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The 7 - Pro Wrestling - Japanese Culture Question/Tajiri Register and log in to post!
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tricia
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#1 Posted on 5.11.05 2323.26
Reposted on: 5.11.12 2324.23
(Forgive me if I'm nervous. It's my first time! Be gentle!)

With all this talk of WWE comings/goings/hirings/firings, I first heard that Tajiri was thinking of leaving (possible personal reasons). Now I heard he has agreed to stay for several more years. (Yea!!)

I am NOT trying to rehash old/new/unsubstantiated rumors. But I did come up with some questions.

First, would he, or any wrestler want to quit the WWE and go [back] to Japan from a financial standpoint? I know pathetically little of Japanese wrestling and I am curious if his living standard would go up or down. (i.e. How does the pay scale compare to the U.S./Canada, even for the big stars?)

Second, how accepted are pro-wrestlers in the general population? Again, I don't want to be a rumor-monger, but the rumor was that Tajiri was thinking of quiting wrestling altogether and becoming a sports-caster. Is that reasonable?
Admitting to being a wrestling fan in this country inspires laughter; admitting to actually being a wrestler at times must be worse! I know pro-wrestling in general is more accepted in Japan, isn't it? Do some of them graduate from pro-wrestling into other forms of public media? Being associated, or having been in your past, with pro-wrestling in this country seems to almost carry a stigma in the public media.

If Tajiri agreed to stay with the WWE, hopefully that means that whatever personal issues he was having were cleared up. Hopefully, the WWE didn't try to lowball his contract either. Ouch!

For selfish reasons, I am glad if the rumors are true and if he is sticking around. I am a big fan, consider him talented and entertaining, and I hope that he gets more tv time and a push. (The hopeless can hope, can I? I know, the push wish may be hopeless...)

Also, I don't mean to be controversial or political, but as an Asian-American, it isn't hard to notice how woefully underrepresented we are on tv. (Ok- he and Funaki are Japanese, not American, but you get my point.) WWE tv and Star Trek seem to be the only outlets that consistently show anyone AA. (Wow- not good when you look to WWE for multiculturalism! Ouch!!) Maybe, hopefully, somebody in the WWE realizes that there is a large group of people that they should be cultivating as a fan base. Minorities in general; that is a lot of people (and money) that the WWE should try harder to get. (The Rock was a great leap forward. He probably caught a lot of people who would have never looked twice at the WWE.) Again, this is the WWE; I am reasonable. (I have no hope or faith in the company whatsoever. Or the guy who is running the operation either. Nope. None whatsoever. Nada.) [sigh]

Tajiri will still be "jobber-to-the-stars" until he quits, won't he? Except when they tour the Far East. [sigh] Tajiri and Inuyasha- don't ask me to choose!

Please discuss, and thank you for your time.

p.s. Where did Akio (James Yun) go? I wish Gail Kim good luck in TNA.




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Hobbes
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#2 Posted on 6.11.05 0045.25
Reposted on: 6.11.12 0045.43
    Originally posted by tricia
    First, would he, or any wrestler want to quit the WWE and go [back] to Japan from a financial standpoint? I know pathetically little of Japanese wrestling and I am curious if his living standard would go up or down. (i.e. How does the pay scale compare to the U.S./Canada, even for the big stars?)


Well from the sounds of it, if Tajiri does go back to Japan he's going to be at least semi-retired from wrestling, so how much he could make from it is probably a moot point. That said, Japanese wrestling is in a serious financial downswing and I don't think you're going to make a lot of money there currently unless you're a top heavyweight star, but it might be possible for Tajiri to cash in a little bit on his tiny bit of WWE fame.


    Second, how accepted are pro-wrestlers in the general population? Again, I don't want to be a rumor-monger, but the rumor was that Tajiri was thinking of quiting wrestling altogether and becoming a sports-caster. Is that reasonable?


