Eddie "Umaga" Fatu- The Man, The Job, and The Passion 1973-2009

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistDecember 4, 2009

Since writing this, I have learned that Umaga has indeed passed away. It is with a heavy heart that I write this and I only hope that he and his family know how much he was respected, admired and loved by the wrestling community. Rest in Peace Edie Fatu. Tell Eddie we said "Hi."

Most wrestling fans have heard by now about the tragic situation with Eddie "Umaga" Fatu. He is believed to have suffered a heart attack and is currently in the hospital in Houston, TX.

Rather than focus on if Umaga is still alive, or what may have happened, I have decided to write about the man's life.

Umaga was born on March 28, 1973 to Vera Anoa'i. He was born into a family that would go on to have a great lineage in Pro Wrestling. His three uncles were Afa and Sika, the Wild Samoans and Chief Peter Maivia. His brothers are Tonga Kid and Rikishi, his cousins are The Rock, Yokozuna, Matt "Rosey" Anoa'i, Samu Anoa'i and Afa Anoa'i Jr. and his grandfather was Reverand Anoa'i Amituana'i.

Growing up in a family of wrestlers made it an easy decision for Edie to begin training. 

Eddie's first taste of fame came when he was brought into the WWE as part of an angle with his cousin Rikishi. He was a part of 3-minute warning and went by the name Jamal. The WWE dropped the angle before it reached a year and Umaga and his brother were both released from the WWE. 

Umaga spent a short time in TNA as part of the Island Boyz team.  He also spent some time in Japan before being called back to the WWE.

He was supposed to reunite with Rosey to bring back 3-minute warning but Rosey was released and Umaga was born. Umaga took his name from the Samoan tattooing process, Umaga meaning "The end".

Eddie "Umaga" Fatu was featured as a similar Samoan character to that of his uncles. He was uncontrollable and spoke no English, which made it impossible for a ref to do anything about his attacks. 

He was paired with Armando Estrada and the two ended up making a great pairing. Over the next year Umaga and Armando ran roughshod over the WWE. Umaga was even given chances at the WWE title at PPV and Raw tapings. 

Umaga gained victories over all of Raw's top performers including Triple H, Shawn Michaels and John Cena, who was still champion at the time. He also ended up sending Kane to Smackdown after winning a loser leaves Raw match.  He was undedeated for several months

During his first year with the company many observers noted that he moved quicker and better than any other man of his size. His gimmick and heritage combined to make him a shoe in for the WWE title. Why he was not elevated to the title is still beyond me.

Umaga was given another big push in the right direction when he was chosen by Vince to be his enforcer for the Battle of the Billionaires at Wrestlemania 23.  Even though he lost, he was featured in the show's main event, further upping his status in the company.

Umaga would go on to feud with Jeff Hardy, having some great encounters, including a falls count anywhere match at the Extreme Rules PPV. Over the following months Eddie would suffer a couple of injuries which would keep him off TV, and lower his standing within the WWE's ranks. 

Edie Fatu was released from the WWE after his second Wellness policy violation. Even though it is customary to be released on the third strike, Eddie was let go. His history had a lot to do with the decision.

Recently rumors had begun circulating that Umaga was set for a WWE return upon completion of his Australian tour with Hulk Hogan. Unfortunately, it appears that he will not get the chance.

In my opinion, Umaga was one of the most talented big men this sport had ever seen, and his return would have really shaken things up within the WWE. He is a great performer and loved by many fans. 

I pray for him and his family.  

Edie was an amazing performer and a unique talent.  No one in recent history has combined power and speed the way he did.  He will truly be missed by everyone who watched him perform.

I had originaly asked for a speedy recovery for Edie due to the article being posted before anything was really known, but so many people seemed to think that now that he has passed I should remove that line.  I was conflicted about making the change but I decided to do it to quell those who felt the need to dwell on it.  Please feel free to leave any comments about your impressions of Edie "Umaga" Fatu.