Yusuke Yamaguchi, who is better known to WWE fans as Kai En Tai manager Yamaguchi-san, was hospitalized earlier this week after suffering a stroke.
In a Facebook post on Thursday, Shunsuke Yamaguchi, a member of WWE’s Japanese announce team alongside Kai En Tai alumnus Funaki, broke the news of his brother Yusuke’s condition, confirming that he suffered from a stroke, and posting a photo of him taken early Thursday morning from his hospital bed. Some of Yusuke’s friends, including “friends from school” and staff members of Gong magazine, dropped by the hospital to visit him, Shunsuke added.
Unfortunately, it appears that Yusuke Yamaguchi, who is also known outside of WWE by the ring name Wally Yamaguchi, is in serious condition at the moment, as inferred from his brother’s Facebook post, which suggested he doesn’t know how much time he has left. Former WWE wrestler and current NJPW standout Davey Boy Smith Jr. also took to Twitter to offer his best wishes, adding that Yamaguchi had a “major” stroke. Likewise, Funaki offered prayers for the recovery of his former manager in another Twitter post from Thursday.
— FUNAKI (@shofufu824) December 14, 2017
Attitude Era fans will undoubtedly remember the antics of the faction Kai En Tai, which was managed by Yamaguchi-san and featured fellow Japanese wrestlers Funaki, Taka Michinoku, Men’s Teioh, and Dick Togo in its classic incarnation. While mostly a serious stable in their home country, their arrival in the WWE saw them turned into a group of comically stereotypical Japanese villains.
Kai En Tai’s most notable feud came in 1998 against Val Venis, after the kayfabe adult film star rescued Yamaguchi-san’s wife from a paddling. In retaliation to this, Yamaguchi-san appeared in a segment with a large salami, screaming the words “I CHOPPY-CHOPPY YOUR PEE PEE!” as he prepared to slice it with a knife. The faction was eventually reduced to a tag team in 1999, after Teioh, Togo, and the Yamaguchis returned to Japan, and was still used for comedic purposes as Funaki and Michinoku mostly put over their babyface opponents and cut poorly-dubbed English promos, courtesy of Bruce Prichard and Shane McMahon.
Obviously, this is sad news for all wrestling fans, especially those who followed the WWE during the Attitude Era. Our thoughts and prayers are with Yusuke Yamaguchi and his family, as we hope he pulls through and makes a successful recovery.
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