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Rosey (wrestler)

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Anoa'i, Matt (USGov).jpg
Anoaʻi as Rosey at SummerSlam 2005
Birth name Matthew Tapunu'u Anoaʻi[1]
Born (1970-04-07)April 7, 1970[1]
San Francisco, California, U.S. [1]
Died April 17, 2017(2017-04-17) (aged 47)[2][3]
Pensacola, Florida, U.S.
Cause of death Congestive heart failure[4]
Mandy Vandeberg
(m. 1988; div. 2007)
Children 3
Family Anoaʻi
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Kimo[1]
Mack Daddy Kane[1]
Matt Anoaʻi
Matty Samu[1]
Matty Smalls[5]
Billed height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)[1]
Billed weight 430 lb (200 kg)[5]
Trained by Afa Anoaʻi[1][5]
Debut 1995[5]

Matthew Tapunu'u Anoaʻi (April 7, 1970 – April 17, 2017)[2][3] was a Samoan-American professional wrestler, best known for his time on the independent circuit under numerous ring names, and his time in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), where he competed as Rosey.

Anoa‘i was a member of the Anoaʻi family, a renowned Samoan wrestling family. Anoa‘i, along with his late cousins Eddie Fatu and Matt Fatu, was trained at the Wild Samoan Training Facility headed by his uncle, Afa Anoaʻi. Following his training, he competed in Afa's World Xtreme Wrestling (WXW) promotion. He began competing in tag team competition with Samu as the Samoan Gangsta Party. The team had a brief stint in Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW). Throughout the mid-1990s, Anoaʻi competed in various independent promotions, winning various tag team championships. In 2001, Anoaʻi signed with the WWE and was assigned to Heartland Wrestling Association (HWA) in Cincinnati, Ohio. While situated at HWA, he was placed in tag team competition, alongside Fatu, and the duo won the HWA Tag Team Championship.

After signing with WWE in 2002, Anoaʻi and Fatu were called up to the Raw roster. Known as 3-Minute Warning, they were utilized as enforcers for then-General Manager Eric Bischoff. Following the release of Fatu in 2003, Anoaʻi was "discovered" by The Hurricane and from there on they competed together as a team, known as Rosey and The Hurricane. After two years of teaming, they won the World Tag Team Championship, but disbanded shortly after losing the championship. Anoaʻi was then released from his WWE contract in March 2006.

Following his stint with WWE, Anoaʻi continued his wrestling career, appearing at several independent promotions, including AJPW, Great Championship Wrestling, BAW Championship Wrestling, Appalachian Wrestling Federation, and Ohio Valley Wrestling. Aside from professional wrestling, Anoaʻi was a featured contestant on the reality television series Fat March and ran a restaurant.

Early life

Anoaʻi is part of the Anoaʻi family. He is the son of former Samoan professional wrestler Sika Anoaʻi, who competed as one half of the Wild Samoans.[6] His younger brother, Joe Anoaʻi, was the starting defensive tackle for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football team and is also a professional wrestler who works for the WWE under the name Roman Reigns.[7] Anoaʻi inducted the Wild Samoans (his father Sika and his uncle Afa) into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2007.[7] He is a cousin of wrestler and movie star, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Other cousins include Rikishi, Tonga Kid, Yokozuna, Akane and Umaga.[6]

Growing up, Anoaʻi played football alongside Emmitt Smith at Escambia High School in Pensacola, Florida. He had hopes to play in the National Football League and played college football for Hawaii. He worked at various nightclubs in New Orleans before deciding to train as a professional wrestler.[8]

Professional wrestling career

Training and early career

Anoaʻi trained with his cousin Eddie Fatu at the Wild Samoan professional wrestling school operated by members of their family.[9] When their training was completed, they debuted in their uncle Afa's World Xtreme Wrestling (WXW) promotion.[1] He later began teaming with Samu as the Samoan Gangsta Party, using the name Mack Daddy Kane.[1] They had a brief stint in ECW in the summer of 1996, feuding with various tag teams, including The Gangstas, as well as the Eliminators and the Bruise Brothers, and wrestled against Axl Rotten and Hack Meyers at Hardcore Heaven in June 1996.[1] He returned to WXW in 1997, where Anoaʻi held the WXW Tag Team Championship as one half of the Samoan Gangstas with his cousin L.A. Smooth on two occasions.[1][9] They defeated the Love Connection to begin their first title reign on May 24, and the Mad Russian and the Russian Eliminator on September 17 to begin their second.[1] He also competed in the World Wrestling Council (WWC) in Puerto Rico during 1997, winning the WWC World Tag Team Championship with Tahiti as The Islanders on June 22.[10]

