Afa Anoaʻi Jr.
|Afa Anoaʻi Jr.|
Anoaʻi in July 2009
|Born||October 6, 1984|
Allentown, Pennsylvania, US
|Alma mater||University of Connecticut|
|Professional wrestling career|
Mai Tai Anoaʻi
|Billed height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Billed weight||290 lb (130 kg)|
|Billed from||Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, US|
|Trained by||Afa Anoaʻi|
|Debut||August 28, 1998|
Afa Anoaʻi Jr. (born October 6, 1984) is an American professional wrestler . He is best known for his appearances with the professional wrestling promotion WWE in the mid-2000s under the ring name Manu.
Professional wrestling career
World Xtreme Wrestling (1998–2006)
Anoaʻi began training as a wrestler under his father, Afa, and brothers, Lloyd (L.A. Smooth) and Samula He made his debut on August 28, 1998, at the age of 13, winning a battle royal in Austria. He attended Freedom High School, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
World Wrestling Entertainment
Development territories (2006–2007)
In October 2006, Anoaʻi received a try-out with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), held at the Deep South Wrestling development territory. Later that month, Anoaʻi officially signed with WWE, going under his father's ring name, "Afa". He went on to wrestle for Deep South Wrestling. He initially was introduced as part of the stable Urban Assault, initially composed by leader Sonny Siaki, Eric Perez and G-Rilla, but they expelled the last of them due to a loss against The Gymini. Afa replaced him until Urban Assault dissolved when Afa and Siaki abandoned Perez during a match against Freakin' Deacon and G-Rilla. Siaki and Afa rechristened themselves The Samoan Fight Club. Anoaʻi then wrestled for WWE's new developmental territory, Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW), where he continued teaming with Siaki under their Samoan Fight Club name. Their team was disbanded, however, when Siaki was released from his contract due to family issues on September 15, 2007. In October 2007, Afa Jr. defeated Harry Smith by countout (he was touring in the UK at the time), to become the new FCW Heavyweight Champion. In September, Afa Jr. began to work matches in Ohio Valley Wrestling, forming a tag team with fellow Samoan family member Matt Anoaʻi and their team was dubbed the Sons of Samoa; this was also a stable that Afa Jr. formed while he still wrestled in World Xtreme Wrestling.
Main roster (2007–2009)
On November 19, 2007, Anoaʻi made his debut on WWE television under the name Mai Tai Anoaʻi in a losing effort against Jim Duggan at the Heat tapings. Anoaʻi was later suspended by WWE for 30 days, on March 20, 2008, for violating WWE's Wellness Policy. At Unforgiven, Anoaʻi made his debut on the full-time roster under the name "Manu". He aligned himself with Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase, by attacking Cryme Tyme after their World Tag Team Championship match. Later that night, the three of them helped Randy Orton attack the World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk and Kofi Kingston. On the edition of September 8 of Raw Manu, Rhodes and DiBiase defeated Cryme Tyme and Kofi Kingston in a six-man tag team match. On the November 17 episode of Raw, he made his singles debut in a losing effort against Batista. During this time, Rhodes, DiBiase and Manu entered a storyline with Randy Orton where Orton constantly criticized and insulted them, and attacked DiBiase on November 3, on Raw. Manu and Rhodes accepted Orton's offer for an alliance in the following weeks, and the trio dubbed themselves "The Legacy".
After Orton grew tired of The Legacy losing matches, he scheduled a test for each member on the December 29 episode of Raw; however, Manu failed to pass his test after he lost to the ECW Champion, Matt Hardy, and was kicked out as his former companions Rhodes and Sim Snuka turned their backs on him. Later Snuka also got kicked out of the group, and the two quickly reunited. They planned to get their revenge on Orton and Rhodes on the January 12, 2009, episode of Raw, with the aid of the returning Ted DiBiase, but DiBiase betrayed them, and joined The Legacy with Orton and Rhodes.
Anoaʻi was released from his WWE contract on February 23, 2009. Randy Orton later said that the reason Anoaʻi had been released "had a lot to do with his backstage attitude", and stated that Anoaʻi "didn’t feel like he had to pay his dues".
Independent circuit (2009–present)
On April 18, 2009, Anoaʻi returned to the independent circuit at a World Xtreme Wrestling (WXW) show. He reformed the Sons of Samoa tag team with Samu, and the pair competed as a tag team throughout the rest of 2009. In late 2010, Anoaʻi also competed for the Belgian Catch Wrestling Federation and NWA Dawg Pound. On February 9, 2013, Afa Jr. and L. A. Smooth, as The Sons of Samoa, won the WWC World Tag Team Championship. They lost the titles at Camino a la Gloria, on March 30, 2013. However, they won the titles on June 29, 2013, at Summer Madness. They lost the title at WWC 40 Aniversario to Chicano and Abbad. They regained the titles again on November 16, 2013, at Crossfire. However, they lost the title ar Euphoria Day 2 against Xix Xavant and Chicano.
Regional Championship Wrestling event Rumblemania 9 in Reading, PA. on March 15, 2014. Manu w/RC beat Rob Noxious in a respect match. This was a hardcore match that ended up going all over the building, after match Manu shook hands with Noxious & beat up his manager RC.
