Paul Diamond

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For the American judge, see Paul S. Diamond. For the original Paul Diamond who wrestled in the National Wrestling Alliance during the 1960s and 70s, see Paul Lehman.
Paul Diamond
Born (1961-05-11) May 11, 1961 (age 53)[1]
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia[1]
Resides Huntsville, Alabama, United States[1]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Paul Diamond[1]
Venum[1]
Kato[1]
Haito
Max Moon[1]
Billed height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)[1]
Billed weight 230 lb (100 kg)[1]
Billed from Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
Tokyo, Japan (as Kato)
Nagoya, Japan (as Haito)
Trained by Boris Malenko[1]
Dean Malenko[1]
Joe Malenko[1]
Chris Adams
Debut 1985[1]
Retired 2001

Thomas "Tom" Boric (born May 11, 1961)[1] is a retired professional wrestler better known by his ring name Paul Diamond. He is best known for being one half of the tag team Badd Company with Pat Tanaka and for his time in the World Wrestling Federation as Kato, one half of The Orient Express also with Pat Tanaka. Before he was a professional wrestler, Boric was a professional soccer player.

Early life[edit]

Boric was born in Yugoslavia (the region now known as Croatia) in 1961 and grew up wanting to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a soccer player. When Boric was 13 years old the family emigrated from Croatia to Canada, settling down in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Tom got a full soccer scholarship to Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.[2]

Professional soccer career[edit]

After only three semesters at college, Tom got drafted to play goalkeeper for the recently formed Calgary Boomers of the North American Soccer League. After the Boomers folded in 1981, Boric moved on to the Tampa Bay Rowdies whom he played for until the NASL closed in 1984.[2]

After his professional soccer career ended, Boric began training for a professional wrestling career at a Tampa Bay wrestling school run by Boris Malenko along with his two sons Joe Malenko and Dean Malenko who all had a hand in training him.[2]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Texas-All Star Wrestling (1985–1986)[edit]

After training, Boric began wrestling as "Paul Diamond" in 1985. His first break came in the Texas All-Star Wrestling promotion in San Antonio, Texas. He initially formed a tag team called American Breed with Nick Kiniski (son of legendary wrestler Gene Kiniski) in Fred Barend's Texas All-Star Wrestling. Neither Diamond and Kiniski were actually American, (Diamond is Croatian/Canadian while Kiniski is Canadian) so the team name was quite ironic.[3] The team won the TASW Tag Team Championship from the Maoris (Tudui and Wakahi) on May 25, 1985 and held them until Al Madrill and Chavo Guerrero took the titles from them on June 5, 1985.[4] The titles would be vacated later that same month when Chavo Guerrero refused to wrestle in a rematch against Diamond and Kiniski because Chavo’s father Gory Guerrero was the special referee chosen for the match. Madrill teamed up with Black Gorman instead but lost the match. After the match, Madrill attacked Chavo Guerrero splitting the team and forcing the titles to be held up.

When Chavo won the rights to name a new partner he chose to give the titles to ”American Breed” instead, only now American Breed consisted of Paul Diamond and a rookie named Shawn Michaels,[5] as Kiniski had left the promotion a few weeks prior.[4] Diamond and Michaels lost and then regained the titles from the “Masked Hoods” (Ricky Santana and Tony Torres)[4] before being beaten for the titles on January 27, 1986 by Al Madrill and Magnificent Zulu.[4] Both Michaels and Diamond began to add more to their wrestling skills, thanks in part to fellow wrestler Chris Adams, who split his time between World Class Championship Wrestling and Texas All-Star at the time.

Continental Wrestling Association (1986–1988)[edit]

Main article: Badd Company

In 1986, Diamond moved on to Memphis, Tennessee where he worked for Jerry Lawler and Jerry Jarrett’s Continental Wrestling Association. In the fall of 1986 Diamond teamed up with a young Jeff Jarrett to win the CWA/AWA International Tag Team Championship from Tarzan Goto and Akio Sato on November 3, 1986. The team lost the titles back to Goto and Sato less than 2 weeks later.[4] In late 1986, the tag team specialist Diamond was teamed up with Pat Tanaka, who was also seen as a tag team specialist, to form Badd Company.[6] They held the federation's tag team titles four times and 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 young duo on January 10, 1987.[4] Badd Company quickly regained the titles only to lose them to Tarzan Goto and Akio Sato on February 5, 1987.[4] The third run with the tag team titles came on May 9, 1987 when the team beat Mark Starr in a handicap match,[4] but lost them back to Mark 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[4] 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).

