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Rikishi (wrestler)

The meaning of «rikishi (wrestler)»

Solofa F. Fatu Jr.[1][4] (born October 11, 1965) is an American professional wrestler, best known under the ring names Rikishi and Fatu with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), where he is a one-time Intercontinental Champion, two-time World Tag Team Champion, and one-time WWE Tag Team Champion. He is a member of the Anoa'i family of Samoan wrestlers. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by his sons, wrestlers Jey and Jimmy Uso, in 2015.

Solofa Fatu was born on October 11, 1965 in San Francisco. He grew up in the Sunnydale Projects in the Visitacion Valley neighborhood,[5] where his maternal grandparents worked as preachers.[5] He attended Balboa High School, and competed on the wrestling team.[6]

In 1982, when he was seventeen years old, Fatu was wounded in a drive-by shooting that left him with a scar on his abdomen; he claimed in a 2021 interview that he had died for three minutes in the emergency room before being revived.[5] He spent two months in the hospital, after which his mother, fearing for his safety, sent him out of state to live with her brothers Afa and Sika Anoa'i, with whom he trained to become a professional wrestler.[5]

Fatu began his wrestling career in 1985, working for Gino Brito and Dino Bravo’s Lutte Internationale promotion in Montreal as Prince Alofa, a high-flying babyface. He often teamed with the territory's top faces. He and his cousin Samula Anoaʻi signed with the World Wrestling Council in Puerto Rico and became The Samoan Swat Team (Samu & Fatu). They used the "Samoan savage" gimmick their relatives, The Wild Samoans successfully used by working barefoot, never publicly speaking English, and no-selling attacks to the head. They became the new WWC Caribbean Tag Team Champions (after a long vacancy) on November 7, 1987, in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico after defeating Invader I and Invader III.[7] They held the title for just over a month before dropping it to Mark and Chris Youngblood[7] before leaving the promotion.

Samu and Fatu next appeared in Texas, working for Fritz Von Erich’s World Class Championship Wrestling. Storywise, Buddy Roberts brought them in to fight his fights against the Von Erich family and former Fabulous Freebirds partner Michael Hayes. The SST were given a big push right away; presented as an unstoppable force, they beat hometown heroes Kerry and Kevin Von Erich for the WCWA World Tag Team Championship on August 12, 1988.[7] They remained undefeated in WCCW until they dropped the belts to Hayes and his new partner, Steve Cox, on September 12.[7] They recaptured the title four days later.[7] Hayes and Cox beat them for the title again on October 15,[7][8] and, two days later, lost it back again.

On September 12, 1988, The Samoan Swat Team became double champions by beating "Hollywood" John Tatum and Jimmy Jack Funk for the WCWA Texas Tag Team Championship.[7] They made their pay-per-view debut at AWA SuperClash III, the AWA's first and last PPV. They successfully defended their World Tag title against Michael Hayes and Steve Cox.[9] In the beginning of 1989, the SST left WCCW, vacating both championships. Swat Team signed with Jim Crockett Promotions, introduced as manager Paul E. Dangerously's replacement for The Original Midnight Express (Randy Rose and Dennis Condrey), who had left the promotion. The SST took over the Express’ feud with The Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton and Stan Lane), beating them at Clash of the Champions VI: Ragin' Cajun on April 2, 1989.[10] The SST teamed with former rival Michael Hayes, Terry Gordy, and Jimmy Garvin at the 1989 Great American Bash, losing a WarGames match to The Road Warriors, The Midnight Express, and Steve Williams.[11]

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