The legendary Anoi’a Samoan wrestling family suffered a tragic loss today with the passing of former WWE Superstar and Tag Team Champion, Matt Anoi’a, better known to wrestling fans as Rosey. The reports indicate it was due to heart failure. Anoi’a was only 47.
The older brother of WWE Superstar Roman Reigns, Matt Anoi’a was trained by his family and debuted in 1995 in the family run WXW promotion. Alongside his cousin Samu, he formed the Samoan Gangsta Family (as Mack Daddy Kane) and appeared for ECW in 1996, as well as ongoing stints in WXW as well as Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling (FMW) in Japan.
In 2001, alongside his cousin Eddie Fatu (later known as Umaga), he signed with WWE and in 2002, they were both called up to the main roster as the new enforcers for then-GM Eric Bischoff, known collectively as 3-Minute Warning (with Eddie named Jamal and Matt renamed Rosey). They lasted about a year together, before Eddie was released from the WWE.
Rosey was repackaged as a superhero wannabe who began to follow The Hurricane, who dubbed him a S.H.I.T. (Super Hero In Training). Together they began to compete in the WWE’s tag team division (alongside a costumed Stacy Keibler, known as Super Stacy), where the won the WWE Tag Team titles from La Resistance in 2005. The super hero gimmick eventually ran its course and Eddie Fatu was rehired by the WWE. The worked dark matches as a reunited 3-Minute Warning, but in 2006, Rosey was released and Eddie was repackaged as Umaga instead.
In the years following, he travelled back to Japan, this time working with All-Japan as well as various independents. He had recently been running Epic Championship Wrestling with his father, Sika.
On behalf of the staff of Last Word on Pro Wrestling, we offer our condolences to the entire Anoi’a family.
Main Photo: WWE