The Wild Samoans

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The Wild Samoans
Tag team
MembersAfa
Sika
Name(s)The Wild Samoans
The Islanders
Heights6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) - Afa
6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) - Sika
Combined
weight
645 lb (293 kg)[1]
Billed fromThe Isle of Samoa
Debut1970s[1]
Disbanded1990s
PromotionsMid-South Wrestling
NWA
WWF
TrainerPeter Maivia[1]
 
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The Wild Samoans
Tag team
MembersAfa
Sika
Name(s)The Wild Samoans
The Islanders
Heights6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) - Afa
6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) - Sika
Combined
weight
645 lb (293 kg)[1]
Billed fromThe Isle of Samoa
Debut1970s[1]
Disbanded1990s
PromotionsMid-South Wrestling
NWA
WWF
TrainerPeter Maivia[1]

The Wild Samoans was the professional wrestling tag team of Afa and Sika in Mid-South Wrestling, the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) and the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). The Samoans held 21 tag team championships around the world.

Gimmick[edit]

In interviews the duo rarely spoke, only grunting in a primitive dialect that only manager Capt. Lou Albano could understand.[2] Completing their wild man image, the duo engaged in outrageous behavior such as nose picking and eating raw fish during interviews.[2][3]

History[edit]

The team began its career in Stampede Wrestling, where they won the Stampede International Tag Team Championship on two occasions.[1] They spent the majority of the 1970s in various National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) territories.[1]

World Wrestling Federation[edit]

In the early 1980s, the Wild Samoans joined the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). They made their Madison Square Garden debut on January 21, 1980 in a WWF Tag Team Championship match against Tito Santana and Ivan Putski, who retained their title.[1] In the upcoming months, both men became contenders for Bob Backlund's WWF Championship, but neither man won the gold.[1] They, however, won their first championship in the WWF, the tag team championship, by defeating Santana and Putski on April 12, 1980.[1] They reigned as champions for approximately five months, until dropping the title to Backlund and Pedro Morales in a two out of three falls match at Showdown at Shea.[1] Because Backlund was already the reigning WWF Champion, the team had to forfeit the title, and a tournament was held to crown new tag champions.[1] On September 8, 1980, the Wild Samoans defeated Tony Garea and Rene Goulet in the tournament finals to win the title.[1] Their reign lasted for one month, until they lost to Garea and his new partner, Rick Martel.[1] The Wild Samoans feuded with the champions for the rest of the year, but they were not able to recapture the gold.[1]

Mid-South and Mid-Atlantic[edit]

In late 1981, the Wild Samoans joined Mid-South Wrestling. With, "Big Cat" Ernie Ladd as their financial adviser, they won the Mid-South Tag Team Championship and feuded with Junkyard Dog and Dick Murdoch.[1] After also attacking Ladd, the two began a feud with their former adviser.[1] In response, Ladd formed a team with "Iron" Mike Sharpe, with whom he forced the Wild Samoans to leave Mid-South.[1]

After leaving Mid-South, the duo appeared in Georgia Championship Wrestling. As part of the territory, they defeated the Fabulous Freebirds for the NWA National Tag Team Championship, which they later vacated.[2]

Return to the World Wrestling Federation[edit]

The Wild Samoans eventually ended up back in the World Wrestling Federation with their former manager Capt. Lou Albano.[2] Afa and Sika began their third WWF Tag Team Championship reign on March 8, 1983 by defeating Chief Jay and Jules Strongbow.[4] In a rematch on March 19, they were also victorious.[2] Also during this time, while feuding with Rocky Johnson, Jimmy Snuka, and André the Giant, the duo added Afa's son Samula to their team,[2] first as a replacement for Sika when he got hurt, then as their backup upon his return.

They lost their tag team title to the team of Rocky Johnson and Tony Atlas on November 15.[2][4][5] During the match, Albano tried to interfere on the Samoans behalf by attempting to hit Johnson over the head with a chair.[2] He accidentally hit Afa instead, however, and Atlas covered him for the win.[2] The North-South Connection, Adrian Adonis and Dick Murdoch, would later defeat Atlas and Johnson for the tag titles on April 17, 1984. The Samoans turned face and challenged them in a lengthy feud. After failing to regain the belts, the duo eventually left the WWF in 1984 and reappeared in Pro Wrestling USA (NWA/AWA) where they had a dream match vs the Road Warriors. The bout ended in a Double DQ .[2]

In 1987 Sika reappeared briefly in the WWF, now managed by Mr. Fuji, performing both in singles competition and as a tag team (partnered with Kamala). Kamala and Sika's biggest match as a tag team was a loss to the Can-Am Connection on Superstars of Wrestling. Sika also participated in the invitational battle royal that opened Wrestlemania IV. He was the second one eliminated, however.

Post-tag team careers[edit]

Both men went on to have successful careers, both as singles wrestlers and managers.[2]

During the late 70's, Afa Anoa'i opened the Wild Samoans Training Center, and the school's graduates include Paul Orndorff, Junkyard Dog, Luna Vachon, Michael P.S. Hayes, Yokozuna, Bam Bam Bigelow, Rikishi, Sherri Martel, Virgil, Billy Kidman, Gene Snisky, Chris Kanyon and Batista.[2] They also promote live wrestling shows under the WXW banner.[2]

In 2007, on the eve of WrestleMania 23, the Wild Samoans were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. They were inducted by their sons Samula and Matt Anoaʻi.

In wrestling[edit]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

  • International Wrestling Alliance
  • IWA Tag Team Championship (1 time)
  • NWA Detroit
  • PWI ranked them # 93 of the 100 best tag teams during the "PWI Years" in 2003.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Shields, Brian. Main Event: WWE in the Raging 80s (p.143)
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Shields, Brian. Main Event: WWE in the Raging 80s (p.144)
  3. ^ "The Wild Samoans". WWE. Archived from the original on 2007-12-25. Retrieved 2007-12-28. 
  4. ^ a b "World Tag Team Title history". WWE.com. Retrieved 2007-12-31. 
  5. ^ Foley, Mick (2000). Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks. HarperCollins. p. 36. ISBN 0-06-103101-1. 
  6. ^ a b "Wildest Stars #1: Mano a 'manu'". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2007-10-20. 

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]