Edward “Umaga” Fatu

Aug 25, 2010 - by Steve Gerweck


The wrestling world is mourning the death of former WWE star Umaga.

Umaga, 36, whose real name is Edward Fatu, was found by his wife last
night at his home in Texas, unable to breath and bleeding from the nose,
according to a family member. He had fallen asleep in his chair while
watching television.

He was rushed to a Houston-area hospital after suffering what doctors
believe was a massive heart attack. They did manage to restart his heart
but he was taken off life support late this afternoon after being
declared brain dead.

Fatu is probably best known for headlining Wrestlemania 23 against Bobby
Lashley in a match where Vince McMahon put his hair on the line against
the hair of Donald Trump, with Steve Austin as guest referee, which drew
the biggest buy rate in the history of professional wrestling.

He was a member of the famous Anoa’i Samoan-wrestling family that
included the likes of Afa, Sika, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Samu,
Rikishi, Rosie, The Tonga Kid, and many more.

By all accounts, he was well liked and nobody had a bad word to say
about him.

Friends in the wrestling business have been left devastated by the news
of his untimely passing, most of all, Ken “Mr. Kennedy” Anderson, who
worked Fatu’s final match last weekend on the Hulk Hogan tour of

In an eerie coincidence, Anderson also worked Eddie Guerrero’s last
match before Gerrero’s well-documented untimely death in a Minneapolis
hotel room in 2005.

“Ecki’s (Umaga’s) death is an appalling tragedy,” one major name WWE
wrestler told me this evening. “He was an immensely talented performer,
we were good friends, and (I will) miss him. My thoughts are with his
entire family right now. I can’t imagine the loss they are feeling.”

On its website, the WWE expressed its “deepest condolences to Mr. Fatu’s
family, friends and fans on his tragic passing.”

In arguably a PR move, the WWE statement also read: “Mr. Fatu was under
contract with WWE at various time periods and most recently performed
under the name Umaga. Mr. Fatu’s contract was terminated on June 11,
2009. ”

This was in reference to a second Wellness Policy violation and his
subsequent refusal to enter rehabilitation which led to his firing
earlier this year.

Former WWE Diva Torrie Wilson, who resides a few miles away from the
Fatu family home, said she had been praying all day for a miracle. Last
year for her birthday, Fatu had given her an English Bulldog called Uce
as a present. Uce means “brother” in the Samoan language.

Tributes from friends and fans have poured in tonight through social
networking website Twitter.

“My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Eddie Fatu,” said Eric
Bischoff. “He was a great performer and a wonderful person.”

TNA’s Pope D’Angelo Dinero, said: “This is rough, very rough. My heart
and prayers goes out to Umaga’s wife, his boys, and family.”

Another message, from Christopher Daniels, said: “RIP Eddie Fatu. I’m
glad I got to know you in the short time you were here.”

TNA Knockout Tara, Lisa Marie Varon, said: “Rest in Peace Umaga We will
love you always and we will all miss you.”

Long-time WWF ring announcer Howard Finkel also wrote a touching blog on
the WWE website.

He said: “Like Yokozuna who preceded him, Eddie’s bloodline made him a
part of the legendary Anoai family. The Wild Samoans (Afa and Sika)
certainly set the bar high for their family members who aspired to
follow in their footsteps, with Eddie being one of them. And not
withstanding his early WWE tenure as a member of the tag team known as
Three Minute Warning, Eddie finally had something to run with when he
became Umaga.”

“…And with no disrespect intended, I felt that he turned out to be the
most talented member of the family. He was deliberate, fierce, and
smartly methodical in his ring style, but could instantly become as
quick as a cat in no time flat. For a man of his size, he definitely put
the A in agility.”

Edward “Umaga” Fatu (March 28, 1973 – December 4, 2009)

source: The Wrestling Globe Newsletter

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