Tamina Snuka

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Tamina Snuka
Tamina May 2014.jpg
Tamina in May 2014
Birth name Sarona Moana-Marie Reiher Snuka
Born (1978-01-10) January 10, 1978 (age 37)[1]
Vancouver, Washington, U.S.[2]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Sarona Snuka
Tamina[3]
Tamina Snuka
Billed height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)[4]
Billed weight 150 lb (68 kg)[1]
Billed from The Pacific Islands[4]
Trained by Wild Samoan Training Center
Debut 2009[4][5]

Sarona Snuka-Polamalu[6] (born Sarona Moana-Marie Reiher Snuka;[7] January 10, 1978)[1] is an American professional wrestler and actress[4] currently signed with WWE under the ring name Tamina.[8]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Early career (2009)[edit]

Reiher first began in wrestling after she received the first Lia Maivia Scholarship to train in professional wrestling career at the Wild Samoan Training Center.[5]

World Wrestling Entertainment/WWE[edit]

Florida Championship Wrestling (2009–2010)[edit]

On December 26, 2009, WXW's official Twitter account announced that World Wrestling Entertainment had signed Reiher to a developmental contract and would report to their developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) for further training.[9] Reiher debuted in FCW on March 19 competing in a six-women tag team match at a house show.[10] She transitioned to managing The Usos, while remaining a competitor in the women's division, and competed in the tournament to determine the new FCW Divas Champion.

Managing The Usos (2010)[edit]

Main article: The Usos
Tamina with The Usos in 2010.

On the May 24 episode of Raw, Reiher debuted as a heel, under the ring name Tamina, along with Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso by attacking the Unified Tag Team Champions, The Hart Dynasty (David Hart Smith, Tyson Kidd and Natalya).[3][11] The next week on the May 31 episode of Raw, Tamina and The Usos introduced themselves and stated that The Hart Dynasty was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and brawled and again laid out The Hart Dynasty. On the June 7 episode of Raw, Tamina and The Usos again attempted to attack The Hart Dynasty, but was unsuccessful after The Hart Dynasty getting the upper hand.[12] Snuka and The Usos made their pay-per-view debut on June 20 at Fatal 4-Way in a six-person mixed tag team match, but were defeated by The Hart Dynasty after Natalya pinned Tamina for the win.[13] Two weeks later on the June 21 episode of Raw, Tamina made her debut for the brand facing off with Natalya, but ended in a no contest after The Nexus interrupted the match. On the June 28 episode of Raw, Tamina and The Usos were scheduled to face The Hart Dynasty in another six-person mixed tag team match, but instead attacked them during their entrance, leading to Tamina throwing Natalya in the ring and executing the Superfly Splash and left with the Usos.[14] On the July 12 episode of Raw, Tamina and The Usos won their first match by defeating The Hart Dynasty in a six-person mixed tag team match.[15] At the Money in the Bank pay-per-view, Tamina accompanied The Usos to a tag team match against The Hart Dynasty in a losing effort. On the July 26 episode of Raw, Tamina along with Jimmy Uso accompanied Jey Uso to a singles match against Randy Orton, but was unsuccessful in defeating Orton.[16]

Alliance with Santino Marella (2010–2011)[edit]

On the August 9 episode of Raw, Tamina began flirting with Santino Marella, hinting a face turn. Two weeks later, Tamina accompanied The Usos in a tag team match against Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov in a losing effort, but Tamina would then afterwards stop the Usos from attacking Santino, and blew a kiss to Santino as she left the ring.[17] On the September 27 episode of Raw, Tamina competed in a #1 contender diva battle royal, which was ultimately won by Natalya.[18] On the October 11 episode of Raw, Tamina joined Santino Marella after his victory over Zack Ryder and celebrated with him.[19] A few weeks later on the November 8 episode of Raw, Tamina teamed with Alicia Fox and Maryse in a Diva Cup Match in a losing effort to Eve Torres and The Bella Twins. On the November 15 episode of Raw, Tamina accompanied The Usos to a #1 contender tag team match against Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov in a losing effort.[20] Tamina made a backstage appearance with Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov on the November 22 episode of Raw when she serenaded and kissed Santino. Two weeks later on the November 29 episode of Raw, Tamina teamed with Alicia Fox and Maryse in a six diva tag team match against Natalya, Gail Kim and Melina, but was distracted by Santino Marella serenading her, and she left the ring with Santino, turning her character into a face.

