Sam Fatu

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Sam Fatu[1]
Birth nameSamuel Larry Anoa'i Fatu
Born (1965-10-11) October 11, 1965 (age 54) [2]
California, United States[1]
ResidenceSacramento, California, United States
Spouse(s)Theresa Fuavai-Fatu
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)The Samoan Savage[1]
The Tonga Kid
Tama Samoa
Wild Samoan Nick
Wild Samoan Savage
Sam Fatu
Samoan #4
Billed height6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)[3]
Billed weight229 lb (104 kg)[3]
Billed from"The Isle of Samoa"
Trained byAfa Anoa'i
Sika Anoa'i[1][4][5]

Samuel "Sam" Larry Anoa'i Fatu (born October 11, 1965) is an American retired professional wrestler. He is best known for his appearances with the World Wrestling Federation under the ring names The Tonga Kid and Tama and with World Championship Wrestling as The Samoan Savage.[1][5]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

World Wrestling Federation (1983–1988)[edit]

Fatu debuted as a professional wrestler in 1983,[1] after being trained by the Wild Samoans.[4] Shortly after debuting he joined the World Wrestling Federation as "Samoan No. 4," wrestling at untelevised house shows before making his television debut in the fall of 1983 as the Tonga Kid. Billed as the cousin of Superfly Jimmy Snuka, he entered into his first major feud with Snuka's rival Roddy Piper.[6]

In late 1986, he teamed with Tonga Fifita, who was wrestling under the name King Tonga.[1] Fatu was renamed to Tama, while Fifita was renamed to Haku. Together, they were christened The Islanders.[1] The Islanders gained several key victories, including a tag team battle royal victory over Big John Studd and King Kong Bundy, but ultimately failed to gain the interest of fans. The two were eventually repackaged as villains in April 1987 after attacking The Can-Am Connection during a match; the team was now managed by Bobby Heenan,[1] and used an aggressive, savage style of wrestling as opposed to a scientific style.

In the fall of 1987, they began a feud with Strike Force, and while the two teams generally traded victories during the early part of the feud, once Strike Force won the WWF Tag Team Championship, the Islanders began finding themselves on the losing end, despite having several attempts.[1] In early December 1987, the Islanders were disqualified from a match with the British Bulldogs when they kidnapped the Bulldogs' dog, Matilda.[1] The Islanders were indefinitely suspended in the storyline until Matilda was found.[1] From late January 1988 until early February, the Islanders were consistently beaten by the British Bulldogs.[1]

At a Saturday Night's Main Event XV on March 7, they beat the Killer Bees, a tag team consisting of Brian Blair and Jim Brunzell. At Wrestlemania 4, the Islanders, with Bobby Heenan, defeated the Bulldogs and Koko B. Ware, with Matilda.[1] On April 21, Heenan introduced Siva Afi as the newest member of the group, but Afi never made another appearance with the Islanders. Fatu then left the WWF.

World Wrestling Council[edit]

After leaving the WWF, Fatu began performing for the World Wrestling Council in Puerto Rico as "Tama". On January 6, 1989, he and Dan Kroffat defeated The Batten Twins to win the WWC World Tag Team Championship. The Batten Twins regained the championship on March 4, 1989.

World Championship Wrestling (1989–1990)[edit]

In 1989, Fatu joined World Championship Wrestling, where he adopted the ring name "The Samoan Savage" and began teaming with his brother Fatu and his cousin Samu as The Samoan SWAT Team. The trio were managed by "The Big Kahuna" Oliver Humperdink. In late 1989, Samu withdrew from in-ring competition and The Samoan SWAT Team was renamed "The New Wild Samoans". At Starrcade in December 1989, The New Wild Samoans competed in the Iron Team round-robin tournament, placing third.

The New Wild Samoans left WCW in the summer of 1990.

