The Orient Express
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The Orient Express
The Orient Express
Tag team
MembersAkio Sato
Pat Tanaka
Kato
Name(s)The Orient Express
Badd Company
Billed heightsSato
5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Tanaka:
5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Diamond:
6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Combined
billed weight
Sato and Tanaka:
455 lb (206 kg)

Sato: 220 lb (100 kg)
Tanaka: 234 lb (106 kg)

Tanaka and Kato:
450 lb (200 kg)

Tanaka: 220 lb (100 kg)
Diamond: 230 lb (100 kg)
Billed fromTokyo, Japan
Debut1990
Disbanded1994
Years active1990-1994
2006-2008

The Orient Express was a professional wrestling tag team in the World Wrestling Federation in the early 1990s composed of Pat Tanaka and Akio Sato, who was later replaced by Kato.

History

World Wrestling Federation

In early 1990, manager Mr. Fuji split up the team known as The Powers of Pain (The Warlord and The Barbarian) as he sold their individual contracts to Slick who got the former and Bobby Heenan who received the latter, respectively. Fuji then brought in The Orient Express (Sato & Tanaka) as his latest threat to the WWF tag team division.[1] While the Orient Express was supposed to represent Japan, Pat Tanaka was born in Hawaii.

The Orient Express kicked off a prolonged feud with The Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty) that started at WrestleMania VI, where Sato and Tanaka were victorious via countout after Sato threw salt in Jannetty's eyes while they were outside of the ring,[2] and continued off and on for well over a year.[3] The Orient Express got involved in the Legion of Doom (Animal and Hawk) / Demolition (Ax, Smash and later Crush) 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.[4] The Legion of Doom / Orient Express feud was extremely onesided due to the Legion of Doom's massive size advantage.[5]

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.[6] 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, 2:13 into the match.[7]

When Akio Sato decided to leave the US 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 conceal his ethnicity and using the name Kato.[1] During this time the team had a very well received match with their old enemies the Rockers at the 1991 Royal Rumble[8] and another well received match against The New Foundation (Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart and "The Rocket" Owen Hart) at the 1992 Royal Rumble[9] - 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,[10] but Sato left the WWF after only a handful of matches together. Tanaka would leave the WWF in February 1992.[11] Diamond went on to wrestle as a singles competitor in the WWF, first as Kato, then later as Max Moon, replacing the departed Konnan,[12] neither gimmick meeting with very much success.

Post-WWF and split

After Paul Diamond also left the WWF, the two reunited as Badd Company, working for Eastern Championship Wrestling from late 1993 to early 1994, wrestling against the likes of The Bad Breed (Ian and Axl Rotten) and The Public Enemy, but never won the tag team titles.[13][14][15][16]

Pat Tanaka resurfaced in WCW during 1994 as a singles wrestler billed as "Tanaka-San".[17] Paul Diamond showed up with the Kato mask on using the name "Haito" shortly afterwards.[18] The two men even wrestled a couple of matches together, but they never achieved any notoriety in WCW and finally split up for good by the end of 1994.[1] They reunited in 2006 as the Orient Express on the independent circuit until 2008.

Championships and accomplishments

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c Greg Oliver and Steve Johnson (2005). The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Tag Teams. ECW Press. ISBN 978-1-55022-683-6.
  2. ^ prowrestlinghistory.com. "WWF WrestleMania Results (VI)". Retrieved 2007. The Orient Express (Sato & Tanaka) beat The Rockers (7:38) via countout
  3. ^ prowrestlinghistory.com. "WWF UK Tour Results (UK Rampage 91)". Retrieved 2007. The Rockers beat The Orient Express via pinfall.
  4. ^ Graham Cawthon. "WWF Show Results 1990". Retrieved 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
  5. ^ prowrestlinghistory.com. "WWF The Main Event Results (V)". Retrieved 2007. The Legion of Doom beat The Orient Express (Kato & Tanaka) (5:11).
  6. ^ prowrestlinghistory.com. "WWF SummerSlam Results (1990)". Retrieved 2007.
  7. ^ prowrestlinghistory.com. "WWF Survivor Series Results (1990)". Retrieved 2007.
  8. ^ prowrestlinghistory.com. "WWF Royal Rumble Results (1991)". Retrieved 2007. The Rockers beat The Orient Express (Tanaka & Kato) (19:15)
  9. ^ prowrestlinghistory.com. "WWF Royal Rumble Results (1992)". Retrieved 2007. Owen Hart & Jim Neidhart beat The Orient Express (Tanaka & Kato) (17:18)
  10. ^ Graham Cawthon. "WWF Show Results 1991". Retrieved 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
  11. ^ Graham Cawthon. "WWF Show Results 1992". Retrieved 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)
  12. ^ RD Reynolds and Randy Baer (2003). Wrestlecrap - the very worst of pro wrestling. ECW Press. ISBN 1-55022-584-7.
  13. ^ prowrestlinghistory.com. "ECW Show Results October - December 1993". Retrieved 2007. Paul Diamond & Pat Tanaka beat Ian & Axl Rotten
  14. ^ prowrestlinghistory.com. "ECW Show Results October - December 1993". Retrieved 2007. Paul Diamond & Pat Tanaka beat The Public Enemy
  15. ^ prowrestlinghistory.com. "ECW Show Results October - December 1993". Retrieved 2007. The Public Enemy beat Pat Tanaka & Paul Diamond (16:40) in a "South Philly hood" match
  16. ^ prowrestlinghistory.com. "ECW Show Results January - March 1994". Retrieved 2007. Kevin Sullivan & The Tazmaniac beat Pat Tanaka & Paul Diamond
  17. ^ Graham Cawthon. "WCW Show Results 1994". Retrieved 2007. March 24, 1994: WCW US Champion Steve Austin defeated Tanaka-san
  18. ^ Graham Cawthon. "WCW Show Results 1994". Retrieved 2007. March 30, 1994: Arn Anderson defeated Hyeeto (Paul Diamond) via disqualification when Tanaka-san interfered

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