The WWE Universe has loved to hate some of the greatest managers in the history of professional wrestling. However, over the years many of the legends in the sport have passed away. Most recently, beloved names like Bobby “The Brain” Heenan died this year after a long battle with throat cancer, while the evil Mr. Fuji died in 2016 of natural causes at the age of 82. Now, another former WWE manager suffered a stroke and his brother reported on Facebook that he doesn’t know how long he has left.
Yusuke Yamaguchi Suffers Stroke
Shunsuke Yamaguchi, the brother of former WWE manager Yamaguchi-san, whose real name is Yusuke Yamaguchi, posted to Facebook that his brother suffered a stroke and was in the hospital. The photo posted was taken at 1 a.m. ET on Thursday morning, and the post indicated that some friends from his school and Gong Magazine have visited him.
In a sad moment, his brother wrote, “don’t know how long he has.”
Former WWE superstar and current WWE commentator Funaki, a long-time friend and associate of Yamaguchi-san, posted a photo to Twitter and sent his prayers to both Yamaguchi-san and his family. Funaki was one of the many wrestlers who Yamaguchi-san managed in the WWE.
Yamaguchi-San In The WWE
Yusuke Yamaguchi worked as a WWE manager during the beloved Attitude Era, and his brother Shunsuke recently appeared on television many times as part of the Japanese announce team with Funaki. While most fans instantly recognized Funaki as a former WWE superstar, only those from the Attitude Era recognized the name of the man sitting next to him when the WWE Network spotlighted the foreign announcers during pay-per-view events.
Yusuke Yamaguchi was the WWE manager known as Yamaguchi-san, the leader of the infamous Kaientai faction. That group originally included Shiryu, Dick Togo, and Mens Teioh but later became very popular in the WWE when Funaki and Taka Michinoku joined the group.
Originally, Kaientai was a feared villainous group, but the WWE Attitude Era made them little more than stereotypical Japanese villains over time. That was evident in the most famous angle with this Attitude Era WWE manager.
The Kaientai faction was involved in a feud with Val Venis, and it centered around Venis’ relationship with Yamaguchi-san’s wife. When the WWE manager brought his wife to the ring to punish her, Venis made the save.
A week later, Yamaguchi-san was involved in a promo where he brought out some salami and used his sword to chop it in half, all while yelling, “I choppy choppy your pee pee.”
The next week was when Taka Michinoku teamed with Val Venis to battle Funaki and Togo but Taka turned on Val and they dragged him to the back. The faction stripped Venis down and hung him by the ceiling by his hands while Yamaguchi-san prepared to take revenge with his sword. The lights went out and Venis was saved, ending the angle.
Yamaguchi-san left the WWE shortly after that, but more recently, his brother Shunsuke Yamaguchi joined the WWE as a commentator for the pay-per-view Japanese telecasts.