Pat Tanaka considers himself lucky to have learned from so many great wrestlers that came up through the ranks of the AWA.
Tanaka spoke with WrestleZone ahead of his appearance at VirtualMania on Sunday, March 28. Tanaka was part of two of the most memorable tag teams in the “Golden Era” of wrestling, Badd Company and the Orient Express. Prior to arriving in WWF, Tanaka spent time in the Continental Wrestling Association and American Wrestling Association, where he teamed with a young Jeff Jarrett prior to forming Badd Company.
“Jerry Jarrett hired me up there and man, what a place it was. It was awesome. That place is the place to learn how to wrestle. No doubt about it. You got everybody and anybody coming through there so you learn a lot,” Tanaka said, “and I was teaming up with Jerry Jarrett’s kid, Jeff Jarrett. He was my partner for awhile and what a great partner he was too. I mean he was awesome. Definitely, I was lucky.”
Tanaka explained how he eventually linked up with Paul Diamond in Badd Company, and how they came up with the name.
“We tagged a couple times and our timing was together and I just thought, ‘Man, wow.’ He was probably the best partner for me because myself, man, I’m small. Not a big guy and so I needed someone a lot bigger, looked better and Paul was definitely it. Paul was ripped to shreds and huge and here I was, about 5’8″, and about 180 pounds and no body whatsoever and so it was challenging for me. So I got Paul in there and then when we started working together our timing started getting really good together and I asked Paul. I said, ‘Man, I think got a great name,’ and I said, ‘It’s my favorite song in the world. I think it’s perfect for us, man.’ He said, ‘What is it?’ I said, ‘Badd Company!’ And he loved it and that’s what we did. We became Badd Company and I tell you what, we had a great run with it, it was really awesome. He was like the strong muscle man and here I was martial arts and trying to be fast. He was perfect for me. I just really enjoyed being his partner.”
Tanaka will appear with Paul Diamond as Orient Express at ’80s Wrestling Con’s Virtual Mania LIVE this Sunday, March 28th from 9 am – 5 pm EST on Facebook. Visit the Virtual Mania store page and see all the photos available to purchase and have signed by the star-studded lineup.