Tonga Fifita: Wikis

  
  

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Tonga 'Uli'uli Fifita
Ring name(s) Tonga Fifita[1]
Prince Tonga[1]
King Tonga[1]
Haku[1]
King Haku[1]
Meng[1]
Super Zym
Billed height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)[1]
Billed weight 280 lb (130 kg)[1]
Born February 3, 1959 (1959-02-03) (age 51)[1]
Nukuʻalofa, Tonga[1]
Resides Kissimmee, Florida[1]
Trained by Giant Baba[1]
Debut 1978[1]

Tonga 'Uli'uli Fifita (born February 3, 1959) is a professional wrestler and actor, known for his appearances in both World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and the World Wrestling Federation (WWF).[1] In WCW, he wrestled under the name Meng; in the WWF, he wrestled under the names King Tonga, King Haku, and Haku.

Contents

Career

Beginnings

Growing up on the main island of the South Pacific island-kingdom of Tonga, Fifita attended Tonga College, and at the age of 10, he was part of a group of teenagers sent by the King of Tonga to Japan to study Sumo. Sione Vailahi was also a part of this group. After moving to Japan in 1974, he competed under the shikona (sumo name) of Fukunoshima (福ノ島?). He made his debut in November 1974 and reached the rank of Makushita 27. However, in 1975 the stablemaster who recruited him died, and he and five other Tongan wrestlers got entangled in a dispute with his successor, which led to him being forced to retire by the Japan Sumo Association in 1976.[2]

Under the guidance of two other former sumotori who had turned to puroresu, Genichiro Tenryu and Takashi Ishikawa, he joined their home promotion, All Japan Pro Wrestling. Early in his career, he also refereed matches in the Amarillo territory. Nevertheless, this merely served as a springboard for him to wrestle all over the world. He made a name for himself outside the ring as the toughest wrestler of his era. This developed throughout several incidents and has been validated through comments by various wrestlers and people involved in the business.

In the early 1980s, Fifita, taking the name King Tonga, wrestled in Canada for Frank Valois' International Wrestling promotion based in Montreal. The heel Tonga was managed by former wrestler Tarzan "The Boot" Tyler. Tonga feuded with the top stars of the promotion, including Dino Bravo. A face turn appeared to be in the offing, as Tonga interfered in a tag match, attacking Road Warrior Animal and Paul Ellering during a bout with Jos LeDuc and Jacques Rougeau, Jr. A miscommunication in another tag match with partner Butch Reed led to Reed and Tyler attacking Tonga. Tonga formed a team with his until-then rival Dino Bravo, and the two became successful, including a win over the Road Warriors at the Montreal Forum.

World Wrestling Federation

In 1986, King Tonga, in his rookie year in the World Wrestling Federation, became a star by bodyslamming Big John Studd on Championship Wrestling. He made a name for himself as Haku in the WWF as half of "The Islanders" with Tama. The team had a classic feud with the British Bulldogs that was started when the Islanders, along with manager Bobby Heenan, kidnapped the Bulldogs' mascot, a Bulldog named Matilda.

In 1988, following King Harley Race's injury sustained in a match against Hulk Hogan, Haku was given Race's crown and robe and was rechristened "King Haku." He would cement his position as king by successfully defending his crown against the returning Race in a match at that year's Royal Rumble. He would later lose the "crown" to Hacksaw Jim Duggan. He would later go on to form the tag team known as The Colossal Connection with André the Giant and win the WWF Tag Team Championship. After he and André lost the titles, he formed a tag team with The Barbarian.

World Championship Wrestling

In WCW, Fifita wrestled as Meng. He was initially portrayed as the mysterious and intimidating bodyguard of Col. Rob Parker,[3] wearing business suits and shades while maintaining a quiet demeanor. Opponents of Parker's Stud Stable were typically shown to keep their distance from him. On the rare occasions in which he became physical with wrestlers (usually in incidents after matches had concluded), he was often portrayed as highly powerful. Eventually, Meng became a wrestler himself, winning his first match against a jobber with one fast high kick. Teaming with Kurasawa, he feuded against Sting and Road Warrior Hawk.[4]

Later, he faced Sting in a losing effort for the vacated United States title at The Great American Bash '95. Meng later joined the Dungeon of Doom forming a tag team named the Faces of Fear with his old partner The Barbarian. He was touted as being a former bodyguard to the Emperor of Japan. Meng's finishing maneuver was the feared Tongan Death Grip, a nerve grip on the Adam's apple applied to a standing victim who would drop into a prone position and experience the full effect of the hold.

