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5/2 DYNAMIC DEBUT MONDAY Match of the Day: Tajiri vs Crash Holly

by on May 2, 2011

Today’s Match of the Day comes from the May 24, 2001 episode of WWF Smackdown, as Yoshihiro Tajiri made his WWF television debut against Crash Holly.

This is probably my second favorite TV debut of all-time (the NWA debut of the Samoan Swat Team being the first). For weeks, Tajiri had been Commissioner William Regal’s hired houseboy, well-mannered and very quiet. The story was that he was Regal’s servant so that he could become a WWF superstar. Finally, Tajiri asked for a King of the Ring qualifier and Regal caved in. What followed was a GREAT debut match.

The crowd seemed to know who he was, but I’m assuming they thought he’d be toned down or something, because from the first kick, they were going nuts. Tajiri proceeded to kick and chop the living dogcrud out of poor Crash, who took his beating like a man. You also had William Regal at ringside, whose tremendous facials really helped sell Tajiri’s offense as something special.

Unfortunately, the WWF braintrust didn’t see in Tajiri what most people did and he’s now back in Japan, running his own group and has slowed down a bit. Hopefully (on a personal note), our pals over at Chikara will see this writing and maybe try to help Tajiri turn back the clock at next year’s King of Trios? Maybe? Please…?

The full match can be seen under the cut!


  1. Ian permalink

    I vividly remember being an ECW mark, waiting and waiting for Tajiri to be allowed to get into a WWE ring and show what he could do. This exceeded my expectations then, and I still dig it now. Fantastic nostalgia.

  2. tom perry permalink

    tajiri is one of my all time favorites. i really hope chikara brings him in next year, that would be awesome!

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