In June 2001, he traveled to Japan to wrestle for Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling (FMW) where, using the name Matty Samu,[1] he teamed with Fatu to defeat Hideki Hosaka and Yoshinori Sasaki to win the FMW Hardcore Tag Team Championship.[11] Anoaʻi, along with Fatu, signed developmental contracts with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), and were assigned to Heartland Wrestling Association (HWA), adopting the tag team name The Island Boyz, and with Anoaʻi using the ring name Kimo. They won the HWA Tag Team Championship in November 2001, by defeating Evan Karagias and Shannon Moore.[1] They also competed for Memphis Championship Wrestling (MCW), holding the MCW Southern Tag Team Championship on three occasions.[12]

World Wrestling Entertainment

3-Minute Warning (2002–2003)

Rosey as one half of 3-Minute Warning

Kimo (renamed Rosey) and Ekmo (renamed Jamal) made their WWE debut on the July 22, 2002, episode of Raw as 3-Minute Warning, a pair of villainous savages.[1][13] The name Rosey was inspired by Rosey Grier, an American football player.[14] They were "hired" as Eric Bischoff's enforcers, attacking random wrestlers each week, after Bischoff either gave people three minutes to entertain him before they were attacked or decided that three minutes of a segment was enough before the team appeared to end it.[13] They attacked numerous wrestlers at the orders of Bischoff, including D'Lo Brown and Shawn Stasiak. They also attacked non-wrestlers, including ring announcer Lilian Garcia and retired wrestlers Jimmy Snuka, Mae Young and The Fabulous Moolah.[1] They also attacked two lesbians, which Anoaʻi later cited as his favorite 3-Minute Warning run-in.[14][15]

In September, 3-Minute Warning began a feud with Billy and Chuck, interfering in their storyline commitment ceremony, and defeating them at the Unforgiven pay-per-view event.[13] Rico, Billy and Chuck's former manager, also began to manage 3-Minute Warning during this time.[1] They competed regularly in Raw's tag team division until June 2003, when Jamal was released from his WWE contract.[16]

Teaming with The Hurricane (2003–2006)

Later in 2003, The Hurricane "discovered" Rosey's potential as a superhero and christened him as "Rosey, the Super Hero in Training" (the S.H.I.T.).[1] Rosey was involved in numerous sketches involving him training to be a superhero, including helping an old lady to cross the street and attempting to get changed into his superhero costume in a phonebox.[17][18] Rosey and The Hurricane teamed regularly together during this time, wrestling against teams including Chris Jericho and Christian and Evolution.[19][20] On the July 19, 2004, episode of Raw, Rosey appeared with a new costume, seemingly graduated to a full superhero, officially turning him into a fan favorite.[21]

On May 1, 2005, at the Backlash pay-per-view, Rosey and Hurricane defeated La Résistance in the finals of a Tag Team Turmoil match to win the World Tag Team Championship.[22][23] They were joined for a short while by WWE Diva Stacy Keibler, who they referred to as Super Stacy.[1][24] Stacy, however, was then drafted to the SmackDown! brand. On September 5, 2005, Rosey and The Hurricane were defeated by Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch, during their debut match on Raw.[25] This match earned the pair a tag team title shot at Unforgiven.[26] During the title match, Murdoch delivered an elevated DDT on The Hurricane to the outside.[26] The DDT caused Hurricane to suffer a storyline "stinger" and allowed Cade and Murdoch to beat the injured Hurricane later in the match to win the World Tag Team Title from him and Rosey.[26]