Meng spent much of 1997 facing mainly lower and mid-card performers before starting a small rampage of a winning streak in the summer of 1998. This lead to his main event World Championship match with Goldberg on the August 10 edition of Monday Nitro. Goldberg, too, had culminated an impressive winning streak and retained his title that night. In the spring of 1999, when Ric Flair was the (kayfabe) president on WCW programming, the barbaric Meng would often annihilate Flair's enemies per his instructions. Later on, Meng had a short-lived feud with Sting and occasionally faced uppercard stars like Lex Luger and WCW Champion Bret Hart. He also participated in matches for the newly introduced WCW Hardcore Championship toward the end of 1999. Meng finally won the title at the Sin pay-per-view on January 14, 2001. He became the final WCW Hardcore Champion.

Return to WWF and beyond

Exactly one week after his WCW Hardcore Championship win at Sin, Fifita returned to the WWF as Haku and made a surprise appearance at the 2001 Royal Rumble. In response to his defection WCW vacated the Hardcore Championship and never reinstated it. After the Rumble, he formed a tag team with Rikishi, but the team did not last long due to Rikishi's injury. Haku was left to wrestle on the lower card shows like Sunday Night Heat. He was eventually released from WWF, his final opponent being Shawn Stasiak on a WWF Jakked taping in Buffalo, NY on July 23, 2001. He still wrestles on occasion on the independent scene.

Notoriety and incidents

Fifita made a name for himself outside the ring as the toughest wrestler of his era and is known for allegedly biting off noses, and knocking people out with one punch, slap, or headbutt. Though he had an easygoing, friendly personality outside of wrestling, he had very little tolerance for people who tested him. Even renowned hardman Bad News Brown said in interviews that Fifita was without a doubt the most vigorous. Bill Goldberg has also called him the toughest man he's been in the ring with. His one time manager, Bobby "The Brain" Heenan said in a shoot interview that Haku was "the toughest man I've ever met in my life." In 1987, Haku had a backstage fight with Jesse Barr (who wrestled at the WWF as Jimmy Jack Funk) which allegedly resulted in Fifita gouging one of Barr's eyeballs out, causing Barr to later wear a glass eye. After this fight, Fifita had a reputation that steered wrestlers away from backstage confrontations.

In the book Arn Anderson: 4 Ever, Arn Anderson cites an event where Fifita pushed a cowboy through two sets of doors with one hand - and a conversation with The Barbarian about who was tougher. The Barbarian just shook his head when Anderson asked who would win in a fight between him and Fifita and stated "Meng's the man."

He also had an altercation with Brutus Beefcake after Beefcake complained to WWF management that Tonga slapped him too hard during a match. After WWF management informed Tonga, he immediately went to the locker room and grabbed Beefcake out of the shower, and began choking him, lifting him two feet off the floor. Other wrestlers were hesitant to break it up, so finally Hulk Hogan (who Tonga respected) was called in and was able to calm Tonga down.

In wrestling

Championships and accomplishments

Personal life

Fifita is married to Dorothy Koloamatangi. They have a daughter, Vika; a son, Tevita; and two adopted sons, Pate and Taula. His son Tevita played football as a defensive end for the University of Texas at El Paso and is now training for the WWE in Florida. His parents are Kelepi Fifita (father) and Atiola Vikilani Fifita (mother). Among Fifita's cousins are New England Patriots defensive tackle Steve Fifita[26] and Australian Wallabies rugby player Tatafu Polota-Nau.

He appeared in the 1978 Sylvester Stallone movie Paradise Alley.

He also starred in a Little Caesars commercial alongside Goldberg.

He was the best man at The Rock's wedding.

He appeared on the VH1 series Hogan Knows Best, and can be seen throwing Brooke Hogan into the family swimming pool.

He currently work as a manager at David Maus Toyota in Sanford, FL.

