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Peter Maivia
Ring name(s) "High Chief" Peter Maivia
Billed height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)[1]
Born April 6, 1937(1937-04-06)
American Samoa
Died June 13, 1982 (aged 45)
Billed from The Isle of Samoa[1]
Trained by Steve Rickard[1]
Debut 1962

Fanene Leifi Pita Maivia (April 6, 1937–June 13, 1982) was a Samoan professional wrestler better known as "High Chief" Peter Maivia. He was head of the famous Samoan wrestling family. He was the grandfather of actor and former WWE superstar Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and was also the promoter for the National Wrestling Alliance's promotions in Hawaii.[1]


Personal life

Maivia was of the Alii lineage of Malietoa.[2] Maivia's tribal tattoos, which covered his abdomen and legs, were a symbol of his High Chief status.[1][3] According to Superstar Billy Graham, they were completed in three days. Maivia's grandson Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson revealed that they were done with traditional Samoan instrumentation: a small hammer, a needle, and ink.

Maivia disapproved of his daughter's relationship with Rocky Johnson, not because of anything personal against Johnson, but because of his chosen profession, wrestling.[4] The duo married despite Maivia's objections.[1] Peter Maivia, Jr. also wrestled in Hawaii and the west coast after the passing of Peter Sr. sometimes under the name "Prince Peter Maivia".

Maivia was also in the fifth James Bond film, You Only Live Twice.

In 1981, Maivia was diagnosed with cancer.[1] He died on June 12, 1982 at the age of 45.[1]

On October 19, 2008, Maivia's wife, Leah Maivia, died at the age of 81.

In wrestling

Championships and accomplishments

  • NWA All-Star Pro Wrestling
    • NWA Australasian Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
    • NWA New Zealand Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
  • NWA New Zealand
    • NWA New Zealand British Empire Commonwealth Heavyweight Championship (2 times)


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Hall of Fame: High Chief Peter Maivia". February 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-27.  
  2. ^ Ahching, Leiataua Ahching. Polynesian Interconnections (p.19)
  3. ^ Funk, Terry. More Than Just Hardcore (p.197)
  4. ^ The Rock. The Rock Says... (p.6-7)


  • The Rock and Joe Layden (2000). The Rock Says.... HarperEntertainment. ISBN 978-0060392987.  
  • Ric Flair and Keith Elliot Greenberg (2004). Ric Flair: To Be the Man. Pocket Books. ISBN 978-0743456913.  
  • Classy Freddie Blassie and Keith Elliot Greenberg (2003). The Legends of Wrestling - "Classy" Freddie Blassie. World Wrestling Entertainment. ISBN 978-0743463164.  

External links

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