WWE Hall of Famer Rikishi joined DVon Dudley on his interview series Table Talk and he opens up about his storied wrestling career and tells of the heartbreaking news of saying goodbye to his father who passed away.
Rikishi discussed his career in wrestling before he came to WWE, he teamed with his brother Samu to form a great team called the Samoan Swat Team. Their gimmick was similar to that of The Wild Samoans gimmick and they were relatives of Rikishi and Samu. The veteran wrestler said he and his brother wrestled all over the world. A question that had been brought up to Rikishi while on Table Talk w/ DVon, he was asked what the biggest run the Samoan Swat Team had. His response, “Without a doubt, I’d have to say The Steiner Brothers. We actually started working with those usos during their time in NWA, back in the day. Once we tied it up, we knew of them, but once we got to work together, it was kind of right up our alley because we worked but we kind of worked snug. We were kind of stiff,” Rikishi admitted.
He continued by saying, “We still try to find that way, but at the same time, as we kept working with these cats here, we didn’t know that they had a reputation of working stiff too. So, being married to those cats there and then, finally moving up to the WWE.” The Samoan Swat Team wrestled the Steiner Brothers at one of NWA’s biggest shows which was calledStarrcade and the year was in 1989. A few years later, Rikishi would be a part of The Headshrinkers in the WWF, and his tag-team went up against a familiar rival in the Steiners this time at WrestleMania IX in Las Vegas, Nevada. Rikishi recalled Yokozuna facing Bret Hart in Las Vegas at the same WrestleMania, and the moment when Hulk Hogan came and won the belt back from Yokozuna. Rikishi thinks highly of their tag-team match with the Steiner Brothers that night, it was a historic match for them. They loved working with Rick and Scott and Rikishi went on to say that was probably one of the best matches we had in the tag-team level.
When asked the easiest team to wrestle? I’d probably have to say you DVon and Bubba Ray Dudley.
Rikishi is a part of the legendary and famous Anoa’i family in wrestling, which include such stars as The Rock, Roman Reigns, and The Wild Samoans. Unfortunately the family has faced tragedies over the years with the premature deaths of family members Yokozuna, Rosey, and Rikishi’s brother Umaga. Another tragedy hit the family recently, Rikishi revealed that his father got hit with the COVID-19 virus on October 4th. He’d been in the hospital for two months and finally laid to rest on October 4th. I celebrated my brother Umaga, he passed away December 4th. My last name has four letters, F-A-T-U. Fatu in english means heart,” Rikishi said.
Rikishi also told of how he said his final goodbye to his father before passing away. “I sit and I think about it. I missed him and I was so lost when I lost my father. I start to think about what I could have done better. What could I have done to even try to save him? The most difficult time for me was to watch my father take his last breath to a damn iPad.