Umaga (wrestler)

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Umaga
Umaga en Chicago.jpg
Umaga in May 2009
Birth nameEdward Smith Fatu
Born(1973-03-28)March 28, 1973[1][2]
American Samoa[3]
DiedDecember 4, 2009(2009-12-04) (aged 36)
Houston, Texas, United States[4]
Cause of deathHeart attack caused by acute toxicity[5]
Spouse(s)
L.T. Fatu
(m. 2001; his death 2009)
[3]
Children4[3]
FamilyAnoaʻi
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Armageddon 1
Eddie Fatu[6]
Ekmo[7]
Ekmo Fatu[1]
Jamal[1]
Umaga[7]
Billed height6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)[8]
Billed weight350 lb (160 kg)[8]
Billed fromThe Isle of Samoa[8]
Trained byAfa Anoaʻi[1]
Debut1995

Edward Smith Fatu[3] (March 28, 1973 - December 4, 2009) was an American Samoan professional wrestler, best known for his time with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) under the ring name Umaga.

He was a member of the Anoaʻi family, a renowned Samoan wrestling family. During his first stint with WWE billed as Jamal, he was part of tag team 3-Minute Warning, with his cousin Matt Anoaʻi, billed as Rosey, he was released from company in June 2003. In April 2006, Fatu returned to WWE under the ring name Umaga. Fatu went undefeated for many months on the Raw brand throughout much of 2006, before suffering his first defeat in January 2007; the following month, he won the WWE Intercontinental Championship for the first time, and won it for the second time in July 2007.

Early life[edit]

Fatu was born on March 28, 1973 to Vera and Solofa Fatu, Sr. Fatu was a member of the Anoaʻi family, his mother, Vera, was the sister of Afa and Sika of The Wild Samoans.[3][9] His two older brothers, Sam and Solofa, are also professional wrestlers, he was the uncle of The Usos and he was a cousin of Yokozuna, The Rock, Rosey and Roman Reigns.[3] On April 27, 2008, Fatu's mother died after a seven-year battle with cancer.[10]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Early career (1995–2001)[edit]

Fatu trained with his cousin Matt Anoaʻi at the Wild Samoan professional wrestling school operated by members of their family. In 1995, with his training complete, Fatu debuted in his uncle Afa's World Xtreme Wrestling (WXW) promotion.[1]

World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment (2001–2003)[edit]

In 2001, Fatu, along with his cousin Matt, signed developmental contracts with World Wrestling Federation (WWF), and were assigned to Heartland Wrestling Association (HWA), adopting the tag team name The Island Boyz, and with Fatu using the ring name Ekmo, they won the HWA Tag Team Championship in November 2001 by defeating Evan Karagias and Shannon Moore. They also competed for Memphis Championship Wrestling (MCW), holding the MCW Southern Tag Team Championship on three occasions.[11]

Fatu (renamed to Jamal) and Anoaʻi (renamed to Rosey) made their main roster debut on the July 22, 2002 episode of Raw as 3-Minute Warning, a pair of villainous thugs,[1][12] they were hired as enforcers of Eric Bischoff, attacking random wrestlers each week, after Bischoff either gave people three minutes to entertain him before they were attacked or decided that three minutes of a segment was enough before the team appeared to end it.[12] They attacked numerous wrestlers at the orders of Bischoff, including D'Lo Brown and Shawn Stasiak, they also attacked non-wrestlers, including ring announcer Lilian Garcia and former wrestlers Jimmy Snuka, Mae Young and The Fabulous Moolah.[1] Their most notable event came when they attacked two lesbians.[13][14] In September, 3-Minute Warning began a feud with Billy and Chuck, interfering in their storyline commitment ceremony, and defeating them at the Unforgiven pay-per-view event.[12] Rico, Billy and Chuck's former manager, also began to manage 3-Minute Warning during this time.[1] During this time, Jamal gained a reputation for being reckless in the ring, injuring several performers, leading WWE to punish him by being on the receiving end of a Stink Face by his real-life brother Rikishi during the Royal Rumble match;[15] the team lasted just shy of a year, with Fatu being released from his WWE contract in June 2003, reportedly after his involvement in a bar fight.[1][16]

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2003–2004)[edit]

On September 24, 2003, Fatu debuted in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) under the ring name of Ekmo Fatu, helping Sonny Siaki defeat D'Lo Brown in a casket match, he then formed a tag team with Siaki. From October to August 2004, he teamed with Sonny Siaki to defeat the teams of Shark Boy and Mad Mikey, Danny Doring and Roadkill, and America's Most Wanted. Fatu made his final appearance on August 11, 2004 NWA-TNA PPV, where he lost to Alex Shelley.