Since 2014, Afa has been attached to Pennsylvania Premiere Wrestling (PPW) in Hazleton Pa capturing the promotions Heavyweight Championship and its No Limits Championship! Afa captured the PPW Title from his nephew Lance Anoa'i and retained the title against contenders like Danny Maff and Samoa Joe. Recently, Afa defeated Al Snow at the December PPW Event to retain the PPW No Limits Title.
In July 2017 he appeared on an NWA card in Morgan City, Louisiana, where he was defeated by NWA North American heavyweight champion Mustang Mike.
Anoaʻi is a member of the Anoaʻi family, a Samoan family of wrestlers. He is the son of Afa Anoaʻi and the younger brother of Samu and L.A. Smooth. He is related to Roman Reigns, The Rock, The Usos, Yokozuna, Umaga, Rikishi among others. He has Samoan tattoos on his arms.
Anoaʻi attended Freedom High School, where Coach Jim Morgans described him as "the best defensive lineman I've coached." As a senior, Anoaʻi was named one of the 100 best football players in the United States by analyst Tom Lemming. Upon graduation from Freedom, Anoaʻi attended Fork Union Military Academy as a post-graduate to study and play football. He played in the 2003 U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Upon graduating, Anoaʻi played football with the University of Connecticut Huskies for a year.
In August 2003, Anoaʻi was implicated as the getaway driver of a duo who committed an armed robbery in Bethlehem Township, Pennsylvania, stealing money and jewellery worth over $150,000 and stabbing the elderly female resident. Anoaʻi pleaded no contest to the charge of receipt of stolen property and was given two years probation.
Championships and accomplishments
- Belgian Wrestling School
- BWS Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Defiant Pro Wrestling
- Florida Championship Wrestling
- Independent Superstars of Professional Wrestling
- Jersey Championship Wrestling
- Pennsylvania Premiere Wrestling
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- Regional Championship Wrestling
- RCW Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Rob Noxious
- World Wrestling Council
- World Wrestling Professionals
- World Xtreme Wrestling
- WXW Cruiserweight Championship (2 times)
- WXW Hardcore Championship (3 times)
- WXW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- WXW Tag Team Championship (3 times, current) – with Lucifer Grim (1), L.A. Smooth (1)  and Sean Maluta (1, current)
- WXW Television Championship (1 time)
- WXW Ultimate Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
- Wild Samoan Tag Team Tournament (2017) – with Sean Maluta
- "Manu Profile". Online World of Wrestling. Archived from the original on December 17, 2008. Retrieved December 30, 2008.
- "WWE Bio". WWE. Archived from the original on February 25, 2009. Retrieved November 3, 2008.
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- WWE signs Afa's son Archived February 27, 2009, at WebCite
- "October 16, 2007--Florida Championship Wrestling". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved December 26, 2007.
- "WWE Raw Results - November 19, 2007". Online World of Wrestling. November 19, 2007. Archived from the original on September 30, 2008. Retrieved September 12, 2008.
- "Developmental performer suspended for 30 days". WWE. March 20, 2008. Archived from the original on March 23, 2008. Retrieved March 20, 2008.
- Bishop, Matt (September 7, 2008). "Scramble matches make for wild Unforgiven". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved September 26, 2008.
- Sitterson, Aubrey (September 8, 2008). "Dangerous liaisons". WWE. Archived from the original on September 20, 2008. Retrieved September 12, 2008.
- Elliott, Brian (November 18, 2008). "Raw: Lumberjacks bring predictable chaos". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved December 30, 2008.
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- Tylwalk, Nick (December 30, 2008). "Raw: Michaels faces tough year-end decision". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved February 5, 2009.
- Elliott, Brian (January 6, 2009). "Raw: JBK-HBK storyline moves along". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved February 5, 2009.
- Tylwalk, Nick (January 13, 2009). "Raw: Cena and Michaels collide in Sioux City". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved February 5, 2009.
- "Manu released". WWE. February 23, 2009. Archived from the original on February 24, 2009. Retrieved February 24, 2009.
- Rothstein, Simon (May 15, 2009). "Orton: We screwed ourselves at Mania". The Sun. Retrieved May 15, 2009.
- "WWC CROSSFIRE 2013: T.N.T. RETURNS!, CARLITO VS REY FENIX, TAG TEAM TITLE CHANGES HANDS AND MORE FROM PUERTO RICO - PWInsider.com". www.pwinsider.com. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
- Kreikenbohm, Philip. "WWC Euphoria - Tag 2 « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.de. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
- "Recruiting: Pitt pins lineman, lures Virginia FB". www.post-gazette.com. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
- "Third suspect caught in Bethlehem Twp. robbery, assault". tribunedigital-mcall. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
- "Independent Wrestling Results - October 2006". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved July 4, 2008.
- "Afa Jr. at Bodyslamming.com". Archived from the original on November 15, 2007.
- Kreikenbohm, Philip. "PPW Heavyweight Championship « Titles Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.net. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
- Kreikenbohm, Philip. "PPW No Limits Championship « Titles Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.net. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
- "Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) 500 for 2008". Retrieved February 4, 2015.
- Kreikenbohm, Philip. "WWP World Tag Team Championship « Titles Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.net. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
- Kreikenbohm, Philip. "WXW Wild Samoan Tag Team Tournament 2017 « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.net. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
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