Induction: Cooking for the Single Man – Hibachi-Mania

22 Submitted by on Thu, 16 February 2017, 20:00

WWF, 1993

In the 1990s, the WWF put out a VHS tape called, “Smack’em Whack’em”.

I know what you’re thinking: “Art, didn’t you already write up that softcore Sable tape?”

But in fact, this tape came out in 1993 and featured the WWF’s first-ever ladder match, Bret Hart’s first-ever world title win, and, curiously, a series of special segments interspersed between matches called, “Cooking for the Single Man”, featuring Yokozuna.

These segments promised “heavy duty recipes” with the sumo champion.

No doubt more than one video store shopper was disappointed to find out that, instead of Yokozuna donning a chef’s hat and instructing the viewer on how to make a fine crème brûlée for one, he would simply be sitting down at a Japanese restaurant with his manager, Mr. Fuji, and Gene Okerlund.

See, it’s not a cooking segment, it’s an eating segment.

Back before WWF fans knew much about Yokozuna and his many unique quirks (such as his fear of caskets), they knew only that he weighed 505 pounds…

…which, while svelte compared to his later career, still made Yokozuna without a doubt one of the heaviest wrestlers in the world.

But besides being fat, being heavy, and having “an ass like an amphitheater,” there was something else important about Yokozuna that fans absolutely needed to pay their hard-earned money to find out:

Yokozuna ate a lot. Watching these segments, it’s easy to see how Yoko quickly managed to fill out those tights that he’d had to stuff with padding in the early days.

So the premise of these segments is that Mr. Fuji, gracious host that he is, has invited “Mean” Gene Okerlund to dinner to witness first-hand Yokozuna’s training regimen.

The first course of Fuji, Yoko, and Gene’s meal consists of, to Gene’s astonishment, raw fish. Yes, RAW FISH! Mean Gene, hardly a sophisticate, probably doesn’t even know that it’s called sushi. What a rube!

So Yokozuna downs two whole plates of sush— sorry, sashimi. Raw fish is sashimi. I knew that. Anyway, Gene’s still a rube.

Okerlund does work up the courage to try this exotic dish, dipping it wasabi at Fuji’s request…

…but it doesn’t work out well.

All the while, Yokozuna is laconic, uttering only a few words here and there in Japanese.

Some of the things he says in Japanese, I don’t understand.” My guess? It’s because they’re in Japanese, Gene.

Okerlund can’t get the hang of those unwieldy chop sticks…

…but Yoko works them like a champ, showing his dedication to the Japanese gimmick..

In a classic eating montage, Yokozuna shoves morsel after morsel into his mouth, although at times it looks like Coliseum Video reused a lot of footage.

This is just the beginning for Yokozuna, says Fuji. Next, a chef flown in specially from Japan will cook a big feast for Yoko.

Sure enough, the Japanese chef shows up and, after some knife tricks, explains that he will be cooking steak for ten people.

We couldn’t possibly have steak for ten people,” says Gene, having learned nothing — nothing— from this dinner so far.

Further undermining the viewer’s faith in Gene’s intelligence, Okerlund notes how hot the grill must be. Then his dumb ass tries to touch it

…although, in a more literal sense, his hand tries to touch it. Fortunately, Mr. Fuji intervenes…

…but Yoko tries to stick Gene’s hand right back on there.

They do things strange in the Orient – raw fish, grills hot enough to cook food on, etc.

Mr. Fuji explains that he loves to see his Yokozuna happy, and that his Yokozuna is happy when he eats. Therefore, it’s understandable that Fuji cracks the whip on the chef to get him to hurry up and cook more food.

Overworked, Chef wipes his brow…

…twice.

As Yokozuna downs about a dozen steaks, Mean Gene still doesn’t quite understand this segment’s theme — that Yokozuna can eat a lot of food.

After what must have been hours of watching Yokozuna eat, Gene finally gets it.

Look at the rice!” says Gene. Just think of what David Crockett would have had to say.

By the end of the meal, Gene is stuffed to the gills and can’t imagine how Yokozuna must feel right then. All I can think of is the aftermath of Yoko’s gargantuan meal — talk about Wrestlecrap!

