Sonny Onoo: I Met Eric Bischoff When I Was His Tanning Bed Supplier

Sonny Onoo--former manager to the likes of Ultimo Dragon and Jushin Thunder Liger, among other Japanese wrestlers--was the guest on a recent episode of "Sitting Ringside" with David Penzer to talk about his WCW career and his relationship with Eric Bischoff. They sent us these submitted highlights.

When was the first time he met Eric Bischoff:

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"Because of an event that I'm about to tell you has a lot to do with Eric getting into professional wrestling. Eric and I actually did some business together. I had owned several tanning salons, and Eric owned one. I was actually supplying him with tanning beds. At the time I met him, Eric was managing a karate school, he was kind of the sales person there, and that's how I first met Eric and through our business we became friends".

The first time he met Eric Bischoff's wife, Loree:

"The first time I met Loree, I thought she looked fourteen! I pulled Eric aside and said, 'Eric, you're going to go to jail'! But In all actuality, she was over eighteen. I was worried about my buddy going to Jail, but she ended up being old enough."

A business idea he had that led Eric Bischoff to Verne Gagne and the AWA:

"I created this game; an actual physical game called Ninja Star-Wars. It was a Velcro vest with Velcro stars and a headband. I showed this idea to Eric, and he tells me, 'Sonny, we have to sell this on television!' Eric then gets a hold of AWA, which was a syndicated program on ESPN. So, Eric has a meeting with Verne and works out a deal to advertise Ninja Star-Wars with their program, and that was Eric's introduction into professional wrestling."

His time working with Ernest "The Cat" Miller:

"Ernest and I got together because of our martial arts background right after the beginning of 2000. Ernest didn't need a mouth piece where everyone else I worked with, I was their mouthpiece. Ernest and I began doing the shtick of Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker, I was his martial arts sidekick. You probably remember that Ernest was entertaining as hell. Ernest didn't win a lot of matches. I would play his Asian sidekick trying to help him, but Ernest never lost heat for losing the match."

How kind the wrestlers in WCW were to him:

"I remember how the wrestlers would show up to my kids 'show and tell' for school. Road Warrior Hawk came in in full gimmick in Mason City Iowa, and so did 'Macho Man' Randy Savage! I can't think of a negative memory about those guys."

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