Badd Company also won the CWA’s main tag team titles in Memphis, when they defeated Jeff Jarrett and Billy Joe Travis for the AWA Southern Tag Team Championship on August 8, 1987.[4] Tanaka and Diamond soon lost them as the Nasty Boys took the gold from them just over a month later.[4]

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.[6]

The team's first feud was against The Midnight Rockers, whom they defeated for the AWA World Tag Team Championship on March 19, 1988.[4] 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 teamed with Madusa Miceli to face the team of the Top Guns and Wendi Richter at the first AWA PPV, SuperClash III.[7] 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.[8] Diamond and Tanaka’s reign ended on March 25, 1989 as they lost to “the Olympians" (Brad Rheingans and Ken Patera).[4] 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. Just before moving to the WWF, Diamond teamed with The Trooper Del Wilkes for a short run at the AWA Tag Team Titles against The Destruction Crew (Mike Enos and Wayne Bloom). Diamond and Trooper actually defeated The Destruction Crew, but were not awarded the titles when it was determined that Diamond pinned the wrong person.

World Wrestling Federation (1990–1993)[edit]

Starting out and The Orient Express (1990–1992)[edit]

Main article: The Orient Express

Diamond signed with the World Wrestling Federation in 1990, working mainly on the lower card against a rookie Dustin Rhodes,[9] Hillbilly Jim,[10] and Al Perez,[11] usually in a losing role. In When Akio Sato decided to take a position in the Titan (WWF) front office focusing on the WWF television rights sold to Japan tv networks following the 1990 Survivor Series. Following Survivor Series 1990 the "C-team" house shows were no longer taking place and many wrestlers left television following the event. The move left Pat Tanaka without a partner in The Orient Express. 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 was not Asian and using the name of Kato,[6] During this time, the team had a very well received match with their old enemies the Rockers at the 1991 Royal Rumble,[12] and another good match against the New Foundation at the 1992 Royal Rumble,[13] which were the only PPV appearances for the New Orient Express. March 15, 1991 had an excellent match with a young Shawn Michaels that aired on Prime Time Wrestling 3/26/91.

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,[14] but left the WWF after only a handful of matches. Tanaka would leave the WWF in early 1992.[15]

Max Moon (1992-1993)[edit]

In the fall of 1992, Diamond got a brand new gimmick in "Maximillian Moon" ("Max Moon" for short). Diamond wasn’t originally intended to play Max Moon. The gimmick was created for Konnan, but Konnan left the WWF after a backstage disagreement. Since Diamond fit the costume, he was chosen to take over the character.[16] The suit was a very elaborate powder blue bodysuit with markings that were supposed to look like a circuit board and white protruding rings around his arms making him look rather "outlandish".[17] The elaborate outfit also came with two wrist devices that shot out fireworks and a jet pack that was supposed to make Max Moon look like a man of the future.

Diamond (as Max Moon) would wrestle and defeat Terry Taylor in a series of house show matches during the rest of 1992, but otherwise, his biggest victories came against Rick Martel[18] and Repo Man,[19] both by disqualification. On the December 7, 1992 episode of WWF Prime Time Wrestling, Max Moon teamed with High Energy (Owen Hart and Koko B. Ware in a six-man tag team match against The Beverly Brothers and The Genius. Max Moon and High Energy won the match when Max Moon pinned The Genius.

On January 11, 1993, Max Moon wrestled and lost an Intercontinental Championship match to former tag team partner/longtime rival Shawn Michaels on the very first Monday Night Raw.[20] The loss to Michaels was a sign of things to come for the Max Moon gimmick as he began losing to midcarders such as Skinner[21] and Rick Martel.[22] The Max Moon gimmick only appeared at one PPV, participating in the 30 Man Elimination match at the 1993 Royal Rumble, where he was in the ring less than 2 minutes.[23] In late February, Paul Diamond’s contract with the WWF expired and was not renewed.[2]

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

Diamond and Pat Tanaka reunited as “Badd Company" to work for Eastern Championship Wrestling (the forerunner to “Extreme Championship Wrestling") in late 1993. The team made their debut at NWA Bloodfest: Part 1 on October 1, 1993 where they beat "Bad Breed" (Ian and Axl Rotten).[24] Tanaka and Diamond got a shot at the ECW Tag Team Champions Tony Stetson and Johnny Hotbody later in the night, which Badd Company lost.[24]

