Where Are They Now?: Jimmy Wang Yang

Page 2 of 4
December 18, 2013

He was initially hired to be part of a reality show featuring cruiserweight wrestlers that WCW head Eric Bischoff was trying to put together. However, four months after Yun was hired, Bischoff got the axe. Many of his hires, including Yun, were also let go.

Fortunately for Yun, WCW officials made a little bit of an oversight in cutting many of their lighter grapplers from the roster. At the time, they were trying to launch 3 Count, a wrestling boy band. Unfortunately, Shane Helms, Shannon Moore and Evan Karagias couldn’t be too competitive against much larger opponents.

That led to Yun being rehired and sent to Amherst, Mass., for a WCW Saturday Night taping almost immediately.

“I remember walking into the arena and seeing El Dandy,” Yun said. “Then I saw the Armstrong brothers. I was going nuts because I was such a fan. Then, I had a match. It was surreal.”

Rechristened Jimmy Yang, he was paired up with Japanese import Kaz Hayashi and a masked Jamie Noble as The Jung Dragons. 3 Count and their new foes dazzled WCW fans with all-out aerial attacks, leading many to speculate that the Cruiserweight division would be restored to its former glory. However, before a Cruiserweight renaissance could get off the ground floor, WCW went under. It all happened so fast, according to Yang.

“I was so young, I didn’t really understand what was going on,” he said. “I was 19, thinking WCW’s not going to end. When I was growing up, it was the biggest company. There was no way it could end.”

He got a reality check at the last episode of Monday Nitro in Panama City Beach, Fla.

“I didn’t believe [that WWE had bought WCW] until that day,” Yang explained. “We walked in and saw all the WWE signs and then Shane McMahon and Gerald Brisco walked in. It was real.”

Fortunately, Yang was one of the WCW stars whose contract was picked up by WWE after the earth-shattering purchase. The 19-year-old was sent to the Heartland Wrestling Association, one of WWE’s then-developmental territories, for several months. Things didn’t pan out for him the first time around, as he was released.

He spent two years competing in Japan. While he enjoyed wrestling overseas, the birth of his daughter led him to a change of heart about the frequency of his trips.

“You’d go over for two weeks, come home for a week, then go back over,” he said.“I just had a daughter. They change so much so fast, it tore me up. I wanted to come back to the United States to wrestle and be home every week.”

View Comments