Edward “Eddie” Fatu (ring-name:“Umaga” born March 28, 1973 in American Samoa – died December 04, 2009 in Texas, United States) was a World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) superstar and a two-time Intercontinental Champion.
Before going solo, he wrestled as part of several tag teams, including 3-Minute Warning, The Island Boyz, and the Samoan Gangstas. Umaga also wrestled under the ring-names: Jamal, Ekmo.
Umaga is also part of the Anoa’i wrestling dynasty. One of his older brothers is WWE superstar Rikishi, and another is Tama. He is also related to Dwayne Johnson, the wrestler and actor better known as ‘The Rock.’
After returning from a tour of Australia with the Hulkamania Tour, Umaga suffered a heart attack in his sleep and passed away on December 4, 2009 in Texas.
Umaga first began wrestling at the Wild Samoan Pro Wrestling Training Center with his uncle’s Sika and Afa Anoa’i. In 1995, Fatu started his wrestling profession by performing in World Xtreme Wrestling (WXW). In 1996, Fatu and his cousin Matt went to World Wrestling Federation (WWF) but their contract ended quickly.
In 2002, the WWE offered Umaga a developmental contract. He began wrestling at Heartland Wrestling Association along with his cousin and tag team partner Matt. The two won a number of titles as both the Island Boyz and the Samoan Gangstas. In 2002, they were introduced on Raw as 3-Minute Warning. There, they served as the enforcers for General Manager Eric Bischoff. However, within a year, he was released from his WWE contract.
Umaga then moved to Total Nonstop Action Wrestling and returned to using the name Ekmo. He wrestled with them for part of 2003 before moving to All Japan Pro Wrestling as Jamal.
In 2005, the WWE offered Umaga another contract. In April of 2006, he debuted on Raw as Umaga. His new gimmick was that of a savage who could only be controlled by Armando Estrada, his manager. He feuded with Ric Flair at first, and then became an enforcer for the McMahons. After not being pinned for several months, he was named the #1 contender for the championship title, putting him against belt holder John Cena. Despite this, Umaga was not able to take the title.
After another unsuccessful run for the title against Cena, he was involved in the “Battle of the Billionaires match at Wrestlemania 23 where Umaga would represent Vince McMahon and he would Bobby Lashley who would represent Donald Trump. He won the Intercontinental title right before Wrestlemania but list to Lashley in the match at Mania. He lost the Intercontinental title to Santino Marella in Italy due to Lashley’s interference. This feud continued and Umaga won the ECW Championship from Lashley but gave it to Vince McMahon. The feud ended after Lashley defeated McMahon with Umaga for the ECW Title. After this he won back the Intercontinental Title back from Santino Marella July 2007 but lost it to a returning Jeff Hardy in September of that year.
In 2008, Umaga was drafted from Raw to Smackdown. There, he feuded with Mr Kennedy and Big Show until an injury put him out of the ring. Upon his return, he began a feud with CM Punk where he would interrupt Punk’s attempts to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase. He challenged Punk to a Samoan Strap match and in what turned out to be his final match in the WWE; he lost to CM Punk at Extreme Rules. He was released in June 2009 after a second Wellness Policy violation but refusing any type of rehab.
Umaga’s last appearance was on WWE Smackdown in 2009.
Highlights & Awards:
- All Japan Pro Wrestling: AJPW Unified World Tag Team Championship (1 time) with Taiyō Kea
- 2002 Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards: Worst Tag Team with Rosey
- 2004 All Japan Pro Wrestling: World’s Strongest Tag Team League with Taiyō Kea
- 2004 All Japan Pro Wrestling: January 2 Korakuen Hall Heavyweight Battle Royal Winner
- Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling: FMW/WEW Hardcore Tag Team Championship (1 time) with Matt Anoa’i
- Hawai’i Championship Wrestling: HCW Kekaulike Heritage Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Taiyō Kea
- Heartland Wrestling Association: HWA Tag Team Championship (1 time) with Kimo
- Memphis Championship Wrestling: MCW Southern Tag Team Championship (3 times) with Kimo
- 2007 Pro Wrestling Illustrated: PWI ranked him #22 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500
- 2007 World Wrestling Entertainment: WWE Intercontinental Championship (2 times)
Source – WWE, Wikipedia