Yusuke “Wally” Yamaguchi passed away Saturday, March 9th, at the age of 60. While his given name might not be recognizable, he was known to fans as Yamaguchi-san in the WWE, manager of Kaientai. He also had a very memorable feud with Val Venis.
There is no word as to cause of death, but Yamaguchi has struggled with health issues since suffering a stroke in 2017.
The WWE released a formal statement today:
WWE is saddened to learn that Wally Yamaguchi, Japanese wrestling fixture and former Kaientai manager, has passed away at the age of 60.Although primarily known to the WWE Universe as the villainous Yamaguchi-San during the late 1990s, Yamaguchi was a key figure in Japanese sports-entertainment during the 1980s, editing “Gong” Magazine and working with various Japanese promotions as a referee and an agent.
In addition to appearing onscreen as Kaientai’s manager, Yamaguchi also worked with WWE as its Japanese liaison. His brother, Shun Yamaguchi, is a Japanese television announcer for WWE’s pay-per-view broadcasts.
WWE extends its condolences to Yamaguchi’s family, friends and fans.
QD – Yamaguchi was part of what I feel was one of the worst of the Attitude Era. The sexism and ‘torment’ of Yamaguchi’s ‘wife’ followed by a big castration angle with Val Venis is one of those things people talk about when stating that the AE wasn’t all great. All that being said, Yamaguchi did what he was scripted to do in the WWE and is still one of those memorable characters. My heart goes out to his family, friends, and fans who are touched by his passing.