The next night at NWA Bloodfest: Part 2, Badd Company fought against Public Enemy (Rocco Rock and Johnny Grunge) in one of their very early matches.[25] 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 was victorious.[25] At Terror at Tabor on November 12, 1993, Badd Company beat the makeshift team of Don E. Allen and Mr. Hughes.[26] After the match, Badd Company called out Public Enemy resulting in an impromptu match between Paul Diamond and Rocco Rock which Diamond won.[26] Public Enemy quickly got very brutal revenge on Badd Company as they defeated the duo in a “South Philly hood" match the very next day at November to Remember.[27] At Holiday Hell 1993 on December 26, Pat Tanaka defeated Rocco Rock in a “Body Count" match.[28]

As 1993 turned to 1994, Badd Company set their sights on ECW Tag Team Champions Kevin Sullivan and The Tasmaniac; they defeated them twice in non-title matches.[29][29] At "The Night the Line was Crossed" on February 5, 1994, Tanaka and his one night only partner The Sheik defeated Sullivan and The Tasmaniac. Unfortunately, the team had been stripped of the titles the night before.[30] When Tanaka was rejoined by Diamond, the team lost to the (once again) Tag Team Champions when the gold was finally on the line.[31] On March 27, 1994, Badd Company wrestled its last match for ECW, a house show victory over Rockin' Rebel and Pittbull #1

World Championship Wrestling (1994)[edit]

By the time Badd Company wrestled its 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".[32] Paul Diamond showed up with the Kato mask on using the name "Haito" (sometimes spelled "Hyeeto") only days after their last ECW match.[33] The duo reprised their "Orient Express" gimmick but could not use the name since the WWF owned the trademark to it. The two men wrestled a couple of matches together[34][34][35] but they never achieved any notoriety in WCW. Badd Company / The Orient Express finally split up for good by the end of 1994.[6]

Independents (1994–2001)[edit]

Diamond worked for Jerry Lawler's promotions in Memphis after working for WCW, first for the United States Wrestling Association where he held the USWA World Tag Team Championship alongside Steven Dunn.[4] After the USWA, he worked for “Music City Wrestling” until a torn triceps muscle put him out of action for six months in 1998.[2] Diamond had set up an agreement to join Shawn Michaels’ Texas Wrestling Academy as a trainer.[2] Diamond also wrestled for the Texas Wrestling Alliance under the name of "Venum", holding the TWA title twice[36] and also being involved in Shawn Michaels return to wrestling after a 1998 back injury that was thought to have put a permanent end to his wrestling career. When TWA and the wrestling academy closed, Diamond and his family moved from Tampa to Winnipeg where Diamond opened up a wrestling school called "Paul Diamond Hard Knocks Pro Wrestling Academy," while helping out his terminally ill father.[2] Diamond semi-retired from active competition in 2001 to focus on the wrestling academy; his only active involvement in recent years has been Rocket City Wrestling in Huntsville, Alabama wrestling sometimes twice, as Diamond and as Max Moon[37] while also being involved in the booking.

Personal life[edit]

He is married to Lisa Motley, who sometimes works as his valet Cherry Velvet.[1] They have two children (Kiana and Quentin).[1]

