Sika Anoa’i, WWE Hall of Famer and father of Roman Reigns, dies at 79

WWE Hall of Famer Sika Anoa’i, who won multiple WWE tag team titles with his brother Afa and is the father of current WWE star Roman Reigns, died Tuesday. He was 79.

His death was announced by nephew Jahrus Anoa’i on Instagram.

Jahrus wrote: “It is with profound sadness that I share the news of the passing of Former Hall of Famer, Polaivao Leati Sika Anoa’i. He passed away peacefully on June 25th. He was many things: a hard working father, a caring brother, a supportive uncle, and a proud grandfather. He was a cherished friend to many, a loving family member whose warmth and kindness knew no bounds, and an inspiration to countless individuals. His legacy will continue to inspire and uplift future generations, reminding us of the impact one person’s life can have on so many. Rest in love Uncle Sika.”

Anoaʻi was born on the island of Tutuila in American Samoa on April 5, 1945. He and his family (he had 13 siblings) moved to San Francisco when he was 14 and he joined the Merchant Marines in 1963 before leaving in 1969 at the behest of Afa to become a pro wrestler.

Sika and Afa were known as “The Wild Samoans” and joined the WWE (then known as the WWWF), managed by Lou Albano, in 1980, winning the tag titles just four months after their debut by defeating Tito Santana and Ivan Putski. They lost, then won them again later in 1980, then again in 1983. He had limited success as a singles wrestler, but anyone who saw “The Wild Samoans,” with their wild hair, sarong and wrestling barefoot in the ring, will never forget them. They were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2007.

Sika trained wrestlers after retiring and helped launch the careers of many, including Yokozuna, Virgil, Billy Kidman, Batista, Rikishi, Tonga Kid, Virgil, Michael P.S. Hayes and Snitsky.

Anoaʻi’s son, Joseph, better known as Roman Reigns, is the top star in WWE currently and members of his extended family make up the faction known as “The Bloodline,” which has led WWE to renewed success in recent years. Reigns headlined the last two WrestleManias, including the 2023 event at SoFi Stadium.

First appeared on www.latimes.com

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