On the December 6 episode of Raw, Tamina began an on-screen relationship with Santino Marella, beginning by accompanying him and his partner Vladimir Kozlov in a three elimination tag team match against the teams of The Nexus (Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater) and The Usos in a winning effort, as Tamina walked in the ring and kissed Santino, officially becoming the valet of the team.[21] On the December 20 episode of Raw, Snuka teamed with her on-screen boyfriend Santino Marella in a mixed tag team match in a winning effort against Maryse and Ted DiBiase Jr. after Tamina executed the Superfly Splash to Maryse. The next week on the December 27 episode of Raw, Snuka accompanied Santino in a singles match in a winning effort to Ted DiBiase, leading to Tamina and Santino being attacked by both DiBiase and Maryse, after Santino and Tamina made a comeback, they both executed The Cobra on DiBiase and Maryse. On the January 3 episode of Raw, Tamina accompanied Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov in a tag team match against The Usos in a losing effort, and was afterwards confronted by the Usos, who later was headbutted by Kozlov and received a double Cobra from Marella and Tamina.[22] On the February 2 episode of WWE Superstars, Snuka competed in her first singles match as a fan favorite, losing to Melina.

Divas Championship pursuits (2011–2013)[edit]

Snuka at a WWE house show in January 2012.

After being drafted to the SmackDown brand as part of the 2011 supplemental draft,[23] Tamina made her SmackDown debut as a heel on the May 27 episode of SmackDown teaming with Alicia Fox in a diva tag team match defeating The Chickbusters (AJ and Kaitlyn) who were accompanied by their mentor Natalya with Fox pinning Kaitlyn.[24] A week later on SmackDown, Tamina and Fox again defeated The Chickbusters, with Tamina pinning AJ.[25] On the June 13 episode of WWE Superstars, Tamina competed in a 6 diva tag team match with Alicia Fox and Rosa Mendes in a losing effort to AJ, Kaitlyn and Natalya with AJ pinning Fox.[26] Tamina then began appearing on the fifth season of NXT Redemption, where she continued her feud with Kaitlyn debuting on the October 26 episode of NXT Redemption in a losing effort.[27] On the November 2 episode of NXT Redemption, Tamina would lose again in a rematch against Kaitlyn, thus ending their feud.[28] Tamina would then begin an on-screen relationship with JTG, becoming his valet. She accompanied him on the November 9 episode of NXT Redemption in a losing effort against old partner Jimmy Uso, who was also accompanied by Jey Uso.[29]

On the December 30 episode of SmackDown, Tamina teamed with Natalya in a losing effort to Kaitlyn and Alicia Fox with Fox pinning Natalya, and would afterwards attack Natalya, turning face in the process, and beginning a feud between the two about their respective families.[30] Over the next two weeks on SmackDown, Tamina would defeat Natalya in singles competition.[31][32] On the February 10 episode of SmackDown, Tamina saved Alicia Fox from an attack by Divas Champion Beth Phoenix; the two would then have a stare down which resulted in Snuka challenging Phoenix for her title.[33] Tamina (now billed as Tamina Snuka), received her title shot on February 19 at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view, but was defeated by Phoenix.[8]

On the April 25 episode of NXT Redemption, Snuka teamed with Kaitlyn in a diva tag team match defeating the team of Maxine and Natalya. On the May 9 episode of NXT Redemption Snuka competed in singles competition against Maxine in losing effort.[34] On the June 6 episode of NXT Redemption, Snuka competed in singles competition against Natalya in a winning effort.[35] At the Money In The Bank pay-per-view, Snuka teamed up with Kaitlyn and Layla who later on defeated the team of Beth Phoenix, Natalya and Eve Torres. Snuka appeared on the rebranded NXT just three days later and defeated Kaitlyn in a singles match. On the August 20 episode of Raw, Snuka would compete in a diva battle royal to become the #1 contender for the Divas Championship to face Layla at the Night of Champions pay-per-view, but was unsuccessful in winning the match; also during the match, Snuka would suffer a back injury.[36]

