Pat Tanaka [SmartMarkVideo Shoot Interview]
Sometimes you just get the feeling that shoot interview is going to be excellent with no real reason. Pat Tanaka had a somewhat uneventful career and I had no real reason to believe that he'd have some keen insight or hilarious road stories because I'd never heard him in a shoot or really mentioned for that matter. However, he did tour around a lot, he was the son of the legendary Duke Keomuka, he broke in over in New Japan and he and partner Paul Diamond were pretty successful for a time as Badd Company. What I did not expect was that Pat Tanaka was almost a carbon copy of his one-time best friend Marty Jannetty. He was a hellion who was more into wine, women and song than working out, developing mic skills or trying to get over with the office. Pat Tanaka was by his own admission, a "f**k up." He was the son of a legend, the nephew of a legend and in one of the hottest territories in the world, but screwed around too much to gain much from those advantages. He was a fun-loving guy who spent much of his time in Japan getting in trouble for excessive partying. He was a big ribber who tried to stay even with Curt Hennig and the Nasty Boys. He was a small guy in a big man's business, who was a great natural worker, but let poor choices stop him again and again. This was an excellent look into Tanaka's career and he seemed frank about himself and loved to put people over. Although brief, his recollections of his time in Japan are priceless. Obviously, there are not many gaijin who got as entrenched as he did with the native talent, so getting some perspective on them is unique. I found this to be a really positive and interesting shoot interview and it did not disappoint me.
How many "what a fantastic guy," "he was a great worker" and "no comments" can you sit through. Although this did not reach Jimmy Snuka levels of vagueness, Tanaka certainly spent plenty of time dishing out these generic statements. The "no comment" crew was obviously intriguing: Scott Hall, Tojo Yamamoto and a few others. Obviously, the juicy details behind those were such that he just did not want to share them. This was not free of burials though. He knocked Konnan as a "nobody," Shinya Hashimoto as a "piece of sh*t" who took dangerous liberties in the ring and even his partner Paul Diamond as an endless complainer who enjoyed making moves on other guy's girlfriends/wives/etc. If Tanaka would go on about those people and not others, you have to wonder what the story is behind his "no comment" statements. The biggest question mark in this is the almost complete absence of discussing his Orient Express run in the WWF. He talks about getting the call, teaming with Akio Sato (mostly beforehand) and his departure (due to Diamond stabbing him in the back), but that is about it. No Mr. Fuji, no Rockers feud, no Sato being replaced by Kato (Diamond), it was just missing here.
The Rating: ****