All Japan Pro Wrestling (2004–2005)[edit]

Fatu debuted in All Japan Pro Wrestling, under his former ring name Jamal, formed a tag team with Taiyō Kea. On December 1, 2004, Jamal and Kea won the World's Strongest Tag Determination League tournament.[17] On January 16, 2005, they won World Tag Team Championship for the first time. In December 2005, he left AJPW.

Return to WWE[edit]

Undefeated streak (2006–2007)[edit]

Umaga at a WWE live event in 2006

In December 2005, Fatu had re-signed with World Wrestling Entertainment.[18] Fatu returned on the April 3, 2006 episode of Raw with a new character called Umaga, the same name of the final and most painful part of the Samoan tattooing process, meaning "the end",[19] he was depicted as a destructive savage who could be controlled only by his manager, Armando Alejandro Estrada.[20] Umaga attacked Ric Flair in his debut at the orders of Estrada,[21][22] he then defeated Flair at Backlash on April 30.[23]

In mid–2006, Umaga started a winning streak against the majority of the Raw roster, including going over top stars John Cena, Shawn Michaels, and Triple H, his next feud started at SummerSlam, where he was supposed to be an enforcer on behalf of Vince McMahon and Shane McMahon during their match against D-Generation X (Shawn Michaels and Triple H), only to be attacked by Kane as he made his entrance.[24] Umaga feuding with Kane for the next two months until Umaga won a Loser Leaves Raw match, sending Kane off of the brand.[25] After being separated by different brands, Umaga and Kane had one final match at Cyber Sunday, where Umaga again defeated Kane.[26]

Umaga, having still not been pinned, was then deemed the number one contender for the WWE Championship and placed into a feud with then-champion John Cena over the title. Cena retained his belt at the New Year's Revolution pay-per-view by pinning Umaga with a roll-up, officially ending his undefeated streak, which had lasted 34 televised matches and spanned from his re-debut in April 2006 to January 2007.[27] In that time, Umaga was never pinned or made to submit on television, but he suffered two losses by disqualification and another in a double countout.[28] For the rest of the month, Armando Alejandro Estrada played down Cena's victory, claiming it was a fluke, until a Last Man Standing rematch was signed for Royal Rumble.[29] On an episode of Raw between the two pay-per-views, Umaga attacked Cena causing a worked injury to his spleen and putting the match in jeopardy.[30] Cena kayfabe refused a medical exam, the results of which could cause him to forfeit his title, and then defeated Umaga after wrapping a loosened ring rope around his neck during an STF.[31]

Intercontinental Champion and various feuds (2007–2009)[edit]

Umaga (left) at One Night Stand in June 2007 with Vince McMahon and Shane McMahon

Umaga was named Vince McMahon's representative for "Battle of the Billionaires" with Donald Trump at WrestleMania 23. Immediately after choosing Umaga, McMahon granted him a match against the Intercontinental Champion Jeff Hardy, which he won to take the title.[32] After Bobby Lashley was named Trump's representative, the two began a feud which lasted even beyond WrestleMania.[33] Despite Umaga losing in Battle of the Billionaires' hair versus hair match and causing Vince McMahon to get his head shaved,[34] Two weeks after WrestleMania, Lashley interfered in a match and helped a planted fan, Santino Marella, defeat Umaga for the Intercontinental Championship.[35] On April 29 at the Backlash, Umaga and the McMahons wrestled Lashley for his ECW World Championship in a Handicap match, winning the title for Vince.[36] Umaga would continue to be involved with that feud, competing at Judgment Day in the return match for the ECW World Championship, which was once again a Handicap Match with the McMahons along with Umaga taking on Bobby Lashley; the feud culminated at One Night Stand, with Umaga aiding The McMahons in defending the ECW World Championship against Bobby Lashley in a Street Fight Match, which Umaga and The McMahons lost.

Umaga facing Triple H in November 2007

In June, Umaga was re-entered into a feud with Marella, the man who won his Intercontinental Championship earlier in April; when they met at the Vengeance pay-per-view, Umaga was solidly in control of the match, but lost by disqualification when he disregarded the referees instructions and continued to punch Marella.[37] In a rematch on July 2, Umaga defeated Marella to win the Intercontinental Championship for the second time.[38] Not long after, he seemingly turned face, joining forces with John Cena against Carlito and Randy Orton.[39][40] After defeating both Carlito and Mr. Kennedy in a triple threat match at SummerSlam to retain his Intercontinental Title,[41] he interrupted a match between Kennedy and returning Jeff Hardy, assaulting Hardy and leaving him lying in the ring,[42] thus turning heel once again. One week later, on the September 3 episode of Raw, Umaga lost the Intercontinental Championship to Hardy.