Later career (1990–2011)[edit]

After leaving WCW, Fatu (wrestling as "The Samoan Savage") journeyed to Mexico to perform for the Universal Wrestling Association along with his brother Fatu and his cousin, The Great Kokina. Billed as "The Hawaiian Beasts", the trio won the UWA World Trios Championship from Los Villanos on April 7, 1991. Los Villanos regained the championship on May 31, 1991.

Fatu competed on the independent circuit until retiring in 2011.[7] In 2005 and 2006, he wrestled in Italy with the Nu Wrestling Evolution promotion.

Other media[edit]

Fatu appeared as "The Tonga Kid" in the opening scene of the 1986 film Highlander, where he was involved in a six-man tag team match with Greg Gagne and Jim Brunzell against The Fabulous Freebirds at the Meadowlands Arena.[8] He also starred as "Tonga Tom" in the 1987 wrestling film Body Slam, along with Dirk Benedict and Roddy Piper.[4][9][10]

Personal life[edit]

Fatu is a member of the famous Anoaʻi family. He is the nephew of Sika Anoaʻi and Afa Anoaʻi, known as the Wild Samoans. He is the twin brother of Solofa Fatu Jr. (Headshrinker Fatu/Rikishi). Samuel is the father of Jacob Fatu, who currently wrestles for Major League Wrestling (MLW). In November 2008, Fatu's wife, Theresa Fuavai-Fatu,[11] went into cardiac arrest while giving birth. Her heart stopped completely before the twins, Marley and Myracle, could be delivered by Caesarean section, but she was spontaneously revived and eventually recovered.[11][12] This type of incident is very rare, with one of the cardiac surgeons who was working on Theresa saying that he had never seen surviving mothers or babies.[11] Sam is the older brother of Eddie Fatu (Umaga/Jamal), who died of a heart attack on December 4, 2009.[13][14]

Other members of the family in professional wrestling include Solafa's twin sons, Jonathan and Joshua Samuel, who currently wrestle in WWE as Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso,[15][16][17] and his cousins in wrestling are Rodney Anoaʻi (Yokozuna), Samula Anoaʻi (Headshrinker Samu), Matt Anoaʻi (Rosey), Leati Anoaʻi (Roman Reigns), Reno Anoaʻi (Black Pearl), Afa Anoaʻi Jr. (Manu), and Lloyd Anoaʻi (L.A. Smooth).

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Wrestler Profiles: Tama". Retrieved 2009-10-13.
  2. ^ "Tonga Kid". Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved 2011-09-16.
  3. ^ a b "Cagematch Bio". Cagematch. Archived from the original on 2015. Retrieved 2008-11-03.
  4. ^ a b c "The Wild Samoans". WWE. Retrieved 2009-10-13.
  5. ^ a b c d "Tonga Kid". Retrieved 2009-10-13.
  6. ^ James Dixon; Arnold Furious; Lee Maughan (2012). The Complete WWF Video Guide Volume I. pp. 44–. ISBN 978-1-291-10089-1.
  7. ^ "Tonga Kid's Match History". Retrieved 2015-04-15.
  8. ^ Defino, Lennie. "Where Are They Now?: Buddy Roberts". WWE. Retrieved 2013-02-02.
  9. ^ Kapur, Bob (May 18, 2006). "Body Slam a blast for Benedict". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-08-30.
  10. ^ "Tonga Kid Main". Archived from the original on 2011-10-04. Retrieved 2009-04-14.
  11. ^ a b c Carrie Peyton Dahlberg. "Twins delivered by emergency C-section as CPR revives mom". Modesto Bee. Retrieved 2009-10-13.[dead link]
  12. ^ "Pregnant Mom's Heart Stops; Gives Birth, Comes To". Archived from the original on 2008-12-30. Retrieved 2008-12-25.
  13. ^ "Umaga passes". WWE. 2009-12-04. Retrieved 2009-12-04.
  14. ^ "Umaga's cause of death revealed". 2010-03-01. Archived from the original on 2010-03-04. Retrieved 2010-03-01.
  15. ^ California births
  16. ^ California births
  17. ^ California births

External links[edit]