Last week, I was part of the pro-wrestling community in the Philippines that saw Joshi+Jam Manila. It’s basically a pro-wrestling event featuring a handful of wrestlers from the Japanese promotions REINA and WNC (Wrestling New Classic). You can check out the writeup here, by the way.
As a pro-wresting fan, it was an honor to watch it live. I marked out when Tajiri walked into the ring and kicked some ass, sprayed some mist, and kicked some more ass. While Tajiri is known for being a former WWE and ECW wrestler, he has also made a name for himself in Japan for the past few years. Heck, he even owns a promotion right now in Wrestling New Classic. Since we’re trying to connect my fandom of wrestling to videogames…this article takes a look at Tajiri’s past appearances in mainstream videogames.
2000 – ECW: Hardcore Revolution & ECW: Anarchy Rulz
In the year 2000, Tajiri joined the ECW roster as Acclaim made TWO ECW video games for that year. He was part of both games and so were his signature kicks.
2001 – Smackdown: Just Bring It!
This was Tajiri’s WWE videogame debut and he had a relevant spot in ‘season mode’ of this year. As Regal’s assistant, the player has to face Tajiri to advance in the season mode and unlock him as a playable character.
2002 – RAW/Wrestlemania X8/Smackdown: Shut Your Mouth
Tajiri was featured on ALL THREE WWE videogames that were released that year. He was part of RAW, WM X8 and Shut your Mouth Roster. Similar to the last Smackdown game, he still had his signature ‘green mist’ move and a few more added to his moveselt. Unlike ‘Just Bring It’, Tajiri is available from the start of the game.
2003 – RAW 2/Wrestlemania XIX/Smackdown: Here comes the pain
Again, he was a handful of wrestlers to be included on all three games of that year. Notable game he was in was on Here Comes the Pain, which was one of the highly touted games of the Smackdown series.
2004 –Smackdown vs Raw
Tajiri was put back on the ‘season’ spotlight during 2004 with Smackdown vs Raw! Tajiri plays the ‘jealous boyfriend’ of one Torrie Wilson in the ‘diva collection – Torrie’ storyline. This would be Tajiri’s most prominent game in the last two years while working for the WWE at the time.
2005 – Wrestlemania 21 & Smackdown vs Raw 2006
These were the last two games Tajiri was featured with the WWE brand as he was released from his contract in December 2005.