The Orient Express was a professional wrestling tag team in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in the early 1990s composed of Pat Tanaka and Akio Sato, who was later replaced by Kato


World Wrestling Federation

In early 1990, manager Mr. Fuji split up the team known as The Powers of Pain (The Warlord and The Barbarian) as he sold their individual contracts to Slick and Bobby Heenan, respectively. Fuji then brought in The Orient Express (Sato & Tanaka) as his latest threat to the WWF tag team division. While the Orient Express was supposed to represent Japan, Pat Tanaka was born in Hawaii.

The Orient Express kicked off a prolonged feud with The Rockers that started at WrestleMania VI, where Sato and Tanaka were victorious via countout, and continued off and on for well over a year. The Orient Express got involved in the Legion of Doom / Demolition feud as Mr. Fuji managed Demolition as well. Demolition was being phased out and the Orient Express began taking on the Legion of Doom instead. The Legion of Doom / Orient Express feud was extremely onesided due to the Legion of Doom's massive size advantage.

After WrestleMania VI, Tanaka and Sato only made two pay-per-view appearances while in the WWF. Firstly at SummerSlam 1990 where the team were defeated by "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan and Nikolai Volkoff. They were then a part of the Sgt. Slaughter led team "The Mercenaries" (that also included Boris Zhukov. Sato was pinned by Bushwhacker Butch 1:46 into the match and Tanaka was pinned by Tito Santana only moments later, 2:13 into the match.

When Akio Sato decided to leave the US wrestling scene in the latter days of 1990, the WWF decided to reunite the team known as Badd Company, only this time with Paul Diamond wearing a mask to hide the fact that he's not Asian and using the name of Kato. During this time the team had a very well received match with their old enemies the Rockers at the 1991 Royal Rumble and another well received match against the New Foundation at the 1992 Royal Rumble – which were the only two PPV appearances for the New Orient Express.

During the summer of 1991, Mr. Fuji briefly substituted for Tanaka during a series of tag team matches with Kato when Tanaka's father passed away unexpectedly. One of these matches was a live televised event from Madison Square Garden in New York, where the makeshift tag team fought Haku and The Barbarian; before the match, Fuji threw salt in the eyes of Bobby Heenan, who was at ringside doing commentary..

Sato briefly rejoined the team in 1991 to team with Tanaka and Kato for a series of 6-man tag-team matches on WWF house shows, but Sato left the WWF after only a handful of matches together. Tanaka would leave the WWF in early 1992. Diamond went on to wrestle as a singles competitor in the WWF, first as Kato, then later as Max Moon, replacing the departed Konnan, neither gimmick meeting with very much success.

In wrestling

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