In wrestling[edit]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

  • Central Wrestling Federation
  • Mountain Wrestling Association
    • MWA Light Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s "Paul Diamond OWOW profile". 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Doug Lunney (Winnipeg Sun). "Paul Diamond returns to his roots". Retrieved 2007-04-07. 
  3. ^ Chuck Merkich. "Texas All-Star Wrestling part 3". Retrieved 2007-04-07. "American Force, which consisted of Paul Diamond and Nick Kiniski, who were ironically, both Canadians." 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 
  5. ^ Shawn Michaels & Aaron Feigenbaum (2005). Heartbreak and Triumph: The Shawn Michaels Story. WWE Books. ISBN 978-1-4165-1686-6. 
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ a b c d American Wrestling Association (1988-12-13). "Badd Company & Madusa Miceli Vs. The Top Guns & Wendi Richter". AWA SuperClash 3.
  8. ^ "AWA SuperClash Results (III)". Retrieved 2007-04-07. 
  9. ^ Graham Cawthon. "WWF Show Results 1990". Retrieved 2007-04-07. "(September 21, 1990) Dustin Rhodes pinned Paul Diamond at 7:03 with a flying forearm and an elbow drop" 
  10. ^ Graham Cawthon. "WWF Show Results 1990". Retrieved 2007-04-07. "(March 22, 1990) Hillbilly Jim pinned Paul Diamond" 
  11. ^ Graham Cawthon. "WWF Show Results 1990". Retrieved 2007-04-07. "(March 24, 1990) Al Perez pinned Paul Diamond" 
  12. ^ "WWF Royal Rumble Results (1991)". Retrieved 2007-04-03. 
  13. ^ "WWF Royal Rumble Results (1992)". Retrieved 2007-04-03. 
  14. ^ Graham Cawthon. "WWF Show Results 1991". Retrieved 2007-04-03. "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" 
  15. ^ Graham Cawthon. "WWF Show Results 1992". Retrieved 2007-04-03. "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)" 
  16. ^ RD Reynolds and Randy Baer (2003). Wrestlecrap – the very worst of pro wrestling. ECW Press. ISBN 1-55022-584-7. 
  17. ^ RD Reynolds and Randy Baer (2003). Wrestlecrap – the very worst of pro wrestling. ECW Press. p. 164. ISBN 1-55022-584-7. "weird rings around his it’s arms, making Diamond look as though he was ribbed like one of those condoms “made for her pleasure”" 
  18. ^ Graham Cawthon. "WWF Show Results 1992". Retrieved 2007-04-07. "September 22, 1992: Max Moon defeated Rick Martel via disqualification at 6:00 when the referee saw Martel using the tights for leverage" 
  19. ^ Graham Cawthon. "WWF Show Results 1992". Retrieved 2007-04-07. "October 13, 1992: Max Moon defeated Repo Man via disqualification when Repo used his bull rope" 
  20. ^ Graham Cawthon. "WWF Show Results 1993". Retrieved 2007-04-07. "January 11, 1993: Shawn Michaels pinned Max Moon with the side suplex at around the 10:30 mark after avoiding a punch." 
  21. ^ Graham Cawthon. "WWF Show Results 1993". Retrieved 2007-04-07. "January 15, 1993: Skinner defeated Max Moon" 
  22. ^ Graham Cawthon. "WWF Show Results 1993". Retrieved 2007-04-07. "February 7, 1993: Rick Martel defeated Max Moon" 
  23. ^ "WWF Royal Rumble Elimination Info (1993)". Retrieved 2007-04-07. 
  24. ^ a b "ECW Show Results October – December 1993". Retrieved 2007-04-07. 
  25. ^ a b "ECW Show Results October – December 1993". Retrieved 2007-04-07. 
  26. ^ a b "ECW Show Results October – December 1993". Retrieved 2007-04-07. 
  27. ^ "ECW Show Results October – December 1993". Retrieved 2007-04-07. 
  28. ^ "ECW Show Results October – December 1993". Retrieved 2007-04-07. 
  29. ^ a b "ECW Show Results January – March 1994". Retrieved 2007-04-07. 
  30. ^ "ECW Show Results January – March 1994". Retrieved 2007-04-07. 
  31. ^ "ECW Show Results January – March 1994". Retrieved 2007-04-07. 
  32. ^ Graham Cawthon. "WCW Show Results 1994". Retrieved 2007-04-07. "March 24, 1994: WCW US Champion Steve Austin defeated Tanaka-san" 
  33. ^ Graham Cawthon. "WCW Show Results 1994". Retrieved 2007-04-07. "March 30, 1994: Arn Anderson defeated Hyeeto (Paul Diamond) via disqualification when Tanaka-san interfered" 
  34. ^ a b Graham Cawthon. "WCW Show Results 1994". Retrieved 2007-04-07. "March 30, 1994: Ricky Steamboat & Arn Anderson defeated Tanaka-san (Pat Tanaka) & Hyeeto" 
  35. ^ Graham Cawthon. "WCW Show Results 1994". Retrieved 2007-04-07. "Spring Stampede 94, dark match: Kevin & Dave Sullivan defeated Pat Tanaka & Paul Diamond" 
  36. ^ "TWA Heavyweight Title History". Retrieved 2007-04-07. 
  37. ^ Ray Aikens. "Rasslin's Back (and We Ain't Leavin')". Retrieved 2007-04-07. "Paul Diamond (Cato of Orient Express - World Tag Team Champions) and Max Moon (Royal Rumble)." 
  38. ^ a b c d e American Wrestling Association (1988-09-05). "Badd Company (c) w/ DDP, Jennifer & Torri Vs. Nature's Best". AWA.
  39. ^ a b c d e American Wrestling Association (1988-04-10). "Badd Company (c) w/ DDP & Tonya Vs. Jim Evans & Riki Ataka". AWA.
  40. ^ a b c American Wrestling Association (1988). "Badd Company w/ DDP Vs. Rock 'n' Roll RPMs". AWA.
  41. ^ Amarican Wrestling Association (1988-02-21). "Badd Company Vs. Hurricane Kid & Bill Anderson". AWA.
  42. ^ "Bruno Lauer's profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  43. ^ "DDP's profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 

External links[edit]