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James Carson Yun (May 13, 1981) is an American professional wrestler and actor, formerly signed to World Wrestling Entertainment on its SmackDown brand first under the ring name of Akio before adopting a "redneck" gimmick renaming himself as Jimmy Wang Yang.
Yun is best known for his work in World Championship Wrestling as one-third of the Jung Dragons as Yang, and in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling and the independent circuit as Jimmy Yang. After a brief stint as Akio, a henchman for Tajiri in late 2003 to early 2004, he returned to World Wrestling Entertainment in 2006.
Professional wrestling career
World Championship Wrestling (1999–2001)
In June 1999, Yun signed with World Championship Wrestling, making his WCW television debut in January 2000. He was originally a part of the Jung Dragons faction along with Jamie-San and Kaz Hayashi. They were brought into WCW by Jimmy Hart to feud with 3 Count, another faction. They made their pay-per-view debut at New Blood Rising, losing a ladder match to 3 Count. They added a manager, Leia Meow, and continued the feud with 3 Count, until, in late 2000, Jamie-San unmasked and left the group, forming a tag team with former 3 Count member Evan Karagias. The team of Hayashi and Yang feuded with Karagias and Jamie until the WWF purchased WCW.
WWE developmental territories, Japan and independent circuit (2001–2003)
After his brief stint as a WWF developmental talent, Yun joined All Japan Pro Wrestling where he wrestled as both a part of its tag team division and its singles junior heavyweight division. On April 13, 2002, Yun, competing as Yang, teamed up with Kaz Hayashi and Hi69 to defeat Kazushi Miyamoto, Gran Naniwa and Ryuji Hijikata. On July 17 on an AJPW pay-per-view, Yang teamed up with Hayashi and George Hines to defeat Ryuji Hijikata, Gran Naniwa and Johnny Smith. Over a month later, Yang returned to AJPW on August 31, teaming with Masaaki Mochizuki and Dragon Kid to defeat Magnum Tokyo, Susumu Yokosuka and Darkness Dragon. Yang suffered his first loss in AJPW on September 15, when he and Kazushi Miyamoto lost to Kendo Kashin and Robbie Brookside, although that same month he teamed with Kaz Hayashi to win the Real World Junior Heavyweight Tag Team League. The following month, Yang defeated Gran Hamada and Gran Naniwa in a three-way match, before he and Yoji Anjoh lost to Mike Barton and Jim Steele. Throughout the end of 2002, Yang continued competing in six-man tag team matches, with mixed results.
On December 20, 2002 Yang made his Major League Wrestling debut at King of Kings, where he and Mike Sanders lost to "Dr. Death" Steve Williams and PJ Friedman. He competed regularly in MLW throughout 2003, both in singles and tag team competition. At the War Games and J Cup USA show on September 19, 2003, Yang competed in the Super J Cup USA tournament, defeating Juventud Guerrera in the first round, but losing to Christopher Daniels in the second.
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2002)
From May to August 2002, Yang was one third of The Flying Elvises in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) alongside Sonny Siaki and Jorge Estrada. Yang and the other Elvises were involved in TNA's first match, defeating A.J. Styles, Jerry Lynn, and Low Ki in a six-man tag team match.
World Wrestling Entertainment (2003–2005)
In September 2003, following a match with Tommy Dreamer on Sunday Night Heat, Yun was signed to a three-year developmental deal with the renamed World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). Yun made his WWE debut on October 19, 2003 at No Mercy, along with the Japanese American Ryan Sakoda. Yun was renamed Akio (a reference to Japanese wrestler Akio Sato) and aligned himself with Sakoda, forming the villainous tag team Kyo Dai (Japanese for "brothers"), the henchmen of the native Japanese wrestler Tajiri. Sakoda was eventually released from WWE and Tajiri was traded to Raw. This left Yun on his own to become a lower card wrestler and Velocity mainstay, competing primarily in the cruiserweight division until he was released on July 5, 2005.
Ring of Honor (2005–2006)
After being released from WWE, Yun wrestled in Ring of Honor (ROH). He debuted on October 1, 2005, at the New Yorker Hotel in Manhattan, losing to James Gibson. He lost once again the following night to Christopher Daniels and again two weeks later to Roderick Strong, causing him to kayfabe take some time away from the company.
He returned to ROH in January 2006 where he recorded his first win in ROH, teaming with Matt Sydal and Jack Evans in the Trios Tournament. The team, however, was ultimately defeated by The Embassy. Yun stayed with the company for several months, wrestling as Jimmy Yang and using the same martial arts based persona he adopted in WCW. His entrance music was the theme from the spoof martial arts film The Last Dragon, and he even brought in the film's star Taimak (referred to in his appearances as 'Bruce Leroy', the name of his character) to help him in a feud with Embassy member Jimmy Rave.
