Jimmy Wang Yang was a prominent name in the world of professional wrestling during the mid-2000s.
Known for his high-flying moves and charismatic personality, he quickly became a fan favourite among wrestling enthusiasts. Wang Yang’s rise to fame began when he signed with WWE in 2003, and he soon became a regular feature on the SmackDown brand.
In this article, we’ll let you know exactly what happened to Jimmy Wang Yang. We’ll talk about how the former WCW star signed for the WWE, was fired then rehired by a forgetful Vince McMahon, his first and last matches and what he is doing now that he has left the WWE.
Jimmy Wang Yang WWE Debut
Jimmy Wang Yang made his debut for the WWE on an episode of Sunday Night Heat in 2003. He wrestled Tommy Dreamer under the name “Jimmy Yang”, the name he used in WCW before the company went under.
He lost the match and was repackaged as Akio, part of the infamous all-Asian tag team known as Kyo Dai. He tagged with Sakoda as a lower-card heel tag team, working as the henchmen for Tajiri.
However, the team had little success and he moved into the cruiserweight division following his partners release. WWE then released Jimmy Wang Yang in 2005, after a forgettable run in the WWE.
So forgettable, that Vince McMahon forgot all about it.
Vince McMahon Forgot He Fired Him
Jimmy Wang Yang was rehired by Vince McMahon, after the WWE Chairman forgot that he had even been fired.
The Korean-American superstar was called back to the WWE for a match against Charlie Haas, and was meant to be a one-time thing.
However, when Vince McMahon saw the match, he was informed that Wang Yang had been fired by the WWE the year prior Baffled, he instructed John Laurinitis to sign Jimmy Wang Yang to another deal and bring him back to the company full time.
Speaking to Tommy Dreamer on his “House of Hardcore” podcast, Jimmy Wang Yang explained how he was rehired after McMahon forgot that the WWE fired him in 2005.
“This is like the third time this dude’s hired me. This is kinda crazy. I wasn’t expecting it, but this is the third time so I kinda like sneak in his office, a lil knock and he opens up, ‘Come in!’
I said, ‘Hey Vince, I wasn’t expecting it but thanks for hiring me again.’ He’s like, ‘Oh Jimmy, I didn’t hear you were fired. Just had so much on my plate. But hey, that’s great you’re back and this time, we’re gonna make a negative out of positive.
Like last time [when] you were Akio, I didn’t let you talk because you were this Korean dude that has this Southern accent. I can’t let you talk. But this time, we’re gonna make you the Asian Redneck, Jimmy Wang Yang! That’s funny! Wang Yang, that rhymes!’ (H/T Post Wrestling)
His Last Match For WWE Was At WrestleMania 26
After a successful tag team with Shannon Moore (and a less-successful one with Slam Master J) Jimmy Wang Yang was once again released by the WWE.
This came in 2010, four years after his rehiring. He had had a good run in the Cruiserweight Division, but excelled on Smackdown and ECW as a tag team star.
Jimmy Wang Yang’s last match in the WWE actually took place at WrestleMania 26 – albeit in a non-televised dark match.
He was part of a 26-man battle royal, set before the biggest show of the year. The 26 entrants paid tribute to the 26 years of WrestleMania, and Jimmy Wang Yang was brought in to be a part of this before his firing.
The match was won by Yoshi Tatsu, with Wang Yang having very little to do. He was released by the WWE on April 22, 2010, just weeks after wrestling at WrestleMania 26.
Jimmy Wang Yang Retired To Run A Party Bus
After leaving the WWE, Jimmy Wang Yang spent some time in Japan, wrestling for All-Japan Pro Wrestling. He spent 2 years with the company, unsuccessfully challenging for their Junior World Heavyweight Championship.
After his release from the WWE, Jimmy Wang Yang also started a pest control business called “Jimmy’s Pest Control” in the Cincinnati area. In addition, he created his own “Redneck Party Bus”, where he drives clients around in his custom-fitted bus as they party in the back.
He made a return to the WWE as a backstage producer on October 25, 2021. He rejoined the company for an episode of Monday Night Raw, working backstage to help wrestlers plan out their matches, as per instructions from Vince McMahon.
However, just two months later, Jimmy Wang Yang announced he had been released from the WWE once again. He continues to wrestle on the independent scene in irregular intervals, but is retired as a full-time wrestler.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.