Wrestling is taken a lot more seriously in Japan than it is here. Hell, many big Japanese wrestling stars like Hiroshi Hase, Atsushi Onita and The Great Sasuke have gone into politics. So I don't think wrestling would get in Tajiri's way.


    p.s. Where did Akio (James Yun) go?


He's wrestling in Ring of Honor right now, probably the third biggest wrestling company in America (Although that's a big step down from even today's WWE.) For my money it's the best company in America today, and lots of past and future wrestling stars have come through there. Since the company only runs 2-3 shows month, I'd imagine Yang is also working a bunch of other indies as well as Japan. So if you want to follow him you better buy some DVDs.
JustinShapiro
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#3 Posted on 6.11.05 0057.06
Reposted on: 6.11.12 0057.10

    Forgive me if I'm nervous. It's my first time! Be gentle!


Hi Tricia! Are you the wrestler Trish Stratus? She's terrific.


    First, would he, or any wrestler want to quit the WWE and go [back] to Japan from a financial standpoint? I know pathetically little of Japanese wrestling and I am curious if his living standard would go up or down. (i.e. How does the pay scale compare to the U.S./Canada, even for the big stars?)


From what I know, Japan is not as healthy/lucrative an alternative for American wrestlers (or wrestlers working in America) as it used to be, because the Japanese promotions are in shambles. For example, when Chris Benoit left WCW in 2000, he could've seriously considered working for New Japan as an option besides WWF. But now the companies over there are going through rough periods similar to the one WWE has been in. For the time being, Italy of all countries is apparently the place to be.

However, simply from the point of "how much money can you make in WWE vs. not in WWE," a lot of lower card wrestlers have been able to earn as much money working assorted combinations of indy dates as they were in WWE -- especially now that a) WWE house shows are dying so the payoffs are increasingly smaller, and b) WWE is drastically cutting downside guarantees.


    I know pro-wrestling in general is more accepted in Japan, isn't it? Do some of them graduate from pro-wrestling into other forms of public media?


Well, Antonio Inoki, Great Sasuke, and Atsushi Onita have all been elected as senators in the Japanese Diet, so I think that about says it all.


    If Tajiri agreed to stay with the WWE, hopefully that means that whatever personal issues he was having were cleared up.


In today's Observer, Dave wrote that one of his biggest problems was that his wife was unhappy because she couldn't drive in the U.S., but Vince McMahon pulled some strings and his wife was able to get her driver's license after first having been turned down.


    Where did Akio (James Yun) go?


He was part of the mass exodus of talent cuts in July and did his first date for Ring of Honor a few weeks ago.
thecubsfan
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#4 Posted on 6.11.05 0103.28
Reposted on: 6.11.12 0105.44
Japanesse wrestlers have been local members of federal government (Great Sasuke, Hase, Inoki?). I don't know enough to say they've done more.


    Tajiri will still be "jobber-to-the-stars" until he quits, won't he?


For long stretches, yea, probably, sadly. But, by usual WWE standards, he should've been a jtts from Day One. Instead, he looked awesome in a match versus Crash Holly and they realized they ought to be doing something with him. That's going to be his lot in WWE life; every so often, he'll have an awesome match or funny backstage interaction, and something will click in the mind of a person in charge, and they'll let him run with an idea - most of his tag team runs seemed like short term plans that got over quick and kept going.

Tajiri's unlikely to be a guy they protect and make sure to give him something to do, but he's so good, different and consistent, he's going to force them to use him.


    p.s. Where did Akio (James Yun) go?


After he got dropped by WWE, he did a few shows for Ring of Honor, and I believe he'll be working for them again soon. (Wish he worked for them tonight.)


    Also, I don't mean to be controversial or political, but as an Asian-American, it isn't hard to notice how woefully underrepresented we are on tv.


Hmm. There's the husband and wife on Lost, and...well, wait till 24 gets back.


    Maybe, hopefully, somebody in the WWE realizes that there is a large group of people that they should be cultivating as a fan base. Minorities in general; that is a lot of people (and money) that the WWE should try harder to get.