The loss of the title eventually brought the team to an end, as they began a losing streak caused by Hurricane's injuries. During the October 17, 2005, episode of Raw, Hurricane was assaulted by Kurt Angle at the request of WWE Chairman Vince McMahon.[27] After the beating footage was shown, Hurricane ripped off his mask and struck Rosey (who had come to the ring to his aid).[27] The following week, Hurricane did not show up for a World Tag Team Title match, leaving Rosey to face the champions Cade and Murdoch alone.[28] During the match, The Hurricane (out of costume) appeared at the top of the entrance ramp, now going by the name Gregory Helms as he watched Rosey get double teamed and defeated.[28] After the match, Helms announced that he was fed up of being funny for the crowd, and that he had been carrying Rosey as a tag team partner.[28] On the November 7, 2005, episode, Helms defeated Rosey in their first encounter since teaming together.[29]

Shortly after this turmoil, Jamal was rehired by WWE, and he and Rosey were scheduled to reunite 3-Minute Warning. The duo wrestled as a tag team during a dark match before the January 9, 2006, episode of Raw.[30] However, on March 21, 2006, Rosey was released from his WWE contract, and the hinted return of 3-Minute Warning never made it to television.[5]

Post-WWE career (2006–2017)

Anoaʻi as Rosey facing Brother Devon in Franklin, Pennsylvania, in 2006.

Anoaʻi began competing for All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW) in 2006, using the name RO-Z. He teamed up with Suwama to wrestle in the 2006 World's Strongest Tag Determination League, and they got to the final, where they were defeated by Satoshi Kojima and Hiroyoshi Tenzan.[31] He continued to compete for AJPW throughout 2007, including in the 2007 January 4 Dome Show at the Tokyo Dome, where he teamed with Taru, Suwama, and Giant Bernard to defeat Riki Choshu, Manabu Nakanishi, Takashi Iizuka, and Naofumi Yamamoto.[32][33] Anoaʻi participated in the AJPW 2007 Champion Carnival tournament as a member of Block B, but he finished with two points in the series, coming last in Block B.[34] During 2006 and 2007, he also competed for a number of independent promotions, including Great Championship Wrestling, BAW Championship Wrestling, and the Appalachian Wrestling Federation.[5]

He wrestled a dark match being billed under his real name for WWE on August 20, 2007, before an episode of Raw; he was defeated by Johnny Jeter.[35] He returned the following day for the August 21 SmackDown! taping, where he was again defeated by Jeter.[36] Anoaʻi began wrestling in Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) in September 2007, WWE's developmental territory, although he was not under contract with WWE.[5] He wrestled several tag team matches with Afa Jr. as the Sons of Samoa, before leaving the promotion.[37]

He returned to wrestling on the independent circuit, competing for companies including EWF, where he competes regularly.[38][39] On Saturday, October 31, 2009 Anoaʻi (wrestling as Rosie – Super Hero In Training) made his debut for the Dynamic Wrestling Alliance defeating "Sexy" Sean Casey at the DWA's Monster Ball event in Cincinnati, which became the promotion's first televised event.[40]

Before his death, Rosey was running a wrestling promotion called Epic Championship Wrestling in Florida with his father, Sika.

Other media

Anoaʻi was a contestant in the ABC reality series, Fat March in 2007.[41] The show saw 12 overweight people attempt to walk over 570 miles (920 km) through nine states, in order to lose weight and get fit, while competing for a prize pool of US$1.2 million.[42] A press release for the show stated that Anoaʻi was participating because "it wasn't safe for him to compete" as a professional wrestler, and he needed to "lose weight to return to his career".[42] Due to knee injuries, he quit during the fifth episode.[41]

Outside of wrestling, Anoaʻi was involved in several business ventures including a restaurant in Cincinnati[43][44] called Island Boi BBQ[8] but returned to Florida to be closer to family[43] and was working with his father in Pensacola.[45]

Personal life and death

Anoaʻi was half-Samoan and half-Italian.[46] Anoaʻi's father is Samoan professional wrestler Sika Anoaʻi. His brother is Leati Joseph Anoaʻi, better known in the WWE as Roman Reigns. His ex-wife, Amanda Vandeberg Schall, is from Mason, Ohio. They have two sons, Jordan Iles and Koa Rodney Anoa'i, and a daughter Madison Alani Anoa'i.[6][47]

In January 2014, Anoaʻi was hospitalized due to congestive heart failure (with which he had been diagnosed years earlier) and atrial fibrillation.[48][43] He died on April 17, 2017,[43] 10 days after his 47th birthday, in Pensacola, Florida, due to congestive heart failure.

