The Headshrinkers

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The Headshrinkers
Tag team
Members Fatu[1]
Samu[1]
Name(s) The Hawaiian Beasts
The Headshrinkers
The Samoan Swat Team
The Tahitian Warriors
The New Wild Samoans
Former
member(s)
Kokina
Alofa/Ruopa
Samoan Savage
Sione[1]
Debut 1988
Promotions AWA, AWF, JCP, WCCW,
WCW, WWC, WWF, Indies

The Headshrinkers was a professional wrestling tag team in the World Wrestling Federation that consisted of Fatu and Samu. They previously competed under the name The New Wild Samoans in the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), and as The Samoan Swat Team in World Championship Wrestling (WCW), World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW), World Wrestling Council (WWC) and the American Wrestling Federation (AWF). They started out as heels.

The Headshrinkers portrayed a pair of Samoan savages, often displaying uncivilized behavior such as biting into a turkey carcass during a match and dragging each other by their hair. They were also billed as having hard heads that were impervious to pain; any attack that targeted a Headshrinker's head would have no effect, and an opponent who tried to headbutt one of them would end up hurting himself. Having hard heads went with typical professional wrestling portrayals of Samoan wrestlers.

While Samu and Fatu are the "Original" team members several other Samoans have at one time replaced one of the two.

Career[edit]

Samula Anoa'i is the son of Wild Samoans Afa and Solofa Fatu is the nephew of Afa as well as both of them being the nephews of Sika and part of the Anoa'i family.

The Samoan Swat Team[edit]

In 1985, Samu joined Gino Brito and Dino Bravo’s "International Wrestling" territory based in Montreal, which was the first time he worked in the same territory as his cousin Fatu. When the Montreal territory closed up the two cousins signed with the World Wrestling Council in Puerto Rico and became "The Samoan Swat Team": Samu and Fatu. The team adopted the "Samoan savage" gimmick that had made their fathers so well known and feared throughout the wrestling world, working barefoot and never speaking English on camera. The team became the first ever WWC Caribbean Tag-Team Champions on November 7, 1987 when they beat Invader I and Invader III.[2] The duo held the titles for just over a month before dropping them to Mark Youngblood and Chris Youngblood[2] before leaving the promotion.

Samu and Fatu next appeared in Texas, working for Fritz Von Erich’s World Class Championship Wrestling promotion. The storyline was that Buddy Roberts brought the team in to fight his fights against the Von Erich Family and former Fabulous Freebirds partner Michael Hayes. The SST was given a big push right away; presented as an unstoppable force the team was even allowed to beat hometown heroes Kerry and Kevin Von Erich for the WCCW Tag-Team Titles on August 12, 1988.[2] The Samoans remained undefeated in WCCW until they came up against Roberts’ former partner Michael Hayes and Hayes new partner, "Do It To It" Steve Cox on September 12.[2] The duo was not without the gold for long as they recaptured the titles only 4 days.[2] Hayes and Cox would beat the Samoan Swat Team for the titles once again on October 15,[2][3] 1988 but this time they only held the gold for two days before they lost it back to the SST. On September 12, 1988 The Samoan Swat Team become double champions as they beat "Hollywood" John Tatum and Jimmy Jack Funk for the WCWA Texas Tag Team Championship.[2] The Samoan Swat Team made their pay-per-view debut at AWA Superclash III, the first (and only) PPV that the American Wrestling Association ever presented. The Samoans successfully defended their WCCW Tag-Team titles against Michael Hayes and Steve Cox.[4] In the beginning of 1989, the Samoans left WCCW, forcing both tag-team titles to be vacated due to the sudden departure.[2]

