Harry Fujiwara, better known to the wrestling world as Mr. Fuji, recently passed away earlier this week at the age of 82. Many fans who grew up watching Mr. Fuji most likely remember him as one of the evilest managers that wrestling has ever known. Usually sporting a tuxedo and bowler hat, Fuji walked to the ring with nothing but evil intentions in his eyes. He usually made good on those intentions as well by throwing salt in the eyes of other wrestlers, smacking them with his cane, and doing whatever else was necessary to make sure his clients won. He was the guy we all loved to hate.
That was in front of the camera, however. Behind the camera, Mr. Fuji was building a different kind of legacy. If you didn’t already know, Mr. Fuji is one of the all-time greatest pranksters and general mad men that wrestling has ever known. Freddie Blassie probably put it best when he said simply said of Fuji that “the man was incorrigible.” Given the wealth of stories his non-stop personality has provided, we wouldn’t have had it any other way. Here are the top 15 craziest stories about Mr. Fuji.
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15 He Loved To Slip Something Into Other Wresters' Drinks
The general theme you’ll find throughout this list is that you could never let your guard down against Mr. Fuji. Ever. The man was like a robot that was programmed for nothing else but to mess with everyone around them. As such, certain rules of etiquette were established regarding how to behave around Fuji. Rule number one was that you never, ever, anger him or give him any reason whatsoever to get revenge on you. As we’ll see later on this list, if Mr. Fuji ribs you, it’s best to just smile and move on with your life. If you failed to follow rule number one, or even if you didn’t, then you would want to pay attention to the rule that says never leave a drink alone anywhere near Mr. Fuji.
Fuji was known for spiking drinks with all manners of substances, but his favorite was laxatives. Especially if he could slip them in right before a match.
14 Nailing Or Gluing Wrestlers' Clothes To The Ceiling
In the early ‘80s, there were few people in the WWE locker room more respected than “Classy” Freddie Blassie. Blassie was as old-school as professional wrestling got, and the heat he would draw by doing things like filing down his teeth in order to make his bites more painful helped Vince McMahon Sr. and the WWE sell out many stadiums back in Blassie’s prime. Just because Blassie was a bonafide legend that commanded the respect of nearly everyone he worked with didn’t mean that Fuji wasn’t going to pull some pranks on him, however. Quite the opposite, actually.
One of Fuji’s favorite ways to mess with Blassie was to take all of his clothes and either nail them or superglue them to the ceiling while Blassie was away. According to other wrestlers who witnessed the aftermath, the look on Blassie’s face was one of pure defeat.
13 Tricking Other Wrestlers Into Doing His Pranks For Him
Mr. Fuji was a busy man. As one of the most in-demand managers in the Rock n’ Wrestling era of WWE (both in kayfabe and in real life), he would often appear several times throughout the course of a show and would be responsible for keeping up with many teams of wrestlers. When you’re that busy, no matter how gifted of a prankster you are, you aren’t always going to have time to actually do pranks yourself. As such, one of Mr. Fuji’s favorite methods of ensuring that people still got pranked was to get younger wrestlers to do his dirty deeds for him.
Because these younger wrestlers knew that saying no to Fuji was a bad idea, they would often do whatever he said. That’s a shame because most of the time Fuji told them to do the things he wouldn’t do otherwise. Let’s just say many a hotel room was invaded by a stooge of Fuji.
12 Canceling Other Wrestlers' Flights For Fun
Traveling is one of the worst things about being a professional wrestler. As great as it sounds to tour the world and perform in front of a different crowd every night, and it surely has its benefits, the truth is that the time you’re not seeing a professional wrestler in the ring is usually filled with long stares at road maps, finding some traveling partners, and, most importantly of all, making sure that all your flights and rental cars are properly booked.
Every wrestler knows how important travel arrangements are, and no wrestler would ever dare mess with someone else’s. Except for Mr. Fuji, that is. Several wrestlers have said that one of the worst things you could do was make your flight arrangements on the phone near Mr. Fuji. If you did, it was likely he would pick up the phone, call the airport, and have the tickets canceled on your behalf. Apparently, sometimes he would do it even if you weren’t in the area.
11 He Was Stabbed By Fans On Multiple Occasions
The thing you have to understand about Mr. Fuji is that he made his name in the business during a very different time. It wasn’t an era of indie promotions, wrestling schools, national exposure, and talent pipelines; it was an era when becoming a wrestler usually meant that you were willing to learn things the hard way and typically weren’t opposed to performing degrading favors to get in good with established talent. It was also an era of really tough wrestlers and really passionate fans.
