Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Same Tag Team Different Gimmick II

Welcome to the second edition of Same Tag Team Different Gimmick, in the first post we looked at Mike Enos & Wayne Bloom in this edition it's all about....

Paul Diamond & Pat Tanaka 

In December of 1986 Diamond and Tanaka first teamed together in the Memphis based Continental Wrestling Association as Badd Company where they captured the tag team championships four times.  In February 1988 they made their debut in the AWA defeating the Midnight Rockers in Las Vegas.

A month later in their fourth AWA match they would win the AWA World Tag Team Championships from the Midnight Rockers.  They would go on to hold the championships for 371 days defending them outside the AWA in the CWA, Kansas based WWA, and Florida Championship Wrestling.   In the AWA they were managed by Diamond Dallas Page and Madusa.

In May of 1989 they would wrestle their last AWA match as a team.  Diamond would stay in the AWA while Tanaka would travel to New Japan.  Tanaka would sign with the WWE in February teaming with Akio Sato as The Orient Express managed by Mr. Fuji.  Diamond would first appear as a singles in the WWE in March 1990.  

November 22, 1990 Akio Sato wrestled his last match in the WWE at the Survivor Series.  Two days later on the 24th a masked Paul Diamond now known as Kato teamed with Tanaka as The Orient Express. 

Kato & Tanaka

Sato & Tanaka

The duo would team together in the WWE regularly until August 1991 and then a final match at Royal Rumble 1992 when Tanaka would leave the promotion.  They had an excellent match at the 1991 Royal Rumble against The Rockers.  On July 29, 1991 at the Summerslam Spectacular TV Special in Worcester, MA Tanaka & Kato would team up with Sato in a losing effort to British Bulldog, Ricky Steamboat, and Kerry Von Erich.  This would be the only time all three members of the Orient Express would team together.

Tanaka would stay in the WWE wrestling as Kato in enhancement matches until September 1992 when he would become Max Moon. 

In October 1993 Badd Company would reunite in ECW feuding with Bad Breed and The Public Enemy.   In March 1994 they would have a couple matches in WCW as Haito & Tanaka-San losing to Arn Anderson & Ricky Steamboat on WCW Saturday Night.

They wouldn't team again until 2006 at an indie show in Michigan.  From 2006 - 2008 they would team up five times as the Orient Express: Kato & Tanaka.

Team Names

Badd Company: Paul Diamond & Pat Tanaka
Orient Express: Kato & Tanaka
Haito & Tanaka-San

CWA International Tag Team Champions four times
AWA Southern Tag Team Champions
AWA World Tag Team Champions

First Match: December 15, 1986 Mid-South Coliseum, Memphis, Tennessee CWA event
Stretcher Match: Badd Company: Paul Diamond & Pat Tanaka defeated CWA International Tag Team Champions: Akio Sato & Tarzan Goto to win the championships

Last Match: April 18, 2008 Port Richey, Florida ASWF Can't Touch Us
The Orient Express: Kato & Tanaka defeated Joshua Masters & Kennedy Kendrick

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Until next time!!

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