The Samoan Swat Team signed with Jim Crockett Promotions and was brought in as manager Paul E. Dangerously’s replacements for the "Original" Midnight Express who had left the promotion. The Samoans also took over the "Original" Midnight Express’ feud with the Midnight Express beating the team at Clash of the Champions VI on April 2, 1989.[5] At The 1989 Great American Bash the Samoans teamed with former rival Michael Hayes, Terry Gordy and Jimmy Garvin losing a War Games Match to The Road Warriors, the Midnight Express and Steve Williams.[6] In the fall of 1989 Paul E. Dangerously was phased out and the Samoans were given a new manager: "The Big Kahuna" Oliver Humperdink. Their ranks were also bolstered by the addition of The Samoan Savage who is Fatu’s brother. The Samoans started to lose more and more matches as 1989 drew to a close, but their fortunes appeared to be changing due to the injury to Sid Vicious. Because Vicious was injured the Skyscrapers had to pull out of the "Iron Team Tournament" at Starrcade 1989. The Samoan Swat Team, now using the name The New Wild Samoans (a reference to the "original" Wild Samoans) were chosen to be their replacements[7] – Fatu and the Samoan Savage with no explanation of why the more experienced Samu was not chosen. For the remainder of the Samoan Swat Team’s time in WCW Fatu and the Samoan Savage competed under the name New Wild Samoans, while Samu made a few singles appearances. After leaving WCW in the summer of 1990 the Samoan Swat Team worked for a number of independent promotions in the US, Europe and Japan, often teaming up with family member Rodney Anoa'i who competed as "Kokina Maximus".[8]

The Headshrinkers[edit]

In 1992, Samu and Fatu signed up with the World Wrestling Federation, managed by Samu’s father Afa.[9] The team changed their name to "the Headshrinkers" but their gimmick remained the same, Samoan wildmen. Rodney Anoa'i also signed with the WWF but he was repackaged as "Yokozuna" and the family ties between him and the Samoans were not mentioned on air. The team quietly debuted on an edition of Prime Time defeating local jobbers being called The Samoans, however the team vanished quickly. As The Headshrinkers they first made their presence known when they helped Money Inc. beat the Natural Disasters to win the WWF World Tag Team titles..[10] Early in their run with the WWF the Headshrinkers feuded with the Natural Disasters and the recently formed High Energy[11]

Between 1992 and the early parts of 1994, the Headshrinkers maintained a position in the middle of the tag team division, occasionally challenging for the titles and making sporadic PPV appearances feuding with teams like The Smokin' Gunns[12] and Men on a Mission.[13] The Headshrinkers assisted their relative Yokozuna in a casket match against The Undertaker at the 1994 Royal Rumble.[14] In April 1994 the Headshrinkers turned face and challenged then tag-team champions The Quebecers, with the addition of manager Lou Albano the team won the gold on April 26, 1994.[15] At King of the Ring 1994 on June 19 the Headshrinkers successfully defended their tag team titles against Yokozuna and Crush.[16] Their run with the titles came to a surprising end on an untelevised card on August 28 where they lost the titles to Shawn Michaels and Diesel.[17] The title change happened just one day before they were scheduled to defend against Irwin R. Schyster and Bam Bam Bigelow.[18] Soon after the title change Samu left the WWF[1] to recover from injuries and was replaced by Sione.

The kayfabe reason given to Samu’s departure was that he "ate some bad fish and got a disease" and was not coping well with manager Lou Albano’s attempts to civilize the Headshrinkers, especially wearing boots. For the first time ever, one half of the team was neither a member of the Anoa'i family nor a Samoan as Sione was from the island of Tonga. The new combination made only one pay-per-view appearance as a team which was at the 1994 Survivor Series where they were quickly eliminated.[19] The only other notable appearance of Fatu and Sione was as part of the tournament to crown new WWF tag team champions in late 1994, early 1995. The Headshrinkers lost to Bam Bam Bigelow and Tatanka in the Semi Finals.[20] By July, the Headshrinkers dissolved, as Sione left the WWF for WCW. By the time, the team was used to put over new teams such as The Blu Brothers[21]

Independent Headshrinkers[edit]

After being away from the spotlight for a while Samu returned to the WWF in 1995. Samu along with his cousin Matt Anoa'i were known as "The Samoan Gangster Party" with Samu being known as "Sammy the Silk" and his cousin Matt Anoa'i (son of Sika) became known as "Big Matty Smalls", and joined Samu as The Samoan Gangstas. The two men did not wrestle for the WWF but watched Fatu from afar as the former Headshrinker tried to turn himself into a positive rolemodel for kids on the street.[22] The angle never went anywhere as the Samoan Gangster party never got in the ring or confronted Fatu before he was repackaged and the whole angle was dropped.[22] In 1996 they worked for Extreme Championship Wrestling feuding mainly with The Gangstas in a short but intense war.[23][24][25]

