Peter Maivia

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Peter Maivia
Peter Maivia.jpg
Birth name Fanene Leifi Pita Maivia
Born (1935-04-06)April 6, 1935
American Samoa
Died June 12, 1982(1982-06-12) (aged 47)
Hawaii, U.S.
Spouse(s) Lia Maivia
Family Anoa'i
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Peter Maivia
Billed height 5 ft 9 in (175 cm)[1]
Billed weight 240 lb (109 kg)
Billed from The Isle of Samoa[1]
Trained by Steve Rickard[1]
Debut 1962

Fanene Leifi Pita Maivia (born Peter Fanene Anderson; April 6, 1935 – June 12, 1982) was an American Samoan professional wrestler better known as Peter Maivia. He is the maternal grandfather of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, part of the famous Anoa'i wrestling family and was a promoter for the National Wrestling Alliance in Hawaii.[1]

Personal life

Maivia, also known as the Flying Hawaiian, was of the Alii lineage of Malietoa.[2] Maivia's traditional Samoan 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.[citation needed]

Maivia disapproved of his daughter's relationship with Rocky Johnson because he was a professional wrestler.[4] The duo married despite Maivia's objections.[1] His son, Peter Jr, also wrestled in Hawaii and the west coast after the passing of Peter Sr. sometimes under the name "Prince Peter Maivia".

Maivia was considered a "blood brother" by Amituanai Anoa'i, the father of the Wild Samoans (Afa and Sika), thus the Anoa'i family regard the Maivia line from him on forward as an extension of their own clan.

Maivia was also in the fifth James Bond film, You Only Live Twice, where he plays a driver that transports a disguised Bond to Osato headquarters. His character also fights Bond, is hit with a sofa, wields a katana, and is put down with a statue. He was the (uncredited) stunt fight co-ordinator for the film.


In 1981, Maivia was diagnosed with cancer.[1] He died on June 12, 1982.[1] Maivia was posthumously inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame, along with his son-in-law Rocky Johnson, in 2008 by his grandson Dwayne Johnson. The award was accepted on his behalf by his daughter Ata Maivia-Johnson. During his tribute video, WWE chairman Vince McMahon refers to him as a 'tough S.O.B.' and somebody 'you didn't want to mess with' outside the ring, but added he was 'a real wonderful, likable guy'. On October 19, 2008, Maivia's wife, Lia Maivia, died.[5]


In the 2016 Disney animated film, Moana, the character design of Maui was derived from photographs of Peter Maivia, according to interviews with his grandson, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.[6]


In wrestling

Championships and accomplishments

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Hall of Fame: High Chief Peter Maivia". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2011-03-29. 
  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)
  5. ^ Brecher, Elinor J. (2008-10-25). "Grandmother of 'The Rock,' promoter". Miami Herald. Retrieved 2008-11-17. [dead link]
  6. ^ News, A. B. C. (2016-11-24). "Dwayne Johnson Shed 'Manly Tears' Making Disney's 'Moana'". ABC News. Retrieved 2016-11-29. 
  7. ^ "PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING HALL OF FAME MOVING FROM UPSTATE NEW YORK TO TEXAS". PWInsider. November 20, 2015. Retrieved 2015-11-20. 


  • The Rock and Joe Layden (2000). The Rock Says... HarperEntertainment. ISBN 978-0-06-039298-7. 
  • Ric Flair and Keith Elliot Greenberg (2004). Ric Flair: To Be the Man. Pocket Books. ISBN 978-0-7434-5691-3. 
  • Classy Freddie Blassie and Keith Elliot Greenberg (2003). The Legends of Wrestling - "Classy" Freddie Blassie. World Wrestling Entertainment. ISBN 978-0-7434-6316-4. 

External links

  • Peter Maivia at Find a Grave
  • Peter Maivia on
  • profile
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