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t "Haku profile". OWOW. http://www.onlineworldofwrestling.com/profiles/h/haku.html. Retrieved 2009-08-14. 
  2. ^ Sharnoff, Lora (1993). Grand Sumo. Weatherhill. p. 168. ISBN 0-8348-0283-x. 
  3. ^ a b "Stud Stable". Online World of Wrestling. http://www.onlineworldofwrestling.com/profiles/s/stud-stable.html. Retrieved 2009-09-08. 
  4. ^ "Sting & Road Warrior Hawk vs Meng & Kurasawa /w Col. Robert Parker". World Championship Wrestling. WCW Clash of the Champions XXXI. 1995-08-06.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "Meng VS Crowbar; Chair on a Pole Match". World Championship Wrestling. WCW Thunder. 2001-01-03.
  6. ^ "High Voltage vs The Faces of Fear". World Championship Wrestling, TNT. WCW Monday Nitro. 1996-10-07.
  7. ^ "Jimmy Hart profile". Online World of Wrestling. http://www.onlineworldofwrestling.com/profiles/j/jimmy-hart.html. Retrieved 2009-09-04. 
  8. ^ "NWA Hawaii Heavyweight Championship History at Wrestling Information Archive". http://www.100megsfree4.com/wiawrestling/pages/nwa/nwahih.htm. Retrieved 2007-10-07. 
  9. ^ "NWA Hawaii Heavyweight Championship History at Wrestling-Titles.com". http://www.wrestling-titles.com/us/hi/hi-h.html. Retrieved 2007-10-07. 
  10. ^ "NWA Mid-America Six-Man Tag Team Championship History at Wrestling Information Archive". http://www.100megsfree4.com/wiawrestling/pages/nwa/nwa6man.htm. Retrieved 2007-10-07. 
  11. ^ "NWA World Six-Man Tag Team Championship History at Wrestling-Titles.com". http://www.wrestling-titles.com/us/tn/nwa/tn-nwa-6.html. Retrieved 2007-10-07. 
  12. ^ "SWS Tag Team Championship History at Wrestling-Titles.com". http://www.wrestling-titles.com/japan/sws/sws-t.html. Retrieved 2007-10-07. 
  13. ^ "WCW Hardcore Championship History at Wrestling Information Archive". http://www.100megsfree4.com/wiawrestling/pages/wcw/wcwhard.htm. Retrieved 2007-10-07. 
  14. ^ "WCW Hardcore Championship History at Wrestling-Titles.com". http://www.wrestling-titles.com/wcw/wcw-hc.html. Retrieved 2007-10-07. 
  15. ^ "WLW Heavyweight Championship History at Wrestling Information Archive". http://www.100megsfree4.com/wiawrestling/pages/other/worldleaguetit.htm. Retrieved 2007-10-07. 
  16. ^ "WLW Heavyweight Championship History at Wrestling-Titles.com". http://www.wrestling-titles.com/us/centralstates/wlw/wlw-h.html. Retrieved 2007-10-07. 
  17. ^ "WWC North American Tag Team Championship History at Wrestling Information Archive". http://www.100megsfree4.com/wiawrestling/pages/old/wwcnatg.htm. Retrieved 2007-10-07. 
  18. ^ "WWC North American Tag Team Championship History at Wrestling-Titles.com". http://www.wrestling-titles.com/us/pr/wwc/wwc-na-t.html. Retrieved 2007-10-07. 
  19. ^ "WWC Puerto Rican Heavyweight Championship History at Wrestling Information Archive". http://www.100megsfree4.com/wiawrestling/pages/old/wwcpr.htm. Retrieved 2007-10-07. 
  20. ^ "WWC Puerto Rican Heavyweight Championship History at Wrestling-Titles.com". http://www.wrestling-titles.com/us/pr/wwc/pr-h.html. Retrieved 2007-10-07. 
  21. ^ "WWC World Tag Team Championship History at Wrestling Information Archive". http://www.100megsfree4.com/wiawrestling/pages/old/wwctag.htm. Retrieved 2007-10-07. 
  22. ^ "WWC World Tag Team Championship History at Wrestling-Titles.com". http://www.wrestling-titles.com/us/pr/wwc/wwc-t.html. Retrieved 2007-10-07. 
  23. ^ "WWF/WWE World Tag Team Championship History at Wrestling Information Archive". http://www.100megsfree4.com/wiawrestling/pages/wwf/wwftag.htm. Retrieved 2007-10-07. 
  24. ^ "WWF/WWE World Tag Team Championship History at Wrestling-Titles.com". http://www.wrestling-titles.com/wwf/wwf-t.html. Retrieved 2007-10-07. 
  25. ^ "PWI Top 500 of the PWI Years page at Wrestling-Titles.com". http://www.100megsfree4.com/wiawrestling/pages/pwi/pwi500yr.htm. Retrieved 2007-10-07. 
  26. ^ "Steve Fifita article at EnterpriseNews.com". http://www.enterprisenews.com/sports/x2021986747/Defensive-lineman-Steve-Fifita-looking-to-win-a-job-with-the-Patriots. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 

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