Back in 1990, the devious Mr Fuji introduced his newest tag team, The Orient Express. Comprising Pat Tanaka and Akio Sato, the duo had moderate success in the WWF, beginning their run with a win at WrestleMania.

By Survivor Series, however, Sato was ready to return to Japan and was booked accordingly…

…getting pinned by Bushwhacker Butch in under two minutes.

But Fuji had planned ahead, replacing Sato with a mysterious masked wrestler from the Far East:

Kato, the master of the martial arts, from the Orient.

In reality, Thomas “Paul Diamond” Boric was a master of soccer, from Canada. But unlike the Hawaiian-born Pat Tanaka and Mr. Fuji, at least Diamond really was born in Asia.


The mask a wrestler wears says a lot about them — in the case of Kato’s generic burn-victim look, it said the WWF didn’t care at all what he looked like, so long as you couldn’t tell he wasn’t Japanese.

And it kind of worked — rather than viewers knowing immediately that Kato was white, it took them five or six seconds.

Just in case fans missed it, WWF Magazine printed Kato’s poorly-disguised face in detail.

To make up for this oversight, Kato soon sewed on giant stylized eyes to convince some of the stupider fans that he was in fact Asian.

Karate poses helped, too.

Truth be told, Tanaka & Diamond (having already tagged for years as Badd Company) made a better team than Tanaka & Saito…


…but this was the Orient Express, and their marketability depended on being Japanese heels. Vince didn’t want the image of some white guy messing up his big plans for the team…

…namely, losing over and over again.

First, the new team was thrust into handicap matches with the Road Warriors. Despite having 56-year-old manager Mr. Fuji as an extra partner, Kato was still the one getting pinned every night.

Next, they lost to the Rockers at the Royal Rumble in a really quite good match.

The following year, as the only heel team not otherwise booked, they again opened the Rumble event, putting over the New Foundation.

As for what Kato did in between, that can be summed up in one word, starting with “L” and ending in “ose”.

That’s right, he was lachrymose. But hey, I’d cry too if I got beat every night.

And while Kato spent most of his time losing house show matches alongside Pat Tanaka…

…he also lost televised matches alongside the Brooklyn Brawler, Kevin Kruger, and Peter Weeks.

On the plus side, he replaced his stupid red mask with a stupid black mask…

…and sported a new kimono…

…complete with a picture of his stupid black mask.

Despite never beating a WWF Superstar on TV, Kato had one true believer in Lord Alfred Hayes. Predicting a “very, very quick victory” for “Kah-to” over Greg Valentine…

…His Lordship gushed over the masked man like Bobby Heenan would gush over Lex Luger. He even called him, “The Total Package”!

Hayes was quickly forced to backtrack, though, when Valentine beat Kato in 5:38, nearly ten minutes before the Hammer had even gotten warmed up!

Kato, Kah-to. Tomato can, to-mah-to can.

After Pat Tanaka’s departure, Kato was left even more aimless than ever. His luck turned around in late 1992, however, when Konnan abruptly quit the company, leaving the role of Max Moon vacant.

After two years of playing a Japanese man, Paul Diamond was glad to take on the more realistic role of a man from outer space. He also stood to make a fortune in merchandising, provided the gimmick didn’t end up totally sucking.

Regrettably, Diamond’s WWF run was cut short by a car accident… sort of. It was actually Tatanka’s wife, whom he was sleeping with, who got in a wreck after leaving his hotel.

Having lacked the foresight to wear his mask and book his room under “Kato”, he was found out and released shortly after.

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