Wrestling fans are a passionate breed. Being a part of this form of fandom is akin to being one of those intensely devoted Star Wars nuts who attend all the conventions in costume and can tell you every detail about every movie and every piece of the expanded universe, except most wrestling fans are actually that devoted to the product by default. There doesn’t seem to be any in-between with followers of the most spectacular form of fictional combat in the world.
So, it is not surprising that there are so many family traditions tied to professional wrestling. Parents have been getting children involved in their wrestling obsessions for decades, passing on the Monday night traditions, and it’s not just on that side of the screen that this sort of thing happens. Family lineages have helped define the world of wrestling since the dawn of the sport, with a large portion of the WWE Superstar roster almost always being made up second and third generation athletes.
The extended Hart family, consisting of the likes of Bret Hart, Owen Hart, Davey Boy Smith and current WWE Superstar Natalya is one of the most famous families in the business. The McMahons, of course, have also been around for a good long while, and the company’s top female talent right now is Charlotte, the daughter of WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair. However, without a doubt, the largest family in professional wrestling belongs to WWE’s new golden boy, Roman Reigns. Let’s take a look at fifteen famous members of the legendary Anoa’i wrestling dynasty.
If we are going to have a discussion delving into Roman Reigns’ extensive family of wrestling personalities, there are few better places to begin than with his brother. Known as Rosey during his time with WWE, Matt Anoa’i left an imprint on the sports entertainment world first as a tag team partner to Jamal, another member of the family whom we will discuss later on. Together, Rosey and Jamal were known as 3 Minute Warning and their sole purpose was to do Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff’s dirty work.
Later, Rosey had a successful babyface run as the tag team partner of The Hurricane. Rosey was The Hurricane’s “Superhero in Training,” or “S-H-I-T.” The two scored a reign as the WWE World Tag Team Champions during what likely became Rosey’s defining run in the wrestling business before later being released from the company. Though his time with WWE was relatively brief, it was certainly memorable.
Most of the Anoa’i family members are known within the wrestling universe, if not legendary for their contributions over their many years working in the business. Most fans will likely have heard of and perhaps even know a lot about most names on this list, but if there is one you’ll need a bit of a refresher course on it will be Manu. Manu only lasted in WWE for about the span of a cup of coffee and unfortunately never got the chance to emulate the success of his predecessors.
Manu’s brief time in WWE is exclusively tied to the faction known as “Legacy,” which he himself was a member of alongside Cody Rhodes, Ted DiBiase, Jr., and Randy Orton. The theme of the group was that each of the four members had come from famous wrestling families, with all of them being at least second generation pro wrestlers. However, Manu’s time was cut short when he was released from the company, reportedly for attitude problems.
Rikishi is the first name on our list to have gone back a very long time in the sports entertainment world, though that is a fact that may not be immediately obvious. This is because the man behind Rikishi, Solofa Fatu, Jr., has played a variety of roles throughout his decades of contributions to the sport. Before becoming Rikishi, his most famous character was that of Fatu, one-half of the tag team known as the Headshrinkers. With his partner Samu, another member of the Anoa’i family, Fatu captured the WWE World Tag Team Championship.
It would seem as if this would be the peak of his career, but once the Attitude era had gotten well underway Fatu became Rikishi, a scantily dressed dancer who teamed with Scotty 2 Hotty and Grand Master Sexay in the stable known as Too Cool. This extremely popular group came to define Rikishi’s career, and this cousin of Roman Reigns was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2015.
12. Nia Jax
To get into some material that is a little more modern, another one of Roman Reign’s extended family members is current WWE Superstar Nia Jax. As a former plus-sized model, it was initially unclear how the relatively large Nia Jax was going to fit into WWE’s women’s division upon her debut with the company in NXT. At this time, women’s wrestling was still not taken very seriously and the female athletes were forced to wrestler a lighter style to preserve some unrealistic veil of femininity.
Jump forward to 2017 and Nia Jax has carved out a very comfortable spot on WWE’s main roster as a dominant force. WWE has kicked the notion that women can’t be as big of an asset to the company as the men, and with competitors in the women’s division frequently in televised main events these days it is now clear that a woman like Nia Jax fits in perfectly.
11. Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka
There is simply no downplaying the influence made on professional wrestling by WWE Hall of Famer Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka. Here is a man who may not have ever won any championship titles during his time with the World Wrestling Federation, but he did encourage a young man named Mick Foley to get into the wrestling business with his spectacular leap from the top of a steel cage. Snuka was heavily involved in the main event of the first ever WrestleMania in 1985, making his presence felt in the corner of fellow WWE Hall of Famers Mr. T and Hulk Hogan.
Many other memorable rivalries make up the career of this legend, who is not strictly related to the Anoa’i lineage by blood but is nonetheless considered a part of the family through marriage. In more modern times, though, he has been plagued by a scandal involving the death of his girlfriend decades ago. Snuka has been accused of murder in this case, though the charges were recently dropped due to his declining health.
Haku is the name of one of the most notoriously tough and intimidating men in the history of sports entertainment, and he just so happens to be an extended family member of Roman Reigns. Fellow wrestlers have often cited Haku as being the last man you would ever want to get into a bar fight with, and he brought plenty of that ruggedness and intensity to the ring for his wrestling performances over the years. He has competed all over the world, with his WWE tenures taking place in the 1980s and then again in the early 2000s as a tag team partner for Rikishi.
However, Haku is also famously known as Meng, largely from his days wrestling for World Championship Wrestling. With the World Wrestling Federation holding a trademark on his original name, he showed that he doesn’t need to rely on the Haku name to prove his physical dominance and saw much success within that company.
9. The Usos
Just in case you’ve been living under a rock, longtime WWE mainstays and former WWE Tag Team Champions Jimmy and Jey Uso are the cousins of Roman Reigns. The Usos’ father is none other than the 2015 WWE Hall of Fame inductee Rikishi himself, also a cousin of Reigns as we covered earlier. The familial relationship between the Usos and Roman Reigns has been utilized on television numerous times, unfortunately to the detriment of the Usos given the cold responses Roman Reigns gets from the usual WWE crowd.
But even if you strip all of the Anoa’i family relations away from Jimmy and JeyUso, the twin brothers have undoubtedly carved out their niche within professional wrestling. The pair has been one of the few consistent acts of the tag team division in WWE in recent years, always proving to be a solid and reliable choice to have featured in the title picture.
Another name you may or may not recall is that of Deuce. The son of Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka had his most successful experience as a professional wrestler alongside his tag team partner Domino and their manager Cherry when the team had a memorable run as the WWE Tag Team Champions. They were involved in a rivalry on SmackDown during the original brand extension with Brian Kendrick and Paul London, two of the longest reigning Tag Team Champions in history, but Deuce found great difficulty mimicking that experience.
He was later rebranded as Sim Snuka to further play up his role as a second generation pro wrestler, but the stars would not be aligning again for this former WWE Superstar. He is related to Roman Reigns though only distantly and not through a blood connection. Even though he will never find the success of most of those who came before him he is still considered a member of the extensive Anoa’i family.
7. Peter Maivia
“High Chief” Peter Maivia is one of the most revered names in the history of the great sport of professional wrestling. He was a true pioneer who was recognized for his accomplishments in 2008 with an induction into the WWE Hall of Fame, though he is perhaps best known as the father of fellow WWE Hall of Famer Rocky Johnson and now as the grandfather of one Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who we will get to in a little bit.
Maivia may not have ever won a championship title with the World Wrestling Federation, but he did win plenty of them with the famed National Wrestling Alliance. His influence has survived generations as a unique force in wrestling. He was considered a “blood brother” to the great Anoa’i wrestling dynasty, and without a doubt became one of the most successful and respected grapplers to ever come from the great family.
And now we move on to a name much less often considered when discussing this extensive family of professional wrestlers, current WWE Superstar Naomi. It can be understandably questioned how Naomi fits into this picture, having only married into the family in recent years by wedding fellow WWE Superstar Jimmy Uso, whom we spoke of earlier. However, history tells us marriage is practically considered a blood bond within the Anoa’i family and Naomi, whose real name after marriage is Trinity Fatu, has been welcomed with open arms.
