Haku addresses an infamous rumor

Oct 2, 2011 - by Steve Gerweck

By WorldWrestlingInsanity.com

Ask almost any wrestler to name the toughest star in the business and chances are, they’ll say his name. Now, the man, the King, the legend – “Haku” Tonga Fifita joins James Guttman on ClubWWI.com for a shoot interview the world has been waiting for. In this rare and in-depth 47 minute interview, Haku leaves no topic off limits and talks about it all including the person who came up with the name “Haku”, his answer to “who is the toughest wrestler you’ve ever known”, the public reaction to the “kidnapping Matilda” storyline, what Giant Baba had Harley Race teach him in Japan, looking back on the King Haku gimmick years later, the Meng gimmick, and tons more. For a full list of topics, head to: http://www.worldwrestlinginsanity.com/am2/publish/newsnotes/ClubWWI_Haku.shtml

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This is the Haku shoot you’ve been waiting for as James Guttman doesn’t shy away from any topic. One big point of interest for many fans is Haku’s legendary toughness. They discuss at length the reasons and ways stars had to defend the business from non-fans back in the 80s. As Tonga explained, he didn’t do wrestling for fame. He did it to support his family back home and his wife and children in the United States. Anyone who disparaged pro wrestling was disparaging his livelihood and he took it personally. He explains it to ClubWWI.com members.

“That was my life. I have my parents. I have my family. Relatives. The thousands of cousins back home waiting for me to send them money to live on. I have that on my shoulders and I walk with that every day inside the ring and outside the ring. I have my brothers and sisters here – we could drive 500 miles one way to the town or 20 miles to the town and back trying to make a living in those days. I have that on my shoulders as I walk into the ring and out of the ring every day and drive home safely and whatever. We have a few beers here and there, but that was the business. That was the toughness in my heart and mind that I had to carry these things.”

Because of that, Haku took it personally when people would criticize his wrestling family unfairly. As he tells Guttman, he would simply prove the reality of his ability when people tossed around the “fake” word.

“When I walk in and you tell me it’s fake, I’ll show you how fake the business is. Whether I take your teeth out or take your eyeballs off or whatever it was in those days. Maybe they’re going to kick my butt around, but watch it – I’m coming back and finding you. But those were those days. I’m glad nobody picked up a gun and shot my ass. But in those days, that’s how it was, James. It’s my love for the business.”

This leads to the question fans have been wondering about for years. Through second had stories and whispers, we’ve all heard about Haku once biting someone’s nose off during a fight defending the business. Did it really happen? Was it just a tall tale? As the ClubWWI.com interview continued, James Guttman asked and expected to hear it was an exaggeration. Spoiler alert – it wasn’t.

“Yeah. It was in Baltimore Airport. There was a hotel there. We were staying at another hotel – the Marriot or something. There was another hotel there, though. It was hopping at the time. The music was playing and it was packed. It was during the week I believe. Me and Siva Afi went over and there were lots of babyfaces there at the bar. So we went and sat in the other corner away from them. When they were ready to close, we had a few drinks, and on our way out there were five guys just sitting there. Of course, the same thing came out. The “fake” stuff. “Hey, are you guys with those guys – wrestlers? The fake wrestlers on TV?” You know. I said, “Yeah. I’ll show you.” And I reached over without thinking – there are four other guys there (laughs) – grabbed his face, and bit his nose off. Then the fight started. Me and Siva kind of cleaned house there and left. I’ll never forget it (laughs).”

Haku goes on to discuss how the incident changed his career from that day forward and the changes in public understanding of pro wrestling through the years. After the answer, Guttman laughs and says, “I have to be honest. When I asked you that question, I expected you to be like, ‘No! That’s just something people say.’ That’s one of the craziest stories I’ve ever heard in my life.” Haku tells ClubWWI.com members some of the troubles that sprung up from it, but ultimately he has no regrets.

“I’m still Haku. I’m still Tonga. My family – thank God for everything – still has bread and butter on the table. That was what happened at the time and how I love my business and I’m thankful for every promoter I worked for. I’m thankful for WWF and WWE and everybody because that was my life. My job, my heart, and my soul – it was wrestling.”

The interview doesn’t end there. James Guttman’s in-depth 47 minute interview with the legendary Haku is just one of hundreds available on ClubWWI.com the moment you join up. From Jerry Lawler to Dennis Stamp, you can hear them all along with thousands of hours of audio from show hosts Paul Roma, Glacier, and World Wrestling Insanity staff.

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