Editor’s note: This story originally appeared on www.mandatory.com and was written by Rob Fee:
It’s one thing to be a popular professional wrestler in the ring. You have T-Shirts printed up with your catch phrase on them and action figures that simulate your finishing move. You’re loved by the fans and everyone knows your name. It’s another thing to have the respect of your peers.
Some of the most popular wrestlers were considered soft by others in the locker room. There are numerous stories of altercations that caused guys to immediately become respected, but there’s one man that stands above all the rest. He was considered the most terrifying man in the sport and was feared by even the toughest wrestlers.
His name is Meng and the tales of him have become those of Chuck Norris jokes. No one knows for sure which stories are true and which ones have been embellished. One thing we know for sure is that no one gets that much respect without having pulled off some truly unbelievable acts. Here are the stories from other wrestlers about the scariest man in the history of wrestling. This is the legend of Meng (aka Tonga, Haku).
Kevin Sullivan was a wrestler/booker in WCW and traveled with Meng quite often when they were on the road. He told a story to WWE Classics about the time the duo went to a tavern to grab a few beers before heading to their hotel. According to Sullivan, it was obvious that he and Meng weren’t locals, so when they walked into the bar, a guy playing pool called Meng a horrible, derogatory word.
“The next thing I know is that Meng goozles the guy like Mr. Spock,” Sullivan said. “It was fast and furious. He then grabbed another guy who tried to get involved and knocked him unconscious.”
After that, things got even crazier. “Meng bit through the guy’s shirt like a wolf, bit a chunk out of the guy’s back, then spit it on the floor,” he said. “I said, ‘It’s time to go.’ ”
Sullivan said that as they drove from the bar he saw police cars pulling into the parking lot, but authorities didn’t pursue them and no charges were ever filed.
The Airport Incident
In an interview with James Guttman of World Wrestling Insanity, Meng discussed how he wrestled to support his family and not for the fame or popularity. That’s why he took particular offense when anyone called wrestling fake.
“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.”
He then confirmed that one of the most outrageous tales about him was indeed true.
“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).”
During his YouShoot Interview, Perry Saturn was asked about his time in WCW and the toughness of the guys backstage. He was given the followng list of the guys with the strongest reputations of being tough and asked who would win a fight between them all.
Scott Norton Jim Duggan
He responded “Tonga. Nobody else would stand a chance. Not even a question. He could kill everyone without blinking and there is nothing anyone could do about it”
The Million Dollar Man said that one time they were in a rough part of St. Louis for a show. Everyone had been drinking and a large fight broke out, which resulted in the police showing up. Meng had a few drinks, but saw the fight break out so he started trying to break it up. In the process, police thought he was part of the fight and maced him then handcuffed him. He said that Meng was cuffed behind his back, looked at the police, and snapped the handcuffs.
In a shoot interview, Heenan talked extensively about Meng and referred to him as the toughest man (not just wrestler) he’s ever met in his life. The craziest story he shared was in regards to a bar fight where he claimed Meng “took his two fingers on his right hand, his index finger and trigger finger, and he reached into the guy’s mouth and he broke off the guy’s bottom teeth.” Heenan said that if he hadn’t been there and seen it himself, he wouldn’t believe it. After all the other stories that have been confirmed, it doesn’t seem that unbelievable at all. Heenan was also close friends with Andre the Giant and claimed that the only two men in the word that Andre feared were Meng and Harley Race.