Former WWE Tag Team Champion Samu Anoa’i stepped IN THE ROOM with Brady Hicks this week to talk about his time on the road, being part of one of wrestling’s most legendary families, and his WXW C4 promotion in Allentown, PA. Check it out as Samu talks about fighting with kids in school because they called wrestling “fake,” what inspired him to be a wrestler, the legend of a Samoan headbutt, and having so many family members in the business, including The Rock.
On His Trainee Batista, Then and Now:
He always had the look that you knew. [He was] positive. He had the passion and the desire. He had a little late start, but he was still a fast learner. And he was able to be very marketable for a while … I don’t know what happened, if anything, to discourage him or to change his mind. I know that the business has done a lot for him and his family. And that’s something you should never forget, that you always remember. He just got a late start I believe and time catches up to all of us. And especially now they’re really pushing the younger generation.
On What’s Missing from Wrestlers Today:
There’s a lot more on-the-job training now. They’re trying to build these kids so fast, and get them ready for Main Event. It’s hard to get that timing like back in the day because there [used to be] territories where you were still working 6 or 7 nights a week, and learning that timing that you cannot find here and now. In the indies you’re lucky if you get out 2 or 3 times in a weekend. So it’s harder to build that timing now and get them ready … Now guys are [also] afraid to get hurt Guys are afraid they’re going to hurt their finger and not be able to go to the gym tomorrow. We didn’t care if we were hurt. We knew if we were hurt we’d have to get out there anyway or somebody else would take our job. That’s the difference between then and now … They don’t have to pay there dues. Plus they don’t have that road to travel on too. They’re not out enough. How can you do it?
On The Learning Process:
I was lucky to be able to be in the middle with all the old timers. I was younger, but I was a sponge, and I was sucking up everything. I had my mouth shut and my eyes ears open, and just tried to learn everything I could. I was lucky enough to hang in there, keep my oars in the boat, and make a living off of it and continue on through all the eras. Again it comes back to the schooling that I give those kids now. I’m able to see another change how the business is and hopefully steer them in the right direction.
On What Wrestling is Missing Today:
Back in our days we were always out protecting the business. People were talking bs, saying it was fake, [and] this and that. And [with] my father being in [WWE] and, knowing the injuries he was coming home with, it always kind of pissed me off. It always was a big thing to me to protect the business back then. We don’t have that so much anymore. I feel that that should be carried through in the schools today that they have out there nowadays, they need to learn how to act not just in the ring but how to act out of the ring too.