Horrible news for professional wrestling today, as WWE Hall of Famer Mr. Fuji passed away Sunday morning at the age of 82.
Fuji was perhaps known to more contemporary fans as the manager of the former WWF Champion Yokozuna, as well as the leader of Demolition, WWE's all-time longest reigning tag team champions. Fuji was a great tag team wrestler in his own right, winning the tag team championships five times -- three times with Toru Tanaka and twice with Mr. Saito. Fuji actually held the "World Tag Team Title" incarnation of the championship for more days than anyone else in company history.
Fuji also played a major role in the main event of WrestleMania IX, when he accidentally threw salt in the eyes of Yokozuna, allowing Hulk Hogan to win. Fuji would continue managing Yokozuna until leaving the company in 1996. He'd also be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2007.
Fuji spent over 30 years entertaining fans worldwide as both an in-ring competitor and one of WWE’s greatest managers. A five-time WWE World Tag Team Champion, Fuji was infamous for keeping small bags of salt in his tights which he would throw into his opponents’ eyes.
After retiring from the ring, Fuji managed a litany of WWE’s most feared Superstars, such as George “The Animal” Steele, Kamala, Killer Khan, Demolition, The Powers of Pain, Yokozuna and most notably, “Magnificent” Don Muraco. With Muraco, Fuji treated WWE fans to the classic Fuji Vice, Fuji General, Fuji Bandito and Fuji Chan series. These series were ahead of their time because spoofing successful television shows as they tried to break into Hollywood was the epitome of sports-entertainment.
His career will be remembered by different generations for different reasons but Mr. Fuji, whether as a Superstar or manager, is one of the most entertaining performers in the history of WWE.
Fightful.com would like to extend our condolences to Fuji's family.