Later that night, he teamed with Carlito in a handicap match against Triple H, after which Triple H struck him several times with his signature sledgehammer, injuring him,[43] he was given a match against Triple H at No Mercy, which was changed to a title match for the WWE Championship during the event when Triple H won the title earlier that night. Umaga was defeated by Triple H in their match.[44] At Survivor Series, his team lost to Triple H's team.[45] Coming up to WrestleMania XXIV, Umaga started a feud with Batista, but lost to him at WrestleMania.

On June 23, 2008, Umaga was drafted from the Raw brand to the SmackDown brand, as a part of the 2008 WWE draft.[46] Umaga suffered a torn PCL at a live event in Johnson City, Tennessee on August 2. After two promos hyping his return to the brand, on the January 30, 2009 episode of SmackDown, Umaga returned with a new entrance theme, defeating Jimmy Wang Yang. Umaga then suffered his first defeat since his return against Triple H by disqualification on March 6th of Smackdown!, after The Legacy attacked Triple H. On the May 1 episode of SmackDown, Umaga returned from a two-month hiatus, attacking CM Punk on multiple occasions, repeatedly interrupting Punk's attempts to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase.[47] At Judgment Day, Umaga defeated Punk, but would lose at Extreme Rules in a Samoan Strap match, ending their feud in what was Umaga's last appearance in WWE.[48] On June 8, 2009, WWE announced that Fatu was released from his WWE contract,[49] it was later revealed that his termination was due to violation of the Wellness Policy; even though this was only his second failure, his refusal to enter rehabilitation led to his dismissal.[4][50]

Independent circuit (2009)[edit]

On July 11, 2009, Umaga appeared at the World Wrestling Council (WWC) in Puerto Rico, defeating Mr. Anderson in a singles match. Four months later, Umaga appeared on Hulk Hogan's Hulkamania Tour of Australia. On November 21, 2009, Umaga teamed with Orlando Jordan to lose against his brother Rikishi and Brian Christopher. On November 24, 2009, Umaga defeated Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake. On November 26, 2009, Umaga and Orlando Jordan were defeated by Beefcake and Mr. Anderson. On November 28, 2009, Umaga wrestled in his final match, losing to Anderson.

Personal life[edit]

Fatu was married to his wife L.T., and they had 4 children.[3]

During the weekend of August 30, 2007, articles posted by Sports Illustrated, the New York Daily News, and The Washington Post named Fatu as one of many superstars to have purchased pharmaceuticals from an online pharmacy, a violation of the WWE "Talent Wellness" program. Fatu specifically was said to have received somatotropin, a growth hormone, between July and December 2006, after the "No drugs from online sources" rule was instituted.[51][52] In June 2009, Fatu violated the Wellness Policy once again, and due to his uncooperation and refusal to attend drug rehabilitation, he was released from his WWE contract.[4]

Death[edit]

On December 4, 2009, Fatu was found by his wife in their Houston, Texas home, unresponsive and with blood coming from his nose. A 911 call was made and Fatu was rushed to a hospital by ambulance, he had suffered a heart attack and was pronounced dead at around 5:00 PM CST.[2][53][54] Toxicology reports revealed that Fatu had drugs hydrocodone, carisoprodol, and diazepam in his system. Houston medical examiners also found that Fatu had both heart and liver disease, it was determined that the combination of Fatu's drug use, along with his bad heart and liver ultimately led to his death, and his death was officially ruled a heart attack brought on by an acute toxicity of multiple substances.[5]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Luchas de Apuestas record[edit]

