Press. ISBN 978-1-55022-683-6. 

External links[edit]