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Portch’s Perspective: The Career of Eddie “Umaga” Fatu

December 21, 2009   ·   0 Comments

Eddie “Umaga” Fatu sadly passed away earlier this month. Here is a look back at his career:

After wrestling in several different small promotions, Fatu got his big break when him and his cousin, Matt Anoa’i debuted for the WWE in 2002, working as Rosey (Anoa’i) and Jamal (Fatu), together known as 3-Minute Warning. The team worked as heel enforcers for RAW General Manager Eric Bischoff, taking out superstars that Bischoff deemed “too boring”. The most famous angle the tag team were involved in was the crashing of the infamous Billy and Chuck wedding in September 2002. The team broke up when Fatu was released from his WWE contract in June 2003 for reported involvement in a bar fight.

After his WWE release, Fatu went to TNA, working under the name Ekmo. Fatu teamed with Sonny Siaki and feuded with America’s Most Wanted, before the leaving the company to head to Japan.

Fatu wrestled for All Japan Pro Wrestling as Jamal, teaming with Justin Credible and Taiy? Kea. With Kea he held the AJPW Unified World Tag Team Championship and won the World’s Strongest Tag Team League tournament.

In December 2005, Fatu resigned with World Wrestling Entertainment and began teaming with old partner Matt Anoa’i. Before 3-Minute Warning could be reformed on television Anoa’i was released. Fatu would then re-debut in April 2006 as Umaga, a heel savage character who could seemingly only be controlled by his manager Armando Elejandro Estrada. Umaga’s first feud was with Ric Flair, who he easily defeated at the Backlash PPV. Fatu would then go onto feud with several main event stars, culminating in a match against John Cena at New Year’s Revolution 2007 for the WWE Championship. Cena would defeat Fatu and became the first person to pin the Umaga character. Umaga would get a rematch in one of the matches of the year, a Last Man Standing Match at the Royal Rumble. Cena would beat Umaga again and Fatu moved out of the title picture.

Umaga would then represent Vince McMahon in the Battle of the Billionaires Match against Bobby Lashley (representing Donald Trump) at WrestleMania 23. In the build up to the WrestleMania, Umaga defeated Jeff Hardy for the Intercontinental Championship. Lashley would defeat Umaga at WrestleMania, resulting in Vince McMahon being shaved bald. Fatu would remain aligned with Vince and Shane McMahon and continue feuding with Lashley. During this feud Lashley would cost Umaga the Intercontinental Title, losing the belt to the debuting Santino Marella. Fatu would win the Title back from Marella later on, before losing it to Jeff Hardy.

At the No Mercy PPV Umaga would battle Triple H in the second of three WWE Championship matches at the event. Triple H would defeat Umaga via pinfall. Fatu then feuded with Batista, who defeated Umaga at WrestleMania XXIV. In June 2008, Umaga was drafted to the SmackDown brand and feuded briefly with Mr Kennedy and The Big Show. In August Umaga tore a cruciate ligament, putting him out of action for the rest of the year.

Umaga returned to SmackDown in January 2009, defeating Jimmy Wang Yang. Fatu would then disappear from TV again, before returning in April, attacking CM Punk whenever Punk tried to cash in his Money in the Bank contract. During his feud with Punk, Fatu would speak in English for the first time under the Umaga gimmick. At the Extreme Rules PPV Fatu lost to Punk in a Strap Match. This would ultimately be Fatu’s last WWE match as he was released from his contract on 8th June. It was later revealed his release was due to violation of the Wellness Policy, despite it being his second violation rather than third, his refusal to enter rehabilitation led to his firing. Fatu would travel to Australia in November to wrestle on Hulk Hogan’s Hulkamania: Let it Begin tour, wrestling under the name Uso Fatu, he would face off against Mr Anderson (formerly Mr Kennedy).

On 4th December, just days after returning from Australia, Fatu was rushed to hospital after his wife found him not breathing with blood coming out of his nose. He reportedly suffered a heart attack. Fatu was then pronounced dead later that day after suffering a second heart attack.

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