OWW Radio: Edward “Umaga” Fatu Tribute Show (December 8, 2009)
The show opens on somber note, with the playing of a traditional Samoan Hymn “Samoana”, followed by a 10-bell salute. Nick then relays the unfortunate news of the passing of Eddie “Umaga” Fatu, and follows with voicemails from fans and various wrestling personalities paying tribute to the late grappler.
The show returns from commercial led in by Michael Jackson’s “Will You Be There”. Nick gives a brief biography on career of Eddie Fatu followed by twitter comments from peers in the wrestling profession Jim Ross, Howard Finkel, Paul Heyman, Jeremy Borash, Tara, Matt Morgan, Alison Danger, Maryse, TNA Online, Wrestlers Rescue, Chris Jericho, Lilian Garcia, Gregory Helms, Christopher Daniels, Shannon Moore, Dragon Gate USA, Samoa Joe, Ring of Honor, Tyler Reks, Michelle McCool, Eric Bischoff, John Layfield, Maria, Dixie Carter, Matt Hardy, Taz, and wwe.com
The show returns from commercial led in by Christian artist Yolanda Adam’s Fragile Heart.
Nick reads tributes sent in to the OWW Radio email by fans and members of the wrestling community which included; Ben Kerin of wrestling-radio.com, Tim Winters, Dr. Mike Lano; Wrestling Journalist, Marcus Mack finishing with an email from Mara Fatu; the niece of Eddie Fatu.
Note: Unfortunately we were not able to acknowledge a tribute sent in by HWA Promoter, wrestling trainer Les Thatcher as we were unable to contact Mr. Thatcher in time before going to air, below is a copy of Mr. Thatcher’s email.
“Eddie and Mattie were the most popular tag team ever on my roster, and it is such a tragic thing for someone so talented and with yet so much more to accomplish had to be taken so very young. I don’t believe I have ever worked with an athlete so light on their feet while being so big, Eki’s agility was outstanding.
The show returns led in by Christian group The Katina’s The Other Side. Nick welcomes this weeks, guests, SLAM! Wrestlings, Kenai Andrews and Dr. David Reiss.
* Nick, Kenai and Dave discuss how fast the news of Fatu’s passing spread, representing the effect he had on people
* They discuss the bond between wrestlers and their fans
* They discuss the psychical toll pro wrestling takes on the bodies of the competitors day in and day out.
* Kenai discusses the support system for wrestlers, Kanai briefly mentions the support system that Rob Van Dam and his wife Sonya had after Sonya was diagnosed with colon cancer
* Dave reiterates the importance of the support system between wrestlers and how so many are isolated
* They discuss the importance of having a union for wrestlers in the United States
OWW Radio returns from commercial led in by Phil Collins’ Dance Into the Light. Nick discusses the influence of Samoan wrestlers and their culture in pro wrestling.
* The basis of the Samoan community and its culture centers on God and the importance of family. In pacific islands of Samoa, Tonga, The Cook Islands, Fiji, extended families live side by side. Cousins are raised up together like siblings, and from a very young age, Christian based teachings such as respect for one’s elders and for others is taught and expected of every child. Most importantly the Biblical scripture of Jesus Christ commanding us to “love one another as he loves us” is also instilled. The community is encouraged to be selfless and giving to everyone whether it may be people they know or complete strangers even though those living in the islands have very little over their own. This way of life in the Samoan culture is called “Fa’aSamoa”.
* When the Tsunami swept through American and Western Samoa devastating the islands in September of this year, the New Zealand media covered stories told by NZ tourists on holiday in Samoa who escaped and survived because they were saved by locals who guided them to safety, they were clothed, fed and sheltered by many of the locals.
* Fa’aSamoa isn’t just restricted in the Samoan Islands, throughout the past 6 decades Samoan individuals and Samoan families have migrated and re-established communities all over the world especially in western areas such as New Zealand, Australia and the United States. Many of these families brought and still continue to bring with them the Fa’aSamoa values and for decades Fa’aSamoa has been taught and inherited down to generations and generations of family members who are born and raised in these western societies
* In places such as New Zealand where one of its major cities Auckland holds the largest population of Pacific Island people in the world, the culture and values have become a part of New Zealand life enriching the New Zealand culture
* The Anoa’i family have been pillars in the pro wrestling community for many years.
* Over the last 30 plus years Afa & Sika have worked hard to establish a wrestling empire for their families and have since become respected members of the wrestling community. Afa & Sika are responsible not only for the training of his own children Afa’s sons Samu and Manu and Sika’s son Matthew (Rosey) but the children of their siblings, their brother’s son Rodney “Yokozuna” Anoa’i, and their sister Vera’s 3 sons, Sam “The Tonga Kid” Fatu, Solafatu “Rikishi” Fatu and the man who we are paying tribute to today Edward “Umaga” Fatu. The Wild Samoan Training school list of graduates extends further to the who’s who of the wrestling profession; The Undertaker, Batista, Michael PS Hayes, the school has also contributed in the extensive trainings of Bam Bam Bigelow, Hulk Hogan and CM Punk, and it was Afa Anoa’i whom Mickey Rourke personally approached to train him for his role in the movie The Wrestler.
