Thursday, May 28, 2015

Yoko's Face Turn

Was there any way of doing Yokozuna's face turn right?

For a long time he was massively over as a heel until he was put lower and lower down the card. It seems like he could have been turned face and used in a way that wasn't terrible even with his incredibly limited mobility.

I guess they would have ended up releasing him no matter what since he wasn't able (willing?) to lose the weight. Seems like kind of a shame for his WWF career to end like it did considering how good he was as a heel in 1993.
 
​Well, I'd like to once again plug James Dixon's awesome Titan Sinking book, while we're talking about that era:


Tie-in:  I think had Yoko made the commitment to actually lose weight, his new direction as the samoan ass-kicker that was closer to his backstage personality might have worked.  Especially since exactly that sort of character was only a few years away from debuting.  You know, Roman Reigns.  ​

57 comments:

  1. I wonder what it's like to wake up in the morning and think "I have a question about Yokozuna's face turn from 1996".

    ReplyDelete
  2. Only a few years from debuting? Only about 16 years or so

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have this awesome imagine of Vince with Yoko going "10 hi ya ya!"

    ReplyDelete
  4. Not in the WWF at that time. Fans had been trained for a decade that "big fat guys = bad guys" and nothing was going to change that.

    ReplyDelete
  5. One of the best episodes of DS9

    ReplyDelete
  6. I dunno -- I remember him getting some decent face pops, especially against other super heavyweights. Yoko's character and style were more... endearing? than say, Vader's or King Mabel's.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I just remember Jim Ross making really condescending comments about Yoko's lack of committment towards losing weight in his column in the WWF Magazine (or whatever it was called at the time).

    ReplyDelete
  8. I found Yokozuna to be a sympathetic face for a "monster". Possibly because he'd been losing for so long I started to pity him.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'll just pay for the blasted surgery

    ReplyDelete
  10. If only it were that easy. He was up all night, tossing and turning while thinking about it.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I don't know how over Yoko actually was - I know he's remembered fondly because the boys back then like Bret and UT speak glowingly of him. But man, his matches sucked and crowds were never smaller than 93-94.

    ReplyDelete
  12. He would then go on to do that to Vader and Big Show, all while being a fattie himself.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Ironic (or maybe not) considering how Vince treated him because he himself was not "cosmetically pleasing" enough to be on TV.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Natural Disasters, Big Boss Man, Bam Bam Bigelow.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Did his reign actually cause a drop in crowds? I don't see why it would have, since, even if he wasn't a draw himself, he almost always worked with Bret or Taker.

    ReplyDelete
  16. He was over alright. Overweight!!
    (Virtual fist bump anyone?)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Yoko's numbers were no worse than what Bret was doing before and after him. He wasn't much of a draw, but fans were still showing up for their "A" shos, if that makes sense.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Probably told from a higher up (Vince?) to say these things. Wasn't this during the time where JR was in charge of talent acquisitions, and "out of shape" talent landed on his head?

    ReplyDelete
  19. It's funny, I legit almost emailed Scott with my own Yoko question, namely whether there was any thought by Hogan or WCW to get Yoko in to WCW as a Dungeon monster of the month and for Hogan to get his win back?

    ReplyDelete
  20. If you watch 1990 WWF (I just happened to be recently because I'm a dork), they pushed face Boss Man post-WM 6 as having lost 40 pounds & getting in better shape. And the Natural Disasters were a total dud as faces...who liked them?


    Bam Bam is interesting because he was over as a face in 87, but quickly fizzled & his face run in 95 was the drizzling shits.

    ReplyDelete
  21. True, if he only faced other fat guys, it would've been good. But when it's face Yoko vs heel Owen...it just doesn't work to root for a guy who has a 300-pound weight advantage.


    Like Andre as a face way back in the day....he was only going against other giants, like Studd and Bundy. That worked in the WWF.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Did they ever let Yoko talk? The biggest issue was that he was billed as Japanese and it was assumed he didn't speak English. Kinda hard to build sympathy when you can't connect with the crowd through talking.

    ReplyDelete
  23. He just yelled "bonzai" at the end of cormettes ramblings I think.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I'm curious as to whether Mr. Piers comes up with these titles as an exercise in painting a picture with six words (like the apocryphal story that Hemingway won a six-word-story contest with the entry "For sale: baby shoes, never worn.")

    ReplyDelete
  25. These days they'd just no-sell the whole Japanese thing but back then it'd be kinda hard to just put him out there and go "oh, he learned English in a 6 week internet course"

    ReplyDelete
  26. Oh he talked alright, and it killed the "Japanese" mystique forever.

    ReplyDelete
  27. They would have pushed Boss Man no matter what. He was still big when he turned.

    ReplyDelete
  28. No lie, after my three year hiatus from wrestling, when I saw Rikishi for the first time, I thought it was slimmed down Yokozuna.