Return to WWE (2006–2010)
In May 2006, Yun made a return to WWE, as Akio, on an edition of Heat, working as an enhancement talent in a try-out match with Charlie Haas. This match impressed WWE, and they re-signed him once more. Beginning with the August 25, 2006 edition of SmackDown!, vignettes began airing featuring Yun dressed as a cowboy and calling himself Jimmy Wang Yang, in the process cutting his previously long hair short and growing a Fu Manchu moustache to fit the gimmick. In the vignettes, Yang questioned why people would assume stereotypical Asian things about him while proclaiming that he was much more of a redneck, of which he was proud. The vignettes played for several weeks, with Yang focusing more on his redneck leanings. On the September 29 SmackDown!, he made his in-ring debut in a loss to Sylvan, who illegally used the ropes for leverage to get a pin. A few weeks later, on November 3, Yang debuted his valet, Amy Zidian, though she was released from WWE just a month later after backstage trouble with the other divas.
In December 2006, Yang became the number one contender for the Cruiserweight Championship. Yang challenged Gregory Helms for the Cruiserweight title, but lost to him at Armageddon. Later, he participated in a Cruiserweight Open at No Way Out for the Cruiserweight Title, but was unable to win the title. In mid-2007, Yang and Chavo Guerrero began a feud. On the June 15 edition of SmackDown, Yang once again became the number one contender for the Cruiserweight Championship, after feuding with Guerrero for almost two months. At Vengeance: Night of Champions, Yang lost to Guerrero after a frog splash. During The Great American Bash, Yang competed in another Cruiserweight Open and although he was never pinned, Hornswoggle won the title after becoming an official entrant in the match due to him hiding under the ring. On the July 27 edition of SmackDown, Yang teamed with Torrie Wilson against Kenny Dykstra and Victoria; Yang and Wilson won the match after Yang pinned Dykstra. Following this match, Wilson began appearing as Yang's new valet.
On October 12, on SmackDown!, Jamie Noble, in order to weed out the competition for the vacant Cruiserweight Championship, told Deuce 'n Domino that Yang had been making "lewd remarks" about Domino's on-screen sister and manager, Cherry. Deuce demanded a match against Yang from acting General Manager Vickie Guerrero. Yang won the match with his signature moonsault from the top rope, but was attacked by Deuce, Domino, and Cherry after the match. The next week, Yang and Shannon Moore teamed up against Deuce 'n Domino in a tag team match, which Yang and Moore won. On December 18, Yang and Moore defeated the WWE Tag Team Champions John Morrison and The Miz to earn a title-shot, igniting a feud between the two teams. On January 1, 2008, Yang and Moore once again beat Morrison and the Miz, this time in a six-person tag team match also involving Layla and Kelly Kelly. The following week, in a Fifteen Minutes of Fame Match, Moore and Yang tied the champions on pinfalls, resulting in Miz and Morrison retaining the titles.
On June 9, 2008, Yun was suspended for thirty days for his first violation of the WWE Wellness Policy. He made his return on the July 18 edition of SmackDown, being defeated by the re-debuting The Brian Kendrick. In September 2009, Yun sustained cuts and bruises to his back from Kane after being attacked with a Singapore cane on an episode of WWE Superstars.
In late 2009, Yang formed a tag team with Slam Master J and in their first match as a team, they lost to The Hart Dynasty on the December 10 episode of Superstars. On the December 18 episode SmackDown, Yang and J lost a rematch to the Dynasty. On the January 14, 2010 episode of Superstars, Yang and J scored their first win as a team after they defeated Mike Knox and Charlie Haas. On April 22, 2010, WWE released Yun.
Yun was born in Hollywood, California to a Korean father and a Caucasian mother. He has a brother named Johnathan, who is a professional breakdancer.
Yun owns a professional wrestling school called Pro Training, LLC. located in Cincinnati, Ohio.
- Finishing moves
- Signature moves
- Arm wrench inside cradle
- Back to belly piledriver
- Baseball slide transitioned into a headscissors takedown
- Corner backflip kick
- Dropkick, sometimes from the top rope
- Fireman's carry takeover
- Fists of Fury (Double fist strike)
- Hanging figure four necklock
- Monkey flip
- Multiple punch variations combo, with theatrics
- Sitout scoop slam piledriver
- Spinning heel kick
- Springboard moonsault
- Tag teams and stables
- Theme music