Winner (wager) Loser (wager) Location Event Date Notes
Bobby Lashley (Donald Trump's hair) Umaga (Vince McMahon's hair) Detroit, Michigan WrestleMania 23 April 1, 2007 [Note 1]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Stone Cold Steve Austin was the special guest referee.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Umaga Bio". SLAM! Sports. Retrieved July 30, 2007.
  2. ^ a b Waldman, Jon (December 4, 2009). "Umaga dead at age 36". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved December 4, 2009.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Grinberg, Emanuella (December 5, 2009). "Wrestler 'Umaga' Edward Fatu dies of brain heamorrhage, friend says". CNN. Turner Broadcasting System. Retrieved July 4, 2013.
  4. ^ a b c Emanuella Grinberg (December 6, 2009). "Wrestlers grapple with problems in, out of the ring". CNN. Retrieved December 6, 2009.
  5. ^ a b "Eddie "Umaga" Fatu's Autopsy and Toxicology Reports Released". bleacherreport.com. Retrieved February 12, 2018.
  6. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip. "Umaga « Wrestlers Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.net. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Umaga profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved February 28, 2009.
  8. ^ a b c "Umaga". WWE. Retrieved March 18, 2012.
  9. ^ "Umaga biography". Samoan Dynasty. Archived from the original on December 18, 2007. Retrieved August 29, 2007.
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  11. ^ "Umaga". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved October 28, 2009.
  12. ^ a b c Shields, Brian and Kevin Sullivan (2009). WWE Encyclopedia. DK/BradyGAMES. p. 8. ISBN 978-0-7566-4190-0.
  13. ^ "Interview Highlights: Former WWE wrestler Rosey talks about life after WWE". Pro Wrestling Torch. March 1, 2007. Retrieved October 27, 2009.
  14. ^ "WWE Raw Results – September 9, 2002". Online World of Wrestling. September 9, 2002. Retrieved October 1, 2008.
  15. ^ http://whatculture.com/wwe/10-things-wwe-wants-you-to-forget-about-rikishi?page=4
  16. ^ "Rosey bio". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved August 18, 2007. And then, in June, Jamal was released by WWE stemming from an incident at a night club, leaving Rosey on his own.
  17. ^ a b "World Tag Team Title (All Japan Pro-Wrestling)". Wrestling-Titles. Retrieved August 4, 2007.
  18. ^ Scaia, Rick. "Flair's Troubles, WWE Financials, WWE Returning to NBC, and Lots More..." Online Onslaught. Archived from the original on May 16, 2008. Retrieved August 4, 2007. WWE has re-signed Jamal (real name, Something Fatu, but you remember his as Jamal from 3 Minute Warning). Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)[unreliable source?]
  19. ^ "Samoan Sensation". Retrieved February 15, 2007.
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  28. ^ "Umaga profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved February 15, 2007.
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  30. ^ "Pro Wrestling Illustrated, May 2007". Arena Reports. Kappa Publishing. May 2007. p. 132.
  31. ^ "Pro Wrestling Illustrated, May 2007". Arena reports. Kappa Publishing. June 2007. p. 130.
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  35. ^ "RAW results – April 16, 2007". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved July 10, 2007.
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  37. ^ "Vengeance 2007 Results". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved August 4, 2007.
  38. ^ "RAW results – July 2, 2007". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved July 10, 2007.
  39. ^ "RAW results – August 6, 2007". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved August 14, 2007.
  40. ^ "RAW results – August 13, 2007". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved August 14, 2007.
  41. ^ "SummerSlam 2007 results". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved August 29, 2007.
  42. ^ "RAW results – August 27, 2007". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved August 29, 2007.
  43. ^ "RAW results – September 3, 2007". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved September 4, 2007.
  44. ^ "No Mercy 2007 Results". PWWEW.net. Retrieved October 22, 2007.
  45. ^ "Hardy and The Game survive team turmoil". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved November 19, 2007.
  46. ^ Sitterson, Aubrey (June 23, 2008). "A Draft Disaster". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved June 25, 2008.
  47. ^ McNamara, Andy (May 1, 2009). "Punk wins, but Hardy stands tall". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved May 2, 2009.
  48. ^ Elliot, Brian (May 17, 2009). "Hardy feud reignites at Judgment Day". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved May 25, 2009.
  49. ^ "Umaga Released". World Wrestling Entertainment. June 8, 2009. Retrieved June 8, 2009.
  50. ^ Rothstein, Simon (June 11, 2009). "WWE fired Umaga for drug test failure". The Sun. Retrieved June 11, 2009.
  51. ^ "Fourteen wrestlers tied to pipeline". Sports Illustrated. August 30, 2007. Retrieved August 31, 2007.
  52. ^ Farhi, Paul (September 1, 2007). "Pro Wrestling Suspends 10 Linked to Steroid Ring". Washington Post. Retrieved September 2, 2007.
  53. ^ "Umaga passes". World Wrestling Entertainment. December 4, 2009. Retrieved December 4, 2009.
  54. ^ "Former WWE star Umaga dead at 36". Los Angeles Times. December 4, 2009. Retrieved December 4, 2009.
  55. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-01-03. Retrieved 2015-04-09. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  56. ^ "WEW Hardcore Tag Team Title". Wrestling-Titles. Retrieved August 4, 2007.
    name misspelled as "Eddy"
  57. ^ "Heartland Wrestling Association Tag Team Title". Wrestling-Titles. Retrieved August 4, 2007.
  58. ^ "MCW Southern Tag Team Title". Wrestling-Titles. Retrieved August 4, 2007.
    listed as The Island Boys
  59. ^ "Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) 500 for 2007". The Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved August 23, 2015.
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External links[edit]