Jacob Fatu: The Samoan Werewolf Unleashed

Jacob Fatu in MLW.

On February 2nd, WWE Hall of Famer Rikishi posted on X image that sparked conversation and speculation. Even fans with the vaguest awareness of the indie scene have been talking. The image showed four versions of a man Last Word back in 2021 called the most promising wrestler in the indies.

Raging, and in one image bleeding, the face of Jacob Fatu shows hunger. This man made of 300 pounds of Samoan steel is presented as a killer. His moniker in the right corner reads Ultimate Uce. The hashtag below reads: #FreeAgent.

The Samoan Werewolf is unleashed. MLW fans already know how dangerous the former and longest-reigning MLW World Heavyweight Champion is. Yet for those who haven’t seen MLW, just knowing Jacob’s lineage is enough to set minds into fantasy booking overdrive.

The timing feels perfect. Wrestlemania is closing. The final chapter of The Bloodline storyline nears. Already, some fans are speculating if Jacob will play his part. However, those fans only just heard about Jacob Fatu, the man who calls himself “The Real Tribal Chief”, and needs to do their homework.

While the family got Jacob into the ring, the ultimate uce has been his own man, forged in MLW.

The Black Sheep of the Anoaʻi Family 

Jacob Fatu took to wrestling differently from his family. Both by choice and by circumstances. The son of The Tonga Kid, Sam Fatu, Jacob had no intentions of becoming a wrestler.

At age eighteen, Fatu was arrested for robbery. In 2022, Jacob told MLW how while he was locked up in Sacramento County Jail, seeing the debut of The Usos on Raw changed his life.

“I was flipping through the channels, and I saw my brothers and them. I think that’s kind of like where I made my mind up”, Jacob Fatu, MLW All Access Part 1.

Things afterward fell into place. Seeing all sides of the business: the good, the bad, and the ugly, Fatu was persuaded. Yet Jacob had to be humbled. By his admission, Jacob did not respect the business. For a while, Fatu was not fully committed to wrestling.

When he signed with MLW, that was when Jacob put both feet into the business. Yet even then, a real-life brush with death helped steer Jacob fully into wrestling. Before the MLW event, Fatu witnessed and was present when a drive-by shooting occurred. Jacob watched a neighbor’s brother bleed out.

“Professional wrestling saved my life.” Jacob Fatu, MLW All Access Part 3.

Hail Contra, Hail Fatu

From the start, Jacob Fatu was shown to be a headliner for MLW. Debuting in 2019, Fatu went straight for the jugular and attacked then MLW World Heavyweight Champion, “Filthy” Tom Lawlor. The statement was clear.

Alongside his manager, Joseph Samael, Jacob was the lethal warhead for the terrorist-inspired faction, CONTRA Unit. MLW’s use of factions is one of the company’s biggest creative successes (which you can read about here). Jacob rose to the challenge and became a literal and metaphorical flagbearer for the company.

In the role of the unstoppable Samoan juggernaut, Jacob was no re-tread of stereotypes or familial gimmicks like Yokozuna or Umaga.

Bruising and physically dominating while also being deceptively agile, this is as far as comparisons can go. Jacob’s ability to soar over the ropes, hit handspring flips and two bounce moonsault finishers are beautiful and yet devastating. Jacob in his world is himself. There is no gimmick, just dynamic brutality.  

Recommended Viewing

For fans looking to sample Fatu’s capabilities, there is a vast range available on MLW’s YouTube channel.

Jacob Fatu’s trilogy with nemesis Alex Hammerstone (who is also a free agent and I have profiled previously) at Fightland 2021, MLW Underground, and concluding at Holiday Rush 2023 is arguably MLW’s greatest feud. A breakdown of the trilogy is available here.

Other displays of violence include Jacob Fatu vs. LA Park in a No Disqualification match. A bells and whistle monster fight against Mads Kruger in a Weapons of Mass Destruction match shows babyface potential.

If you want to watch Fatu in his full Samoan dominance, his matches against sympathetic babyfaces like Jordan Oliver and Ross Von Erich showcase Jacob’s story-teller abilities.

Who Could Land Fatu?

The obvious place for Jacob Fatu to land due to timing and family connections is WWE. Last October, when The Samoan SWAT Team of Lance Anoa’i and Juicy Finau were granted their release from MLW, Lance claimed MLW shot down a potential chance for the trio to appear on WWE TV in a tribal court segment. MLW’s lawsuit with WWE likely stopped this opportunity.

Before the official announcement of Jacob’s free agency, Booker T had talked on his podcast about his desire to see Jacob get a chance in WWE.

Jacob has competed at Booker T’s Reality of Wrestling promotion. Booker understands the stigma attached to a criminal record having been imprisoned also in his youth. Having someone like the WWE Hall of Famer and commentator backing Jacob as an advisor, regardless of WWE, will certainly open more doors for Fatu.

WWE is Obvious

Obvious and predictable are not necessarily bad things in wrestling. With WWE there is already a pre-existing major storyline for Jacob Fatu to be either added into now or after Wrestlemania.

Jacob’s history and moniker of the “real tribal chief” could make him, if WWE desired, a possible post-Wrestlemania challenger for Roman Reigns. In many ways, Jacob would be introduced after the biggest show of the year to give the Samoan Werewolf the best chance of being his own man.

There is history also with Silo Sikoa. The pair united could be a Samoan bulldozing tag team that could fill a gap and/or eventually feud when The Usos likely reunite. Or if Jacob goes to NXT first, there’s the prospect of clashes with Bron Breaker, Ilja Dragunov, or Oba Femi to grab eyeballs.

Are There Other Viable Possibilities?

While WWE seems the best fit, there is always the risk of new prospects being lost in the shuffle on either side of Mania. Yet looking at AEW, the same risk exists there also. Will Ospreay is set to transition to North America soon. Then there are the rumors Mercedes Mone and Kazuchika Okada are also on the way. T

hat’s three huge wrestlers, each of whom has been considered the best wrestler of their generation. Jacob is not at this stage at their level and could easily get lost in rotation.

TNA Wrestling finds itself in a resurgence, but long-term the jury is still out on if the company can ascend to be a competitive number three promotion.

Also, already TNA seems to be positioning Nic Nemmeth as the next champion. Jacob coming in and moving quickly up the card is possible, but long-term, if like in MLW, TNA’s momentum is stifled, Fatu risks flying under the radar for another few years.

New Japan Pro Wrestling might seem like an outside option, but unlike the other three companies mentioned, there are spaces for new top stars to rise.

Their biggest attractions, Okada and Ospreay are heading state-side. There is a gap left by Tama Tonga who is also leaving. Fatu stepped up to rebuild Guerrillas of Destiny and being the centerpiece of a faction like he was in Contra Unit worked for MLW.

Plus, Fatu has already begun working for New Japan Strong. At thirty-one years of age, Fatu has time on his side. Already, Jacob has made a career avoiding the path the rest of his family have taken.

There is a story to be mine either way. There is a strong character and wrestler already there with the Samoan Werewolf. Fatu needs someone to unlock his restraints.

More From LWOS Pro Wrestling

Header photo – MLW – 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 Thursday on YouTube at 8 PM EST and every Saturday on beIN SPORTS at 10 PM EST. 


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