Former WWE star Umaga, whose real name is Eddie Fatu, has been hospitalized and is in a “life-threatening condition,” according to reports from various wrestling Web sites.
Wrestlingobserver.com reported that family members had been told that Fatu, 36, suffered a heart attack. The Web site went on to say that he apparently fell asleep watching television Thursday night, and his wife found him hours later not breathing with blood coming out of his nose. Fatu, who was fired by WWE last June for refusing to go to rehab after his second violation of the company’s Wellness Program, had just returned home to Houston after being part of the Hulkamania Tour in Australia.
Umaga was initially with the WWE as a trainee in early 2002 after he graduated from the Wild Samoan Wrestling School. But his gimmick with Jamal never took off and he was habitually ridiculed on air by Eric Bischoff before leaving in 2003.
He spent the next two years travelling between the US and Japan where WWE started to become interested in him again after a change in character.
He was re-signed in 2005 to partner Rosey and Jamal in a new version of Three Minute Warning but Jamal was released and WWE returned Umaga's character to the drawing board.
Then in early 2006 WWE decided to revive a version of Kamala and it was felt that Umaga was perfect for the role.
The move proved hugely popular. As a heel, Umaga was used to destroy most of the faces on the roster and his star began to rise.
WWE decided to let Umaga go unbeaten for eight months before he was allowed to challenge John Cena for the WWE title, where his run was brought to an end after Cena pulled Umaga's tights in a roll-up.
This was to represent the height Umaga was allowed to reach as his character began to be used in out of ring roles, such as enforcer and body guard.
Eventually his character had dropped a few levels and he was out of the title picture. He then began to feud for the Intercontinental title, which he held twice.
WWE then started using him as fodder for the top ranked guys and the likes of Triple H, Batista, and Jeff Hardy were all put over after easy wins.
His star kept falling and he failed a drug test under the WWE wellness policy. Then on June 8th 2009, he failed a second one. He refused to accept rehabilitation and reluctantly WWE released him.
Umaga had been trying to reach better fitness levels in the hope of being picked up by Dixie Carter but this latest episode will stunt any entrance into the squared circle for some time.