Hikuleo Arrives in AEW: Get to Know Bullet Club’s Enforcer

Standing at around 203 cm tall (6 ft 8) and possessing unmissable long, black and curly hair, Hikuleo captures attention wherever he goes. It is no surprise, then, that he did just that with his appearance on last week’s episode of AEW Dynamite, which acted as Night 2 of Fyter Fest. The adoptive son of uncle Haku (Meng/King Tonga), adoptive brother of Tanga Loa and brother of Tama Tonga, wrestling is in this young man’s blood. Much like the Samoan Anoa’i dynasty, who the Fifitas share a very close bond with dating back to High Chief Peter Maivia, the Tongan Fifita dynasty is an established wrestling family in its own right. Hikuleo, a good eight years younger than Tama and Tanga, who together form New Japan Pro Wrestling‘s (NJPW) Guerillas of Destiny, is the latest family member to step into the ring.

Hikuleo’s Wrestling Background

Hikuleo in NJPW
Photo: NJPW

Hikuleo, real name Tautuiaki Taula Koloamatangi, is a graduate of the Team 3D Academy (ran by Bully Ray & Devon) in Florida. He quickly caught the eye of NJPW, who signed him to the company under the name Hikule’o; a theological reference to the Tongan Godess, Havea Hikule’o. The nickname “Tongan God” is one he has carried ever since and judging by his appearance, you can see why. As is the case with most wrestlers of Polynesian descent or origin, Hikuleo, quite simply, has the look of a professional wrestler. Also similar to most other Polynesian wrestlers, Hikuleo possesses a unique blend of size and athleticism which provides him with an almost Herculean advantage over most opponents. In short, should his ring work eventually match his look, family name and clear potential, he is destined for greatness within the world of professional wrestling.

He debuted for NJPW at a New Zealand held show – NJPW Charity Pro-Wrestling On the Mat – in the fall of 2016 and lost against Henare. Losing, of course, is a simple part of paying one’s dues in the early stage of a pro wrestling career. It is no surprise, then, that despite his size, Hikuleo has lost more often than he has won. He would soon begin training as a NJPW young lion and within two years, he would begin his excursion; a regular process in Japanese wrestling which sees workers travel to other promotions around the world to hone their craft. In 2019, he worked for Revolution Pro Wrestling (RPW); Ring of Honor (ROH); Ultimate Pro Wrestling (UPW); Target Wrestling and Discovery Wrestling. In 2020, he worked for NJPW and ROH; where he has regularly competed as a member of the BULLET CLUB, alongside his brothers Tama and Tanga. Throughout 2021, as a member of BULLET CLUB, he has mostly teamed with the likes of El Phantasmo and KENTA. In recent months, he has began working singles matches and has wins over Jordan Clearwater and Alex Coughlin. NJPW have a tendency to build young stars slowly over a prolonged series of time. Now that Hikuleo is thirty and has a few years of experience, it might now be time to pull the trigger on BULLET CLUB’s heavy.

Hikuleo Comes to AEW

Hikuleo vs Lance Archer graphic
Photo: AEW

As seen on last week’s episode of AEW Dynamite (July 21), Hikuleo is now deemed ready for US national television. Having initially been shown as an invited member of the attending audience, Hikuleo confronted newly crowned IWGP United States Champion, Lance Archer, after his triumphant deathmatch victory over Jon Moxley. As everyone is aware, Archer is no small man – he is nicknamed the Murderhawk Monster for a reason. However, when he came face to face with Hikuleo, it quickly became apparent just how big the Tongan is, himself. He towered over the veteran and with a confident smirk painted across his face, he does not fear the older star and deathmatch veteran. Hikuleo is so far missing championship gold in his short career and will no doubt see Archer as the gateway to beginning an established, trophy-laden career worthy of the Fifita name.

What does the future hold for Hikuleo? Of course, he will continue competing for NJPW – it is where a large portion of his family are based within the BULLET CLUB and surely, he will remain. However, a potential future as a member of the AEW roster is looming and given the financial benefits, as well as the national TV exposure, Hikuleo will no doubt be hoping to showcase his talents against his opponent, Lance Archer, at next week’s AEW Fight For the Fallen. If things go well, he might just be one of AEW’s brightest young talents – in addition to being one of NJPW’s. Sometimes, members of prestigious wrestling families fall flat. So long as Hikuleo wows the wrestling world on Wednesday night, he will be off to a fine start in his young career. You can catch AEW Fight for the Fallen this coming Wednesday, July 28th, on TNT.

More From LWOS Pro Wrestling

Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world.  You can catch AEW Dynamite Wednesday nights at 8 PM ET on TNT and AEW Dark: Elevation (Monday nights) and AEW: Dark (Tuesday nights) at 7 PM ET on YouTube.


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