Edward Smith “Eki” Fatu, a wrestler of Samoan-American parentage, was born on March 28, 1973 in San Francisco, California. “Eki” received professional wrestling training at the “Wild” Samoan Pro Wrestling Training Center, and soon began wrestling professionally for Afa’s World Xtreme Wrestling (WXW).
In 1996, both “Eki” and his cousin “Matt” were drafted into the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) to take part in a kayfabe angle with Solafa Fatu, Jr. This angle being swiftly dropped, both were instead sent to the WWF’s preliminary “farm territory” Heartland Wrestling Association, where the two soon formed a tag team which remained in effect despite transfers of brand loyalty to various competing promotions including, but not limited to, Memphis Championship Wrestling and Frontiet Martial-Arts Wrestling. “Eki” and “Matt” in fact held championship titles in these latter promotions under the pseudonyms Samoan Gangstaz and Island “Boyz”. In 2002, the long running partnership was back-ordered to the (strategically remonikered) World Wrestling Entertainment franchise as 3-Minute Warning, comprising a scenario in which the duo were storyboarded as a pair of silent, deadly enforcers for Raw brand General Manager Eric Bischoff. This latest strategic configuration lasted barely a year, ending in an amicable release from their WWE contracts following “involvement” in a bar fight.
“Eki” (also known on occasion as “Jamal” and, ultimately, “Umaga”) was the son of Vera, who herself had been billed as the sister of Afa and Sika of the Wild Samoans. “Eki’ relied on classic “ethnic” wrestling gimmicks, comprising such time honoured “Samoan voodoo” cliches as the diving headbutt, Samoan “splash” (a Polynesian variation of the famous Bronx Opera House maneuver), the giant swing, two handed choke slam, running jumping headbutt drop, and turnbuckle powerbomb.
During the late summer weekend of August 30, 2007, articles posted by knowledgeable sources such as New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated, Washington Post, and Weekly World News named Fatu as one of a number of sports superstars known or alleged to have purchased or otherwise received pharmaceuticals from an online pharmacy, which act constituted a clear violation of the WWE “Talent Wellness” program. “Eki” (by this time trading under the ring pseudonym of “Umaga”) was specifically and repeatedly alleged to have to received somatropin, a human growth hormone (HGH), between July and December 2006, some time after the ban on drugs from online sources had been regionally (later institutionally) implemented. “Eki”/”Umaga” again violated this corporate precept sometime in 2009, at which juncture, due to his refusal to seek rehabilitation, he was released from his WWE contract.
Some months after his premature termination, “Eki” was found, unconscious and unresponsive, with blood pouring out of his nose, and was swiftly (if belatedly) rushed to the hospital, where it was discovered that he had suffered a heart attack. Tragically, he died later that day at or about 7:00 pm, at the premature age of 36, after suffering an additional heart infarction. The official cause of death was “listed” as acute toxicity due to combined effects of hydrocodone, diazepam, and carisoprodol.