They try to do this at times - the ups and downs of Eddie in the last couple years and the Mexicools being brought in is an attempt to cater to the large Hispanic fanbase of SmackDown! - though they don't always follow thru.

The other thing is, there's a weirdly disproportion of non-white wrestlers in the US, especially as you get to bigger and bigger groups. At the ROH show I went to tonight, there were only two minority wrestlers (Samoa Joe and Homicide - plus managers Prince Nana and Julius Smokes.) There's a Hispanic wrestlers (Fast Eddie Vegas comes to mind first, but there's plenty working lucha style), but not many African-American (Jay Lethal, Elix Skipper, Monty Brown) and barely any Asians (Sonjay Dutt is the only Arab/IndoPak guy I know since Daviari got signed, and I'm blanking on anyone besides Akio from the East.)

Demographic data says minorities - particluarly hispanic and black - are watching wrestling, but they're not ascending in the wrestling world to a point where WWE could pick them up, train them and use them. I wish I had an explaination why, but I don't.
J. Kyle
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#5 Posted on 6.11.05 0108.54
Reposted on: 6.11.12 0108.58
To answer your question in four words, restating what others already said:
Less money, more respect.

As far as I know, the only Asian wrestler in memory to say "I don't need this" was TAKA.

As for true AA representation on TV don't forget LOST with Daniel Dae Kim and (sorta) Yunjin Kim as well.

I'd rather Tajiri go where he can do more than job and show up on TV once every three weeks. But if like Funaki he has no problems staring at the lights for the bucks, more power to him. I can't say I wouldn't.
tricia
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#6 Posted on 6.11.05 0128.14
Reposted on: 6.11.12 0129.01
First off, thank you already for all the thoughtful replies to my questions/commentary. I can tell that you all put some thought into your responses. Thanks again! (No, that was NOT sarcasm.)

Again, NOT TO BE POLITICAL OR CONTROVERSIAL, (I can't stress that enough), two Asians on a popular show do not representation make. (You all keep listing the show "Lost".) One plot twist, and POFF!! they are gone. Better, wiser, more articulate people have discussed the subject of Asians Representation in the Media, so I will shut up now.

(Fun exercise: watch tv and actually count the number of times you see an Asian, Caucasian, and African-American persons. Then compare the numbers. Fun, no?)
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#7 Posted on 6.11.05 0216.26
Reposted on: 6.11.12 0216.35
    Originally posted by tricia
    (Fun exercise: watch tv and actually count the number of times you see an Asian, Caucasian, and African-American persons. Then compare the numbers. Fun, no?)



Only to screw with the numbers, I'd like to throw 'Most Extreme Elimination Challenge' into the mix.

I like Tajiri too, and like thecubsfan said, he's always going to pop up into little mini-feuds because of a humorous backstage interaction or something. The thing that worries me about Tajiri is that I went from loving him every match, to expecting a great match and ending up bored and disappointed. Now I try to lower my expectations when I hear his music just so that I can hope to be excited if the match picks up.

Lately his only good (or even watchable) matches have been against the top preformers like Kurt Angle which isn't a good sign considering that they usually have much better matches against most other opponents. Other than that, it's the same couple moves every match, and they seem to be extremely forced into the match as well. He went from being The Japanese Buzzsaw to a guy who I know can bust it out (even under WWE Move Rules) but lately comes across as very pedestrian.


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#8 Posted on 6.11.05 0950.27
Reposted on: 6.11.12 0950.54
Well, when they send him out to job, he's not really supposed to get the crowd rooting for him. The point of a squash is that the squashee gets in minimal offense, while the squasher looks like a total badass by laying out a guy with his entire moveset. The last time Tajiri did much of anything in the ring was his brief run as a tag champ with Regal, and before that was in his feud with Mysterio (still one of the best feuds of all time, in my opinion). In other words, if Tajiri's actually working a program, you can expect great things out of him. If not, don't expect very much at all.
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#9 Posted on 6.11.05 1102.02
Reposted on: 6.11.12 1102.34
The psychologist on Law and Order - Special Victims Unis who used to be on Star Trek and the new pathologist on CSI: NY spring to mind. Actually both series do a good job at featuring minorities without pandering.

