WWE Legend Umaga passed away in late 2009 after being released by WWE due to drug issues. He was one of the top stars over the years prior, battling legends like John Cena and Triple H in World Championship matches. He even represented Mr McMahon in the Battle of the Billionaires at Wrestlemania 23, against Donald Trump and Bobby Lashley.
His real name was Eddie Fatu and was the uncle of WWE Superstars The Usos. If he were still alive today, it is likely that he would be a part of the Bloodline stable, alongside Roman Reigns, The Usos, Solo Sikoa and Sami Zayn. He left a legacy as one of the best “monster” characters in WWE history. He has yet to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame but it is likely he will make the cut one day.
Umaga’s last WWE match came against CM Punk. The pair faced off in a Samoan Strap match, one of Umaga’s signature matches, at Extreme Rules 2009. Umaga would lose to CM Punk, who had just the Money in the Bank briefcase, and was released soon after due to breaking the WWE Wellness Policy by failing a drug test.
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.
Umaga’s last match was against Mr Anderson on the Hulk Hogan Hulkamania tour, in Sydney, Australia. Just one week after that match, Umaga was found in his home unresponsive and with blood coming from his nose. He was rushed to hospital, but died later that day after multiple heart attacks. He was only 36 years old.
Umaga died from a combination of acute toxicity, heart disease, and a failed liver. The acute toxicity, it turns out, was from hydrocodone (a painkiller), carisoprodol (a muscle relaxer), and diazepam (an anxiety medication). The autopsy also showed that he had heart disease (hypertensive cardiovascular disease) and a failed liver.
Umaga was 36 years old when he died.
His death was completely unexpected, as he was clearly fit enough to be a pro-wrestler in the WWE. However like many wrestlers before him, he became hooked on drugs, mainly painkillers, which combined with his stressful life and his weight (he weighed over 300lbs according to the WWE) then he would always have issues.
These details were revealed in his Autopsy and Toxicology Report, which had been released after his death. He has left a huge legacy in wrestling and has been honoured by stars Jimmy & Jey Uso, and Solo Sikoa, with their face paint they wear a tribute to their uncle, as well as using his corner hip attack as part of their growing repertoire of moves.
Umaga remains one of the greatest WWE wrestlers to never win the WWE Championship and without his drug problems could have gone down as an all-time great and a WWE Hall of Fame headliner.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.