Remembering Matthew Anoa’i

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WrestlingHeads is saddened to report that Matthew Anoa’i passed away on April 17, 2017.

Matthew was born on April 7, 1970 into the wrestling family known as the Anoa’i family. His father, Sika Anoa’i, was a famous professional wrestler, who later helped kickstart Matthew’s wrestling career. His brother Leati Joseph Anoa’i, better known as WWE wreslter Roman Reigns was born 15 years after him.

Matthew grew up aspiring to be a professional Football player. He played college football while studying graphic design. When he was attempting the transition from college to NFL, “the door closed” for him to do an NFL combine, according to an interview he did in 2015 with F4WOnline. When his football career came to a close, he did work around many nightclubs for a short amount of time before he gave wrestling a shot.

Matthew originally gave wrestling a shot by attending his families wrestling school. After his training was done he fought in many smaller promotions. In the late 90s, his name was on the wrestling map. Doing work in big promotions like ECW, MCW, and many other promotions. It would not take long for him to sign a deal with WWE.

He later on signed to WWE’s developmental promotion the Heartland Wrestling Association. After working there for some time, he made his WWE debut on July 22, 2002 in the tag team called 3-Minute Warning. He teamed with Jamal, also known as Umaga. At this point Matthew was under the performing name of Rosey. This would become his most prominent in-ring name for the rest of his career.

The 3-minute warning tag team came to an end in June of 2003 when Jamal, better known as Umaga got released from his WWE contract. Rosey joined a tag team with The Hurricane Gregory Helms and became a SuperHero In Training. This team had more success than 3-minute warning, as this duo went on until 2006, and also won gold.

At the 2005 Backlash PPV the team of Helms and Rosey defeated La Resistance to become the new World Tag Team Champions. The duo kept the belts until September when they lost at the Unforgiven PPV, losing to Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch. This title loss started the downfall of the team, with the two eventually breaking up.

Outside the TV production the team had a bond. In the F4W interview mentioned before, he called Hurricane “little buddy”, and said that he loved working with him. On March 21, 2006, Rosey was released from his WWE contract. Rosey worked in various wrestling promotions from 2006 to 2017, wether it was wrestling or running the show. He went to Japan and did some North American indy wrestling, but also ran a promotion called Epic Championship Wrestling. The promotion was also ran by his father.

In his off time he ran a restaurant called Island Boi BBQ. He didn’t describe himself as having a passion for cooking but instead as a “grill guy”, in the F4W interview.

It is very sad to hear of his passing, and everyone at the site gives condolences to the family, friends, and fans of Matthew “Matt” Anoa’i.

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