(Sometimes the minorities represented aren't obvious. For instance, Grissom has his foot in the deaf camp, the pathologist on the original CSI has his disablity. And of course there was the famous retcon lesbian angle on Law and Order.)
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#10 Posted on 6.11.05 1302.03
Reposted on: 6.11.12 1303.09
    Originally posted by Llakor
    The psychologist on Law and Order - Special Victims Unis who used to be on Star Trek and the new pathologist on CSI: NY spring to mind. Actually both series do a good job at featuring minorities without pandering.

    (Sometimes the minorities represented aren't obvious. For instance, Grissom has his foot in the deaf camp, the pathologist on the original CSI has his disablity. And of course there was the famous retcon lesbian angle on Law and Order.)
As well, the coroner on CSI is a double amputee; some great information is available HERE (us.imbd.com)
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#11 Posted on 6.11.05 1658.13
Reposted on: 6.11.12 1659.01
    Originally posted by tricia
    First off, thank you already for all the thoughtful replies to my questions/commentary. I can tell that you all put some thought into your responses. Thanks again! (No, that was NOT sarcasm.)

    Again, NOT TO BE POLITICAL OR CONTROVERSIAL, (I can't stress that enough), two Asians on a popular show do not representation make. (You all keep listing the show "Lost".) One plot twist, and POFF!! they are gone. Better, wiser, more articulate people have discussed the subject of Asians Representation in the Media, so I will shut up now.

    (Fun exercise: watch tv and actually count the number of times you see an Asian, Caucasian, and African-American persons. Then compare the numbers. Fun, no?)

I didn't say it was much, but when it's next to nothing, it can't hurt to name all the reps you got.

And hey, Off Centre would still be on the air if I had my way.
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#12 Posted on 6.11.05 1718.53
Reposted on: 6.11.12 1719.58
And on top of that, you've got All-American Girl, which I didn't even know existed until Margaret Cho started going on about it during her routines.
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#13 Posted on 6.11.05 1807.54
Reposted on: 6.11.12 1808.22
    Originally posted by Tenken347
    Well, when they send him out to job, he's not really supposed to get the crowd rooting for him. The point of a squash is that the squashee gets in minimal offense, while the squasher looks like a total badass by laying out a guy with his entire moveset. The last time Tajiri did much of anything in the ring was his brief run as a tag champ with Regal, and before that was in his feud with Mysterio (still one of the best feuds of all time, in my opinion). In other words, if Tajiri's actually working a program, you can expect great things out of him. If not, don't expect very much at all.


We're not talking about Iron Mike Sharpe here though. Just because you're doing a job doesn't mean that you phone it in and just lie there taking a beating. We're also not talking about the days of Saturday Morning Superstars either. If Tajiri was up against a guy like Lesnar or the Big Show, then I understand making him look good by not doing anything but getting his ass kicked. Kurt Angle, Triple H, and other top guys have all had memorable squashes against guys like the Brooklyn Brawler and Taka where BOTH guys ended up looking like a million bucks. When Tajiri sees he's facing Angle, he should recognize the opportunity to help his overall standing, even if just a little. Instead it seems like he's accepted his career is nearing an end and is just collecting paychecks.

A dead squashie does nothing to make either guy look good, and is certainly not what McMahon wants to see taking up time on his #1 show when it's already struggling in the ratings.


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Kei Posiskunk
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#14 Posted on 6.11.05 2205.02
Reposted on: 6.11.12 2207.16
    Originally posted by drjayphd
    And on top of that, you've got All-American Girl, which I didn't even know existed until Margaret Cho started going on about it during her routines.


Her routines were basically the same as the show. A lot of making fun of her mother.

Still, I liked the show during its original run. Not sure how well it holds up, though, as I haven't seen it again since.
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