That last bit got Mr. Fuji in trouble a couple of times, as his ability to draw nuclear levels of heat from just about any crowd would sometimes get him into trouble with that same crowd. Along with more pedestrian thing like having trash thrown at him, Mr. Fuji claims that he was stabbed by fans at wrestling shows on two separate occasions. The joy in his voice when he recounts is it what really speaks to the man’s toughness.
10 WWE Tried, And Failed, To Turn Him Good
When Demolition came into the WWE, the company knew that they had something potentially special on their hands. Here was a team with talent, the right looks, a good gimmick, and the ability to work with just about anyone. The only problem was that they were so cool that some in WWE worried they wouldn’t get booed. So, they paired the team with Mr. Fuji so that every fan would know Demolition were evil. It shouldn’t be that easy to make a cool tag team instantly bad, but the heat Mr. Fuji drew meant that it was. Mr. Fuji was so hated by the fans, in fact, that it was basically impossible to make him a good guy. According to Mr. Fuji, WWE tried to do so when he turned against Demolition and joined The Powers of Pain. Some in WWE thought fans would treat the Powers of Pain and Fuji like faces, but Fuji knew better. The result was a rare case of a successful WWE double-turn.
9 Giving His Tag Team Partner Wrong Directions And Driving Around All Day
Masa Saito, also known as Mr. Saito, was not the kind of guy that you messed with. While he wasn’t quite at Haku levels of backstage fear, Saito was an old-school Japanese wrestler with a legitimate Olympic wrestling background and a reputation for getting into trouble outside of the ring. After all, this is the guy who allegedly helped Ken Patera fight several police officers after Patera threw a large rock through a McDonald’s window. If you think that Saito’s toughness was going to keep Mr. Fuji from messing with the guy when they were tag partners, though, then you just haven’t been paying attention so far.
Fuji informed Saito that since Saito was new in America, Fuji would give him directions to the show. Fuji’s “directions” had them spending the better part of the day driving around before arriving at the arena. Oddly enough, when Mr. Fuji drove on the way back, the trip only took minutes.
8 Chaining And Supergluing A Wrestler's Luggage
The jury is still out on whether or not Mr. Fuji’s infamous pranks and antics were more “funny” or “federal crimes.” To be fair, the man did have a reputation for going way, way too far sometimes with his more elaborate jokes. Unlike other good-natured professional wrestling pranksters like Owen Hart, Mr. Fuji seemingly had no limits when it came to going too far. Still, every now and then, Fuji would come up with a prank that was simply inspired. For instance, there was the time that he and Don Muraco decided to mess with wrestler Pampero Firpo by gluing his suitcase shut on a flight and then chaining the suitcase to his seat. Why? Nobody is quite sure, although it was apparently quite funny to watch him explain to customs that he doesn’t know how the suitcase got shut or why it was chained to the seat but that there wasn’t anything unusual about it.
7 Driving 100 MPH In A Blizzard
Remember earlier when we talked about never insulting Mr. Fuji, provoking Mr. Fuji, or otherwise doing anything that Mr. Fuji would ever even dare think was some kind of slight against him? Well, apparently the Iron Sheik and Don Muraco forgot that message when the group was traveling between shows one night during a particularly awful blizzard. As it hasn’t come up yet, let it be known that Mr. Fuji was one of the stoutest drinkers in wrestling history, which is never a statement one makes lightly. As such, Mr. Fuji probably felt pretty comfortable driving Sheik and Muraco around in bad weather even though he had enjoyed a few shots of Jack Daniels shortly before they set off. Tired of Sheik and Muraco making fun of him for driving slow, Fuji decided to start driving at nearly a 100 mph in the middle of the storm. Not only did he not wreck, but he got there in record time.
6 Removed The Engine From A Rental Car
As we now know, Mr. Fuji had no problems when it came to messing with other people’s travel arrangements. However, in that story, Mr. Fuji was able to be alerted of someone’s booking plans before they actually set off. What would the man do, however, if someone had already successfully completed their flight and was getting ready to enter their new rental car? Surely, by that point, it would be too late to properly rib them, right? Bobby Eaton most likely thought the same thing as he made his way from the airport to his rental car. Mr. Fuji, however, was one step ahead of him. As Bobby Eaton tried to start his car, he noticed nothing was happening. Confused, Eaton decided to check the engine. It was then that he noticed there was no engine in the car. Later on, he would learn that Fuji had spent a considerable amount of time and money to remove it.