    ReplyDelete
  29. As a babyface, all the time. As a heel, once: KOTR '93. Just seemed wrong.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hey Nick, how much money have you made/can you expect to make per book you publish? Genuinely curious

    ReplyDelete
  31. These days, they'd turn him face, team him up with hornswagle and make them dance together and then have the authority make the fight against his wishes or else he'll be fired!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Yoko had some good offense(the thrust kick, the Hulkbuster, the Samoan drop), was apparently a really safe worker, and had a killer finish- did anyone ever kick out of the Banzai Drop?

    If he had made the commitment and lost weight, I think he would've stuck around.

    ReplyDelete
  33. And if he gets fired he'll never get to cement his legacy with a Wrestlemania moment that will make him the face of the company.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Having not started watching wrestling until after the Twin Towers I was blown away that Bossman was a heel and fat at one point.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Back then they no sold it too. He basically just started talking out of nowhere.

    ReplyDelete
  36. To be fair JR wasn't hired to be athletic talent either though. I think it more summed up to be "hey, we asked you to do something and you've decided not to do it".

    ReplyDelete
  37. Yoko really was more skilled than he seemed. Come on, not that many guys pushing 600 pounds who could move so fast or be so agile with kicks and such, a lot better than plodding slugs like Great Khali. Trimmed down, he could really have been a Vader-type ass-kicker, shame it didn't go that way.

    ReplyDelete
  38. It's one of those grating face turns where a heel turns not because they have a change of heart and start being a good person but because they got their ass kicked by a bigger, badder heel.

    ReplyDelete
  39. My understanding was that he was a big party animal with a boundless appetite for food, booze, and women.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Rusev must have taken the same course.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Not a whole lot, honestly. My first book, I think I made about $250 in royalties in total. That's not including when I had to buy copies for myself in order to sell them in stores through consignment (buying them for about $7 a pop and selling them either $15 personally or $20 in store).


    This particular one, I'm not making anything, since instead, I chose the option to get more contributor copies instead of royalties.


    I'm curious to see what I'll make on DAME, though, since I think I'm slightly more established after the first one and a few more people know about me.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I've never been very good at being that concise with my writing. =p

    ReplyDelete
  43. Damn right. Personally, my favourite is Badda Bing, Badda Bang, if only for that film noir style to it.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Still remember that Tom Zenk article where he put up a picture oh how looking super-fat with the caption "Jim Ross- Fitness Guru".

    ReplyDelete
  45. Rumor is - Hogan did try. Yoko, who lived until October 2000, said no.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Pretty certain that it would be physically impossible to kick out of the Banzai Drop (i.e. nobody ever kicked out of it). There were guys like Undertaker/Randy Savage/Bret Hart/Diesel who moved out of the way to avoid the Banzai Drop, but that was it.


    Not sure if anybody else noticed this (and I'm not sure why I noticed this) but Yokozuna wouldn't even yell "Banzai" before delivering the Banzai Drop in 1992/1993...he'd yell something that sounded more like "Boostie" instead. By 1994 Yokozuna was definitely yelling "Banzai" before delivering the Banzai Drop...

    ReplyDelete
  47. Yoko was captain of some of the lamest Survivor Series teams ever

    ReplyDelete
  48. and Virgil warned us all at Survivor Series 92

    ReplyDelete
  49. ►►► $83 /hour @mi11//<-Make A huge profit just doing Simple Google Tasks....... Last saturday I got a great Alfa Romeo after I been earning $9498 this past four weeks and a little over 10k lass month . with-out a doubt this is the nicest-work Ive ever had . I actually started 4 months ago and pretty much immediately began to make more than $89.. per-hour . find out here now ->

    < Going Here
    you Can Find
    Out >,

    ➨➨➨https://DigitalWorkDijital.com/weII/pay...

    <★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★>

    ReplyDelete
  50. ►►► $83 /hour @mi11//<-Make A huge profit just doing Simple Google Tasks....... Last saturday I got a great Alfa Romeo after I been earning $9498 this past four weeks and a little over 10k lass month . with-out a doubt this is the nicest-work Ive ever had . I actually started 4 months ago and pretty much immediately began to make more than $89.. per-hour . find out here now ->

    < Going Here
    you Can Find
    Out >,,

    ➨➨➨https://DigitalWorkDijital.com/weII/pay...

    <★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★>

    ReplyDelete
  51. Making Yoko smarter than some.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Reminds me of '40s horror film producer Val Lewton, who was given titles by his bosses (Cat People, I Walked with a Zombie, etc.), and turned out some cracking movies.

    ReplyDelete
  53. He was great a guy that size should be clumsy and hurting guys and I don't think he hurt anyone. Scott's right if he made a character like his real life self he could have reinvented himself and been big

    ReplyDelete
  54. Heh, neat, I didn't know something similar was done in film.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Just rewatched the episode and dammmmmmmn

    ReplyDelete