She is certainly a rare breed of female talent, possessing a special type of agility not often seen in female wrestlers. Her vertical leap puts many male wrestlers to shame and she is often referred to as the most athletic woman in all of WWE. Although she has yet to enjoy a run as a WWE Women’s Champion, Naomi is has been a solid and reliable force within the WWE women’s division for some years now.
If you recall from our earlier discussion about Roman Reigns’ brother Rosey, he once had a tag team partner in WWE named Jamal. Jamal’s real name was Eddie Fatu and he was the cousin of his tag partner and Reigns himself as well as the uncle of Jimmy and Jey Uso. Rosey and Jamal made up 3 Minute Warning, a large and intimidating tag team who often did the bidding of Eric Bischoff. However, that tag team didn’t last very long and eventually, the two went their separate ways.
This could not have been better for Eddie Fatu’s wrestling career, as he went on to become “The Samoan Bulldozer” Umaga. Fans will likely remember Umaga fondly as a savage beast of a wrestler who gave us many memorable matches and a run or two with the Intercontinental Championship. It all ended rather abruptly in 2009 when he passed away suddenly following a heart attack. This was only months after being released from WWE for refusing to enter rehabilitation for his substance abuse.
One of Roman Reigns’ most successful and legendary cousins was the great WWE Hall of Famer Yokozuna. Ironically, Yokozuna was billed as a Japanese sumo wrestler from the Land of the Rising Sun, but it certainly worked for him and led him to a very memorable run as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. He ruled over the World Wrestling Federation during the era when Monday Night Raw was just getting started and was easily one of the largest men to hold that title, often weighing in at 600 pounds.
Yokozuna, who was famously accompanied by his legendary manager and fellow WWE Hall of Famer Mr. Fuji, was eventually let go from WWE apparently due to his refusing to lose some of his substantial weight. He passed away in 2000 as a result of a pulmonary edema. This is definitely one member of the Anoa’i dynasty who will always be lovingly remembered as one of the most iconic wrestlers in history.
3. Tamina Snuka
Though her presence hasn’t been truly felt in a while, current WWE Superstar Tamina Snuka has been holding it down for the Anoa’i family for years. She is the daughter of WWE Hall of Famer Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, the sister of former WWE Tag Team Champion Deuce, and an extended relative of Roman Reigns via her father’s connection to the family by marriage.
Tamina came along at a time when it wasn’t a valued idea to be a strong, powerful woman in WWE and the championship picture was mostly dominated by models who had transitioned into the roles of wrestlers. And although she has never won a title with the company and has spent a lot of time away due to injury she has managed to remain under contract with WWE, though one wonders for how much longer. When Tamina actually has a role on television it’s usually minimal and she is often used to put other women over.
2. The Wild Samoans
There can be no deeper family connection made to Roman Reigns than that of his very own father, WWE legend Sika. Sika and his brother Afa were known as the Wild Samoans during their time with the World Wrestling Federation and they became the WWE World Tag Team Champions on three separate occasions over the course of their run together. They became one of the most popular teams of their era and remain an influence on tag team wrestling today.
So respected were the Wild Samoans that they were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame with the class of 2007. Afa and Sika were intense and savage, something often seen among the Anoa’i family members, and have no doubt passed much of what they know about the business to Roman Reigns. Hate on Reigns all you want, but he was able to create his own success largely without references to his legendary father, with few exceptions.
1. The Rock
You know we just had to go there. There are other, closer relatives to Roman Reigns within the great Anoa’i family of wrestlers, but none of them are of bigger name value than his cousin Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The Rock is one of the very few professional wrestlers whose popularity has transcended the sport. He has become a worldwide phenomenon all on his own through his extensive work in the Hollywood film industry, but it is obvious he has never forgotten his roots.
The Rock is one of the most successful WWE Superstars of all time, as well known as Hulk Hogan or “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, and was one of the faces of the famed Attitude era. He has returned multiple times in recent years, including for a couple of WrestleMania matches and some other defining moments at the biggest show of the year. There is no denying that The Rock is definitely Roman Reigns’ most famous family member.