Separated from CONTRA, Jacob Fatu has found new allies in his war against Cesar Duran, in his “family,” Lance Anoa’i and Juicy Finau, the new Samoan Swat Team.
Things haven’t exactly been going the way of Jacob Fatu ever since his 819-day reign as MLW World Heavyweight Champion came to a halt at the hands of Alexander Hammerstone last October. Since then, Fatu has been on the losing side in more ways than one as he faced the betrayal by CONTRA and has been unable to regain his prized title. And as if those things weren’t bad enough, Fatu now finds himself in the crosshairs of Cesar Duran and his seemingly endless army of luchadors. So what’s a Samoan Werewolf to do? Leading up to Kings of Coliseum on Friday, May 13th, the world found out as MLW announced that Fatu would be turning to some familiar faces to have his back, in the form of a new Samoan Swat Team.
From 1987 to 1992 (and again until 1995 under different names), the Samoan SWAT Team of first, Samula “Samu” Anoa’i, son of Afa, and Solofa Fatu (who would later be known as Rikishi), nephew to both Afa and Sika of the Wild Samoans, wreaked havoc on the pro wrestling scene. The two cousins first teamed together in 1985 in the Montreal-based Lutte Internationale territory. When that folded, they signed with the World Wrestling Council, where they were billed as Samu and Fatu, the Samoan SWAT Team. Following in the footsteps of the Wild Samoans before them, Samu and Fatu embraced the role of savages. They worked barefoot and intentionally never spoke English on camera to aid their gimmick. Samu and Fatu won the WWC Caribbean Tag Team Championship that same year, becoming the first team to hold those titles. In their careers, Samu and Fatu would go on to win several more tag titles including in WWF as the Headshrinkers.
After leaving WWC, the Samoan SWAT Team joined Fritz Von Erich‘s World Class Championship Wrestling, where they feuded with Kerry and Kevin Von Erich as well as the Fabulous Freebirds. In 1989, Samu and Fatu joined World Championship Wrestling, first under the management of Paul E. Dangerously (Paul Heyman), and later, “The Big Kahuna” Oliver Humperdink. The team started to bolster their ranks at this time, adding The Samoan Savage, who was Fatu’s brother. By 1992, the Samoan SWAT Team made their debuts in WWF, under the management of Afa, and with a new name, “The Headshrinkers.” For much of their WWF run, the Headshrinkers were in the middle of the division, occasionally making PPV appearances and having several chances to challenge for, and even win on one occasion, the tag titles. In 1994, Samu left WWF and was replaced by Seone, which marked the first time someone not a member of the vaunted Anoa’i dynasty was in the tag team. Seone was a native Tongan, also meaning this was the first time a non-Samoan was part of the team.
Flash forward to 2022, where some over 30-year history is about the repeat itself. Once again, a Fatu will be leading this group of men, which features both Samoans and Tongans. Leading the faction is Jacob Fatu, the nephew of original Samoan SWAT Team member, Fatu. Joining him are the Tongan, Juicy Finau, and Jacob’s cousin Lance Anoa’i, the son of original SWAT Team member, Samu. Much like the younger Von Erics (Marshall and Ross), MLW is using family ties to showcase the next generation of what are some of wrestling’s proudest family legacies. The Samoan dynasty has produced no shortage of top-level and Hall of Fame-caliber wrestlers starting with High Chief Peter Maivia all the way down to the current generation which includes Roman Reigns, the Usos, and Jacob Fatu just to name a few.
— Court Bauer (@courtbauer) May 13, 2022
“In addition to Fatu, the swat team features a powerful combo of speed, power, and force in Lance Anoa’i and Juicy Finau.
Lance Anoa’i, the son of Samoan Swat Team founding member Samu, grandson of Afa, and cousin of The Rock, is a blend of agility and innovation. Teaming with Jacob Fatu over the years, Lance and Fatu are as close as it gets in and away from the ring.
And while Tongans and Samoans have at times been engulfed in their own wars, including possibly a king being eaten during a contentious island conflict, Tongan Juicy Finau is family to Fatu. Super heavyweight Finau and Fatu represent the west coast of the Polynesian family. A proud Tongan with a devastating arsenal that defies and quite possibly breaks gravity, Finau rounds out what could be this decade’s most dangerous and promising team.”
From day one, MLW deserves credit for booking Jacob Fatu as the dominant force he is. His run as champion was spectacular as it allowed the powerhouse to display his brute strength, mobility, and an incredible arsenal of moves for a man his size. Perhaps they will have another winner on their hands as they look to recreate a team straight out of pro wrestling’s family history.
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. MLW FUSION airs every Wednesday on fubo Sports Network and YouTube at 7 PM EST and every Saturday on beIN SPORTS at 10 PM EST. You can catch Kings of Coliseum live on Friday, May 13th.