Championships and accomplishments

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x Milner, John M. "Rosey". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved September 30, 2008.
  2. ^ a b "Matt 'Rosey' Anoa'i Passes Away, Former WWE Tag Team Champion And Brother To Roman Reigns -".
  3. ^ a b "Roman Reigns brother and former WWE tag-team champion Matthew 'Rosey' Anoa'i dead at 47". April 20, 2017.
  4. ^ Rueter, Sean. "Former WWE Superstar Matt 'Rosey' Anoa'i has died at age 47". Cageside Seats. Vox Media, Inc. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h "Rosey Profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved September 30, 2008.
  6. ^ a b c Baines, Tim (August 14, 2005). "Hitting the links with Rosey and pals". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved October 27, 2009.
  7. ^ a b "WWE Hall of Fame – Wild Samoans". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved October 27, 2009.
  8. ^ a b Modaberi, Josh (January 28, 2013). "Matt Anoa'i (Rosey) Interview". Retrieved June 15, 2013.
  9. ^ a b "Rosey Bio". Archived from the original on January 9, 2008. Retrieved August 26, 2007.
  10. ^ a b Duncan, Royal; Will, Gary (2006). "(Puerto Rico) Puerto Rico: WWC World Tag Team Title". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. pp. 324–325. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  11. ^ "W.E.W. Hardcore Tag Team Title". Wrestling-Titles. Retrieved October 29, 2009.
  12. ^ a b "Umaga". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved October 28, 2009.
  13. ^ a b c Shields, Brian and Kevin Sullivan (2009). WWE Encyclopedia. DK/BradyGAMES. p. 8. ISBN 978-0-7566-4190-0.
  14. ^ a b "Interview Highlights: Former WWE wrestler Rosey talks about life after WWE". Pro Wrestling Torch. March 1, 2007. Retrieved October 27, 2009.
  15. ^ "WWE Raw Results – September 9, 2002". Online World of Wrestling. September 9, 2002. Retrieved October 1, 2008.
  16. ^ Milner, John M.; Kamchen, Richard. "Umaga". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved October 27, 2009.
  17. ^ Tylwalk, Nick (August 19, 2003). "Raw: All hair Jericho". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved October 27, 2009.
  18. ^ Mahling, Mallory (October 13, 2003). "10/13 WWE Raw: Mallory's "Virtual Time" Coverage". Pro Wrestling. Retrieved October 29, 2009.
  19. ^ Tylwalk, Nick (January 6, 2004). "Raw: Heartbreak Kid gets his shot". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved October 27, 2009.
  20. ^ Tylwalk, Nick (March 9, 2004). "Raw: Evolution ends Foley's 'Life'". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved October 27, 2009.
  21. ^ Patton, Jason; Martin, Adam (July 19, 2004). "Full WWE Raw Results – 7/19/04 (Edge defends IC Title, Iron Man Match, more)". WrestleView. Retrieved October 27, 2009.
  22. ^ Sokol, Chris (May 2, 2005). "Hulkamania rules Backlash". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved October 1, 2008.
  23. ^ a b "History of the World Tag Team Championship: Hurricane and Rosey". World Wrestling Entertainment. May 1, 2005. Retrieved October 28, 2009.
  24. ^ Reynolds, R. D. (2007). The WrestleCrap Book of Lists!. ECW Press. p. 34. ISBN 1-55022-762-9.
  25. ^ Mahling, Mallory (September 5, 2005). "9/5 WWE Raw Preview and Report: Mallory's "Virtual Time" Alternative Perspective Coverage". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved October 27, 2009.
  26. ^ a b c Sokol, Chris (September 19, 2005). "Unforgiven marred by unfortunate ending". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved October 1, 2008.