But Fuji wouldn’t dream of letting Gene go without dessert.

While Gene is simply overwhelmed, Yokozuna, a man of insatiable appetites, flirtatiously winks at the unseen treat. Ooh la la!

You know, ladies, it is called Cooking for the Single Man.

Written by

A wrestling fan ever since the days of Wrestlemania IX, Art graduated from college in the same building where Art Donovan called King of the Ring 1994. He also runs the "How Much Does This Guy Weigh?" blog, where he reviews New Generation-Era Monday Night Raws. Follow him on Twitter @Art0Donnell. Email at: art@wrestlecrap.com
22 Responses to "Induction: Cooking for the Single Man – Hibachi-Mania"
  1. Andrew Elder says:

    Had forgot, he had been in Memphis as some version Samoan Swat team, can’t remember what, with one of his brothers. Any who I remember his debut on Superstars as initially the Sumo guy, but basically he was Sumo including only wearing just the sumo strap thing, which you got see his fat @$$, someone must of wised up because a week or 2 later he had the pants on with the sumo string on.

  2. Hulk6785 says:

    “All I can think of is the aftermath of Yoko’s gargantuan meal — talk about Wrestlecrap!”

    Thank you for that image.

  3. King Of Kings says:

    No doubt more than one video store shopper was disappointed to find out that, instead of Yokozuna donning a chef’s hat and instructing the viewer on how to make a fine crème brûlée for one, he would simply be sitting down at a Japanese restaurant with his manager, Mr. Fuji, and Gene Okerlund.

    Now that I think about it, you know what this sport is missing? A psychotic wrestling chef. He could come out in a hat and jacket carrying a butcher knife or meat cleaver. 😛

  4. Sean Bateman says:

    Yoko taking a huge Wrestlecrap > most of Blade Braxton “jokes”

  5. "The Big Cheese" Paul Kraft says:

    Speaking as someone who accidentally ate Wasabi once, I can empathize with Mean Gene’s discomfort.

  6. Premier Blah says:

    “…but Yoko works them like a champ, showing his dedication to the Japanese gimmick..”

    Hah, nice subtlety there. The ACTUAL Japanese way of eating (with chopsticks) is far more refined than how he is chewing the food heavily here. It’s almost as if wasn’t actually Japanese in real life!

  7. Jason Smith says:

    Dammit, the David Crockett sound clip is for premium subscribers only. I need to know, Tony! TONY! It’s here!

  8. "The Big Cheese" Paul Kraft says:

    YokozunaChowsDown.com! I bet that URL’s not taken….

  9. "The Big Cheese" Paul Kraft says:

    Licence to make Paul crave a dinner at a Japanese steakhouse!

  10. John Windsor says:

    Nice intro, but I wanted to point something out:

    Sushi actually means ‘vinegar rice’, and those pieces look like nigiri sushi, where rather than having the rice rolled up, it is instead balled with a piece of fish draped on top.

    Sashimi can be any sort of raw meat (not just fish) without the rice.

    That being said, this intro made me hungry…

  11. MistaMaddog says:

    Mean Gene reminds me of my first time eating at a hibachi restraunt…except the video never had a peeing puppet. :

  12. Another Dave says:

    Needs more onion volcano.

  13. Doc 902714 says:

    How did this and not the Bushwhacker”s Home Improvement Segment w. Lord Alfred Hayes (on same Coliseum Video) not get Inducted.

    I may be alone but this reminds me of a classic “Three’s A Crowd” episode titled “A Case of Sour Grapes” where Jack (John Ritter) works at a Japanese Restaurant despite not knowing the slightest way to prepare Japanese food (since he’s a Gourmet). So he tries to copy the Japanese chef next to him and Hilarity ensues.

  14. John C says:

    Gene would have been able to understand drinking a lot instead of eating a lot. How did they not book Yoko & Fuji vs Hulk & Gene after this scintillating segment.

  15. Guest says:

    But besides being fat, being heavy, and having “an ass like an amphitheater,”

    That was low……….but hard to not laugh at……and now I’m a one way trip to hell.

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