5 His Feet Were Mercilessly Tickled In The Ring As An Act Of Revenge
Before we get into this final run of Mr. Fuji stories, it’s important to take a moment to realize that Mr. Fuji himself was not immune to being the victim of shenanigans. Sometimes, his wicked deeds did not go unpunished by other wrestlers. Actually, there’s a famous story about Mr. Fuji waking up in the middle of a pond completely naked with a shotgun laid across his lap after his drinking buddies left him in the position one night. One particularly odd story about revenge on Fuji involves the great Jules Strongbow. Strongbow had no intentions of becoming Fuji’s next prank victim and decided to do something that would let Fuji know he wasn’t to be messed with.
Specifically, he tickled Fuji’s feet one night in the ring without stopping because he had heard that Fuji was extremely ticklish. It might sound funny, and kind of was, but Strongbow was so relentless that Fuji was apparently in a great deal of pain throughout the match.
4 The Legend Of The Cooked Dog
Ah yes, what retelling of Mr. Fuji’s wildest moments would be complete without the biggest Fuji legend of them all: the cooked dog. First, let us preface this with a warning that this story is not 100% confirmed. However, it has been passed around from wrestler to wrestler so often throughout the years that it has become as much a part of Mr. Fuji’s legacy as salt in the eyes and cane strikes. So what happened? Well, the most famous version of the story comes from an old shoot interview with Roddy Piper in which Piper claimed that Mr. Fuji had cooked the dog of a rival wrestler and fed it to him after he found out that the wrestler had stolen some work from him. Is it true? Well, given how many versions of the story there are, it’s tough to say. However, we wouldn’t be surprised if “The Devious One” Mr. Fuji kept the legend alive just to minimize the chances of someone getting revenge on him.
3 Making Sunny Style Yokozuna's Unwashed Hair
Mr. Fuji wasn’t just Yokozuna’s manager; he was essentially the big man’s caretaker. Fuji often said that Yokozuna had trouble properly taking care of himself on the road. Often times, Yokozuna didn’t know when to stop eating, drinking, spending money, or just generally having a good time. As such, Mr. Fuji had to be there to help him make sure that the little things were all taken care of. Perhaps that’s why Sunny didn’t find it odd when Mr. Fuji asked if she would braid Yokozuna’s hair one night. In any case, she certainly didn’t want to get on Fuji’s bad side. When Sunny went to tend to Yokozuna, however, she couldn’t help but notice that his hair smelled simply awful. It was then that she realized Yokozuna couldn’t properly wash his hair by himself and that Fuji had likely let it fester for some time so Sunny could get a whiff of its full power.
2 Peeing On Lex Luger's Boots To Teach Him Respect
Being the veteran that he was throughout much of his WWE run, the one thing that Mr. Fuji hated above all else was someone that thought they were better than the rest of the boys. It makes sense, actually, given the number of pranks that the man liked to pull that he would have no tolerance for anyone that felt they were too good to be taken down a peg from time to time. So when Lex Luger came into WWE with what Fuji took to be a bit of an attitude problem, he wasted no time in doing something about it. Now, while most wrestlers would probably be fine getting a talking to or maybe enduring a little roughing up in the ring, Fuji felt the best way to deal with Luger was to sit beside him at a restaurant and start peeing on his shoes without saying a word. While it probably didn’t hurt that Luger knew better than to mess with Fuji, Luger apparently got his act together shortly thereafter.
1 Getting Way Too High With Mr. McMahon In England
In numerous shoot interviews and career recaps that Mr. Fuji has given over the years, the one thing that has remained consistent is the man’s love for Vince McMahon Jr. Fuji has always respected Vince McMahon for his vision, personality, and general ability to keep the crazy world of professional wrestling chugging along. Of course, part of the reason that Fuji like McMahon so much might have something to do with the parties the two apparently used to have. According to Fuji, one night Vince McMahon came to him after a show in England and told him that he wanted to perform a big rib on everyone.
This “rib” consisted of Fuji and Vince getting two large bags of marijuana, smoking on the tour bus, and getting the driver so high that they almost got lost several times. According to Fuji, Vince was so messed up that he tried to take his clothes off and run naked through the streets before Fuji and some of the boys stopped him.
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