  27. ^ a b Keller, Wade (October 17, 2005). "Keller's Raw Report 10/17: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of live program". PW Torch. Retrieved October 29, 2009.
  28. ^ a b c Roe, Mike (October 24, 2005). "10/24 WWE Raw report: Raw Express". PW Torch. Retrieved October 29, 2009.
  29. ^ "A Chance to Shine". World Wrestling Entertainment. November 7, 2005. Retrieved October 27, 2009.
  30. ^ "WWE Raw Results – January 9, 2006". Online World of Wrestling. January 9, 2006. Retrieved October 1, 2008.
  31. ^ Alvarez, Bryan. "ECW PPV line-up, TNA invades WWE show, what "CM" in CM Punk stands for, Storm vs. Christian, more". Wrestling Observer/Figure Four Online. Retrieved October 28, 2009.
  32. ^ Alvarez, Bryan. "Sunday news update: Details of Angle's firing, Bushido tonight, Chuck payoff, Santo vs. Aguayo, more". Wrestling Observer/Figure Four Online. Retrieved October 28, 2009. RO'z defeated Akira Raijin in 2 minutes, 36 seconds with the Arabian Press
  33. ^ "January 4, 2007—All Japan/New Japan in Tokyo, Japan at the Tokyo Dome". Online World of Wrestling. January 4, 2007. Retrieved October 28, 2009.
  34. ^ "Champion Carnival 2007". Pro Wrestling History. March 30, 2007. Retrieved October 28, 2009.
  35. ^ Cavender, Shawn (August 21, 2007). "8/20 WWE Raw HOLT report: What the live crowd saw that TV viewers didn't". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved October 29, 2009.
  36. ^ "WWE SmackDown! Results – August 24, 2007". Online World of Wrestling. August 24, 2007. Retrieved October 1, 2008.
  37. ^ "September 12, 2007–OVW TV Tapings". Online World of Wrestling. September 12, 2007. Retrieved October 1, 2008.
  38. ^ Meltzer, Dave. "Mon. Update: Sharpton Takes Heat; Tag Champ Needs Surgery, No Word On Belts; New Announcer". Wrestling Observer/Figure Four Online. Retrieved October 28, 2009.
  39. ^ Meltzer, Dave. "Mon. Update: Mysterio, Jarrett On TNA Tour; Hogan's Book; Lashley Ripped By UFC Star; Flair To Vegas". Wrestling Observer/Figure Four Online. Retrieved October 28, 2009.
  40. ^ "October 31, 2009 – Dynamic Wrestling Alliance LLC". Retrieved August 17, 2012.
  41. ^ a b Eck, Kevin (June 25, 2009). "More on wrestling-reality show connection". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved October 27, 2009.
  42. ^ a b "ABC Announces New Series "Fat March" to Premiere August 7th". Celebrity Spider. July 21, 2007. Archived from the original on January 18, 2013. Retrieved October 27, 2009.
  43. ^ a b c d Johnson, Mike (April 18, 2017). "Former WWE Star Matt 'Rosey' Anoa'i Passes Away". Retrieved April 20, 2017.
  44. ^ Barnett, Josh (April 18, 2017). "Former WWE performer Matt 'Rosey' Anoa'i dies at 47". USA Today. Retrieved April 20, 2017.
  45. ^ Fiorvanti, Tim (April 18, 2017). "Former WWE superstar Matt Anoa'i dies at 47". Retrieved April 20, 2017.
  46. ^ WWE Superstar Roman Reigns w/ The Junkies Pt.1. YouTube. 106.7 the Fan. Event occurs at 06:40.
  47. ^ Baines, Tim. "Don't count out Foley ... yet". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved September 14, 2008. Matt Anoai (Rosey) has a new baby daughter, Madison Alani, born Thursday in Cincinnati.
  48. ^ Martin, Adam (January 26, 2014). "Former WWE star Rosey hospitalized, battling heart issues". WrestleView. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
  49. ^
  50. ^
  51. ^ ""PWI 500": 301–400". Pro Wrestling Illustrated. July 27, 2010. Retrieved July 31, 2010.
  52. ^ "Observer: Worst Tag Team Of The Year". Wrestling Observer (in German). Retrieved October 28, 2009.

External links

  • Online World of Wrestling profile
  • Slam! Sports Bio and Story Archive
  • E’ morto Rosey, fratello di Roman Reigns

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