Possible Hall of Famer?
by, 08-07-2011 at 07:11 PM (5569 Views)
Hello again. This next blog is all about a man who I think should be inducted into next years hall of fame.
Look, he wasn't exactly graceful in the ring and cut a pretty awful promo. He relied on strong heel managers and gifted tag team partners to carry him through sometimes, and people may regard him as a bit of a freak show. But that said, he did make a HUGE impression in the WWF (as it was then) Fueded with many of the top guys at the time, held multiple championships, had runs as heel and face and was certainly one of a kind.
If you havn't guessed already, I'm talking about Yokozuna.
In his run up to Wrestlemania 9, Yokozuna had already put many superstars out of action, including Hacksaw Jim Duggan (with 4 Banzai drops!) He also won the Royal Rumble, eliminating Savage last, and went on the defeat the Hitman for the title at Wrestlemania. He was then forced to drop the title to Hogan on the same night, but would ultimately be the man to kill Hulkamania. Hogan was not seen in the WWE for 9 years after being squashed by Yokozuna's massive arse at the King of the Ring PPV in 1993.
Yokozuna continued to sit on people for the next few months, until his fued with Lex Luger and his 'Captain America' gimmick. After being 'bodyslammed' on an aircraft carrier, he lost to Luger via count-out at Summerslam, but kept his title. This fued would continue into survivor series, where he would set up, in my opinion, his best fued.
Undertaker can work with anyone, in my opinion, but it was Yokozuna's facial expressions as he bounced Undertaker's head off the steel steps with no effect or watched in terror as his opponent sat up after recieving a couple of thunderous leg drops. There is nothing like watching a 550lb man running away in pure fear and Yokozuna sold that fear beautifully. Their feud was great because you believed that Yokozuna was unstoppable until he came up against Taker. It all culminated in a casket match at the Royal Rumble for the title which I was sure Taker would win. This match ended, of course, with the kafaybe 'Death of the Undertaker' in which all the heel characters teamed up to finally dump Taker in the casket. I feell the ending to this match is highly underated, getting both wrestlers over in their respective heel/face roles and giving Yokozuna another HUGE scalp in the process.
So onto Wrestlemania, where Yokozuna potentially had to wrestle 2 matches in one night. It proved to be that way and he defeatd Lex Luger (DQ) in his initial match to become the first heel champion to successfully defend his title at Wrestlemania. His euphoria would not last, however, as he would drop the strap to Bret Hart later that night. Yokozuna's reign as champion had lasted an impressive 280 days.
After losing to a returning Undertaker in late 1994, Yokozuna took a little time off, and returned to team with Owen Hart as his mystery tag team partner at Wrestlemaina 11. They won the titles and held on to them for 6 months before losing them, gaining them back the next night, then losing them again the same night to the Smoking Guns. It would be Yokozuna's final title reign.
A few months later, Yokozuna would have a face turn. He fell out with another wrestler in Jim Cornette's stable, Big Van Vader. This feud included Vader breaking Yokozuna's leg and medical staff having to lift him out of the arena on a forklift truck. It was clear by this point that Yokozuna's weight had gotten out of control and he was finding it increasingly more difficult to perform in the ring.
Eventually Yokozuna was released by the WWF because of his massive size. He became too much of a liability for them and, although I am sure they offered him help with his problems, he was just unable to lose enough weight for them to take him back. He passed away in a hotel in England in October 2000.
So there you go. Once again, not the greatest talent as a wrestler but a fantastic entertainer who, for 3 years in the early 90's, bulldozed his way through the WWF. I, for one, have many fond memories of Yokozuna and hope it will only be a matter of time before he is added to the Hall of Fame. I think he deserves it.