Umaga was fired by the WWE in 2009 under controversial circumstance. Six months later he was dead in one of the most tragic moments in wrestling.
The Samoan Bulldozer made waves in the WWE as the savage monster, attacking without discrimination as he decimated all who stood in his way.
Battles against John Cena and Jeff Hardy made his WWE run iconic, but it was sadly little more than that. WWE released Umaga in 2009, under less-than-brilliant circumstances.
His career in the WWE did not last long, as he passed away after his first tour alongside Hulk Hogan. The pair were some of the biggest stars of The Hulkster’s tour of Australia, even though the promotion is largely forgotten about.
In this article, we’ll explain why Umaga was fired, what his last matches were and how he died just a week after wrestling one of his long-time rivals.
Why Was Umaga Fired From WWE?
Umaga was fired in June 2009 for violating the WWE Wellness Policy for the second time.
It was not revealed the cause for his failure, but as this was the second time he had been popped by the WWE he was required to go to rehab to deal with his addiction.
He declined, which caused WWE to fire Umaga from his WWE contract. This ended his 3 year run since returning to the WWE under a cloud, distracting from some of the legendary matches and feuds he had during this time.
In this run as Umaga in the WWE, he had wrestled in some high-profile, main event matches against some top stars. Huge matches for the WWE Championship against John Cena and Triple H helped put him on the map, as did he feud with Jeff Hardy over the Intercontinental Championship.
However, Umaga’s biggest performance came during Wrestlemania 23. He was picked by Vince McMahon to be his chosen competitor at “The Battle of the Billionaires”. McMahon picked Umaga to go up against Bobby Lashley, who was chosen to represent Donald Trump, years before he became President of America.
He lost to Lashley at Wrestlemania and was soon drafted to Smackdown. One year later he was released by the WWE after a final match at Extreme Rules 2009.
Umaga’s Last Match In WWE
Umaga had been drafted to Smackdown the year prior after spending the bulk of his career on Raw. He almost immediately suffered a PCL tear which took him out for a number of months.
When Umaga finally returned, he began his last feud in the WWE by challenging Mr Money In The Bank CM Punk.
Umaga attacked CM Punk on multiple occasions, thwarting his attempts to cash in his Money In The Bank contract to win the World Heavyweight Championship. This started a rivalry between the two, which came to a head at Extreme Rules 2009.
The final match of Umaga’s WWE career was the Samoan Strap match against CM Punk. They battled at Extreme Rules 2009, with Umaga the dominant beast that he always had been.
However, CM Punk managed to take the victory, hitting the GTS to knock out Umaga before touching all four posts for the victory.
He Wrestled On Hulk Hogan’s Tour In Australia Before He Died
He would soon move onto the independent scene. Under the name Uso Fatu, he would sign up for the Hulk Hogan Hulkamania Tour of Australia in 2009.
On the tour he would wrestle a number of matches, including defeating WWE legend Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake.
His last match during this time was against Mr Anderson on the tour, with the pair also wrestling in Puerto Rico earlier that year. However, just a week after their match in Australia, Umaga passed away from a heart attack brought on by drug use.
He is considered a legend in WWE, with fans pondering what could have been had he kept himself clean. Never has somebody his size moved the way Umaga did and he had a character and ability to be a solid main event heel in the WWE.
Had he kept himself clean, he could have won a World Heavyweight Championship on Smackdown and feuded with top stars like Jeff Hardy, The Undertaker and Edge.
Sadly, Umaga passed away in 2009 but was included in WWE 2K22 for the first time in over a decade.
He didn’t live long past his release from the WWE, and put a sad end to a life that had so much more left to it.
Under other circumstances, we could have seen a multi-time WWE Champion Umaga being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, and celebrating the release of his own WWE documentary.
There’s still time for him to be posthumously inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, especially with his son training to wrestle with Booker T.