After three months of inactivity, Snuka returned from injury on November 18 at the Survivor Series pay-per-view as a heel, interrupting a segment between AJ Lee and Vickie Guerrero by attacking AJ from behind.[37] Snuka made her in-ring return on the November 26 episode of Raw, defeating Alicia Fox.[38] Snuka suffered her first loss since her return on the December 3 episode of Raw, when she was pinned by AJ Lee.[39] On the January 28, 2013 episode of Raw, Snuka faced Divas Champion Kaitlyn in a non-title lumberjill match, however, the match ended in a no-contest after the Lumberjills interfered.[40] On February 17 at Elimination Chamber, Snuka unsuccessfully challenged Kaitlyn for the Divas Championship.[41] On the June 5 episode of NXT, Snuka was defeated by Paige in the first round of the NXT Women's Championship tournament to crown the inaugural champion.[42]

AJ Lee's bodyguard (2013–2014)[edit]

Snuka as AJ Lee's bodyguard in April 2014.

Snuka returned to WWE programming in late September 2013, taking on a role as Divas Champion AJ Lee's bodyguard.[43] Snuka helped AJ retain her Divas Championship at Battleground by attacking Nikki Bella, setting up a distraction.[44] On the November 13 episode of Main Event, AJ retained her title against Natalya after Snuka interfered and attacked Natalya.[45] This led to a match between Snuka and Natalya on the November 15 episode of SmackDown, which Snuka lost.[46] AJ went on to captain a team at Survivor Series in a seven-on-seven traditional elimination tag team match against the cast of Total Divas, where Snuka eliminated The Funkadactyls (Naomi and Cameron) and was the penultimate eliminated, courtesy of Natalya.[47]

On February 23, 2014, at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view, Snuka accidentally superkicked AJ during the latter's title match against Cameron, eventually causing a disqualification when Cameron almost won.[48] This signaled tension between the two, which was followed by their back-to-back losses in tag team competition, leading to Snuka shoving AJ to the ground.[49] At WrestleMania XXX on April 6, Snuka was one of 13 Divas to challenge AJ for her title in the "Vickie Guerrero Divas Championship Invitational", which resulted in AJ retaining.[50] After AJ lost her Divas Championship to Paige and was subsequently granted time off from WWE, Snuka won a battle royal to become the number one contender to Paige's Divas Championship.[51] Snuka faced Paige for the title at Extreme Rules on May 4, where she lost.[52]

Team B.A.D. (2015–present)[edit]

Eleven months after having undergone surgery following a torn ACL on June 4, 2014,[53] Snuka returned on the May 4, 2015 episode of Raw, allying herself with her cousin-in-law Naomi as the two attacked The Bella Twins.[54] Snuka made her in-ring return on the May 11 episode of Raw in a winning effort against Brie Bella with Naomi in her corner.[55] Tamina and Naomi went on to defeat the Bellas in a tag team match at Payback.[56] The following night on Raw, Tamina interfered in Naomi's WWE Divas Championship match against Nikki Bella, causing a disqualification. After the match, Paige returned from injury and attacked Tamina, Naomi and Nikki.[57] At The Beast in the East on July 4, Tamina failed to capture the Divas Championship from Nikki Bella in a triple threat match that also involved Paige.[58]

On the July 13 episode of Raw, after weeks of being outnumbered by Team Bella (The Bella Twins and Alicia Fox), Stephanie McMahon called for a "revolution" in the Divas division and introduced the debuting NXT Women's Champion Sasha Banks as an ally to her and Naomi. Charlotte and Becky Lynch would then debut and ally with Paige, leading to a brawl between the three teams.[59] At Battleground, a triple-threat match took place with Sasha Banks representing Team B.A.D. (Beautiful and Dangerous), against Charlotte of Team Paige and Brie Bella for Team Bella in a losing effort while Charlotte picked up victory.[60] The three teams would ultimately face off at SummerSlam in a three team elimination match, where Team B.A.D. were the first team to be eliminated courtesy of Team Bella, and PCB would win the match.[61]

Other media[edit]

Reiher made her acting debut in the 2014 film Hercules.[62][63] She made her video game debut in WWE 2K15.[64]

Personal life[edit]

Snuka is of Fijian and Samoan descent, and is the daughter of former WWE Hall of Famer Jimmy Snuka and his second wife, Sharon. Her brother, James also wrestled for WWE under the ring names Deuce and Sim Snuka.[65] She divorced her husband in 2003, and has two daughters named Milaneta and Maleata.[66]

In wrestling[edit]

Tamina performing the Superfly Splash on Kaitlyn

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]