* The Anoa’i Family have a unique and illustrious legacy in this sport, every member of this family was and is a tough and gifted athlete who earned the accolade of WWF World Champion like Yokozuna or WWF Tag Team Champions like the Wild Samoans and the Headshrinkers, or Intercontinental Champion like Rikishi or Umaga.
* This great family has given so much to this profession, but one contribution from this family that has helped enriched the industry immensely is the gift of Fa’aSamoa.
* Many whom have worked with the Anoa’i Family always speak fondly of the family atmosphere and those who have trained under the Anoa’i Family have mentioned numerous of times about being taken in as members of the family by the Anoa’i clan – an act of Fa’aSamoa that is practiced so often by many Samoans around the world.
* When news of Eddie Fatu’s death was confirmed, many of Umaga’s colleagues used their twitter and facebook accounts to share their thoughts on the passing of their friend. The word that was used so commonly by the wrestlers was the word “Uso” (or Uce for short). Uso is Samoan translation for brother. To many Samoans, the word Uso is not taken or used so lightly in the same sense as we would call each other brother or bro. Among many Samoans, uso is used sincerely, affectionately and in the highest regards and it’s quite common for Samoans to use the word towards guys who aren’t of the same race.
* Nick went on to read twitter and facebook comments from wrestlers paying tribute to Eddie Fatu who used the word Uso to show the magnitude behind the meaning of the word
* The word Uso is used profoundly in these comments, and obviously these comments are a testament to the impact that Umaga had in their lives and how much Fa’aSamoa has enriched the westernized wrestling profession.
OWW Radio returns from commercial led in by Eddie Fatu’s 3 Minute Warning Theme that he and Matty Anoa’i used in the WWE when they tagging together.
* Nick, Kenai and Dave discuss the Fa’aSamoa support system within the wrestling industry and the use of the word Uso
* They discuss the Anoa’i family presence in the wrestling industry
* They discuss Chris Jericho’s tribute to Eddie Fatu
* Nick, Kenai and Dave discuss late breaking reports that Fatu was on his way back to WWE, and the role he may have played upon his return
* They discuss Eddie Fatu’s reliable work ethic, the ability he possessed to put over major babyfaces while still being able to maintain his credibility as a top draw
* They discuss the trust that Vince McMahon and Hulk Hogan had in Eddie Fatu’s work ethic
OWW Radio returns from commercial led in by The Umaga entrance theme. Nick, Kenai and Dave analyze the psychology behind the Umaga character, his look, his move set, his signature moves, the fusing of aerial and power moves, and the logic behind his Samoan Spike finisher.
OWW Radio returns from commercial led in by a Samoan dance song titled ‘Tama Samoa’
* Nick explains that the songs played throughout the show were a representative of Eddie Fatu. The 2 songs played featuring Yolanda Adams and The Katinas were selected by Eddie Fatu’s niece Mara Fatu Mara explained to the producers that the Yolanda Adams song was a personal favourite of Eddie Fatu’s and the Katinas song was played at Eddie, Rikishi and The Tonga Kid’s mother’s funeral in 2008
* Nick, Kenai and Dave re-emphasize the Fa’aSamoa culture and support system, how it has enriched the wrestling profession
* Nick runs down Eddie Fatu’s title history
The show ends with a touching audio montage which featuring highlights from Eddie “Umaga” Fatu’s career, the highlights are supported by traditional Samoan hymn.
Note: On behalf of the OWW Radio Production team, we’d like to give a special thanks to following people and websites, first of all our guests Kenai Andrews from Slam Wrestling and Dr. David Reiss. Thank you to the Wrestling Observer for plugging this show, thank you Ben Kerin director of http://www.wrestling-radio.com for going out of your way to help promote this week’s special. Thanks to Mara Fatu for your contributions, it was an honour to have a representative from the Fatu Family involved with the production of this tribute. Thank to all the websites who got behind the show and helped promote it, and thank you to the many emails and voice mails sent in by wrestling fans and members of the wrestling community.
OWW Radio takes no credit for the success of this show, this was a testament to how much Eddie “Umaga” Fatu was loved by his peers and fans.
Thank you to the 2500 plus listeners who tuned into listen to this tribute show from OnlineWorldofWrestling.com, OWW Genesis and Wild Talk Radio.
Rest In Peace Edward “Umaga Fatu
Ia manuia lau malaga
OWW Radio Production Team
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