Tonga Fifita

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Born

2/3/1959 , Nuku'alofa, Tonga

Birth Name

Tonga 'Uli'uli Fifita

Gender

Male

Biography:

Tonga 'Uli'uli Fifita was born in the South Pacific island of Tonga. He played rugby while attending Tonga College, a Tongan middle school, and turned to sumo wrestling after a troupe of Japanese sumo wrestlers toured the island kingdom. The King of Tonga was a big fan of the sport, and encouraged the training of his people in Sumo. At age 14, Fifita was chosen to be part of a group of Tongan wrestlers who were sent to Japan to spend time observing, training & living the life of Sumo wrestlers.

While in Japan, Fifita's skill in the Sumo arena caught the eye of famed professional wrestling legend Shohei 'Giant' Baba, who convinced Fifita to make the switch to the pro ring. Baba trained Fifita after he turned 18, and Tonga toured a number of territories in Japan and Canada, wrestling under a number of guises, such as Prince Tonga, Fukonoshima (his sumo name), and even wrestling under his real name, Tonga Fifita.

He won his first wrestling title -- the Canadian International Heavyweight Championship -- from Dino Bravo, and followed Bravo into the World Wrestling Federation, making his WWF debut in 1986 as 'King Tonga'. He immediately made an impact as a fan favorite, bodyslamming Big John Studd on an episode of WWF Superstars of Wrestling. Tonga remained with the company for the next five years, turning heel as 'Haku' after aligning himself with manager Bobby Heenan. In 1987, he formed 'The Islanders' tag team with the 'Tonga Kid' Sam Fatu. He was crowned 'King' of the WWF in 1988, and teamed with Andre the Giant to defeat Demolition for the WWF tag team championships in 1989.

He later turned up in World Championship Wrestling with an even meaner streak as 'Meng' - master of the Tongan Death Grip. By 2000, however, with mis-management and financial chaos running rampant in WCW, Tonga was let out of his contract, and hired back on a per-event basis. After winning the WCW Hardcore championship at WCW Sin in January 2001, WWF Vice President Jim Ross contacted Tonga, offering a full-time contract. Haku returned to the WWF soon after, as the 29th entrant in the 2001 Royal Rumble. That turned out to be a wise business decision for him, as he received a better deal than he would have, had he been among the WCW wrestlers whose contracts would later be acquired by the WWF when Vince McMahon bought the Turner-owned company.

Haku formed a temporary alliance with fellow Islander (& Tonga Kid's brother) Rikishi, feuding with the Undertaker & Kane. When Rikishi was put out of action, due to suffering a broken eardrum in the ring, Haku was left without a tag partner, and was subsequently de-pushed. He was sent to the WWF's then developmental territory, Heartland Wrestling Association (HWA), where he spent time training new talent, and subsequently was forced to sit out the remainder of his contract.

Though currently out of the major league spotlight, he continues to wrestle on a sporadic basis on the independent scene, and is involved in other commercial ventures such as Tri Women's Fitness, where WWE Superstars Torrie Wilson & Victoria are known to have got their start prior to their wrestling careers. Tonga now lives in Florida with his Tongan wife Dorothy, and four children, including adopted sons Pate & Taula, daughter Vika, & oldest son Tevita, who is a defensive end for the University of Texas El Paso, and looks primed and ready to follow in his father's footsteps.