After leaving, Samu has worked for a number of independent organizations both as a singles wrestler and alongside Lloyd who worked under names such as "Ruopa" and "The Tahitian Warrior" winning titles in WWC[2] and ISPW.[2]

In wrestling[edit]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Fatu and Samu

Kokina, Fatu and Samoan Savage

Samu and Lloyd Anoa'i

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Shields, Brian; Sullivan, Kevin (2009). WWE Encyclopedia. DK. p. 127. ISBN 978-0-7566-4190-0. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 
  3. ^ "WCCW Show results – Cotton Bowl Extravaganza". prowrestlinghistory.com. Retrieved 04-03-2007.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  4. ^ "AWA Show results – SuperClash results". prowrestlinghistory.com. Retrieved 04-03-2007.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  5. ^ prowrestlinghistory.com. "NWA Clash of the Champions Results (VI)". Retrieved 04-03-2007.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  6. ^ prowrestlinghistory.com. "NWA Great American Bash Results (1989)". Retrieved 04-03-2007.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  7. ^ prowrestlinghistory.com. "NWA Starrcade Results (1989)". Retrieved 04-03-2007.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  8. ^ puroresufan.com. "StrongStyle Spirit: NJPW Results from 1991". Archived from the original on 2007-02-23. Retrieved 04-03-2007.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  9. ^ Brian Shields (2006). Main event – WWE in the raging 80s (4th ed.). Pocket Books. ISBN 978-1-4165-3257-6. 
  10. ^ Graham Cawthon. "WWF Show Results 1992". Retrieved 04-03-2007. Ted Dibiase & IRS (w/ Jimmy Hart) defeated WWF Tag Team Champions the Natural Disasters to win the titles when Dibiase locked Earthquake in the Million $ Dream after the Headshrinkers interfered  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  11. ^ prowrestlinghistory.com. "WWF Surviror Series Results (1992)". Retrieved 04-03-2007.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  12. ^ prowrestlinghistory.com. "WWF SummerSlam Results (1993)". Retrieved 04-03-2007.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  13. ^ prowrestlinghistory.com. "WWF Survivor Series Results (1993)". Retrieved 04-03-2007.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  14. ^ prowrestlinghistory.com. "WWF Royal Rumble Results (1994)". Retrieved 04-03-2007.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  15. ^ wwe.com. "Title History > World Tag Team > The Headshrinkers". Retrieved 04-03-2007.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  16. ^ prowrestlinghistory.com. "WWF King of the Ring Results (1994)". Retrieved 04-03-2007.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  17. ^ wwe.com. "Title History > World Tag Team > Shawn Michaels & Diesel". Retrieved 04-03-2007.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  18. ^ prowrestlinghistory.com. "WWF SummerSlam Results (1994)". Retrieved 04-03-2007.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  19. ^ prowrestlinghistory.com. "WWF Survivor Series Results (1994)". Retrieved 04-03-2007.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  20. ^ prowrestlinghistory.com. "WWF Tag-Team Title Tournament 1995". Retrieved 04-03-2007.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  21. ^ Graham Cawthon. "WWF Show Results 1995". Retrieved 04-03-2007. June 4, 1995: Jacob & Eli Blu defeated the new Headshrinkers  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  22. ^ a b RD Reynolds and Randy Baer (2003). Wrestlecrap – the very worst of pro wrestling. ECW Press. ISBN 1-55022-584-7. 
  23. ^ The Gangstas NC The Samoan Gangsta Party. "ECW Show Results – 1996, July – September (Heat Wave 1996)". Retrieved 04-03-2007.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  24. ^ prowrestlinghistory.com. "ECW Show Results – 1996, July – September ("The Doctor is In")". Retrieved 04-03-2007.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  25. ^ prowrestlinghistory.com. "ECW Show Results – 1996, July – September ("Unlucky Lottery")". Retrieved 04-03-2007.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  26. ^ Matt Mackinder (January 17, 2008). "Sir Oliver Humperdink recalls career of yesteryear". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-04-04.