The Samoan Werewolf, Jacob Fatu, has risen to the top of the independent wrestling scene. His growth has led to his emergence as the face of Major League Wrestling. If his last name is familiar, it should be. He is the son of Sam Fatu, who competed as The Tonga Kid or Fatu during his time in the WWF. And he was trained by his uncle, WWE Hall of Famer, Rikishi (real name Junior Fatu). This lineage means he is also related to many members of the Anoa’i family, including The Usos and Roman Reigns from WWE.
As a talent with less than a decade of in-ring experience, Jacob has built quite a foundation around him. He began by competing in the California independents, working with fellow Samoan Dynasty family members.
— RIKISHI (@TheREALRIKISHI) July 10, 2012
KnoxX Pro Academy
As one half of The Templars, Fatu made his debut in KnoxX Pro Academy on September 22nd, 2012, alongside Black Pearl, another member of his extended family. He would compete two more times for KPA before the end of 2012. The following year, he dominated the promotion, winning singles, tag team, and six-man matches. He continued to wrestle for the promotion in 2014 and 2015, though his appearances became fewer and fewer. And it was in 2016 when he truly broadened his horizons and starting branching out to other independent wrestling organizations.
Much like any wrestler today, in order to grow, there is a need to compete in as many different promotions and regions as possible. In 2016 he performed for promotions such as APW, Supreme Pro Wrestling, Pro Championship Wrestling, Pacific Coast Wrestling (later known as PCW ULTRA), Gold Rush Pro Wrestling, and East Bay Pro Wrestling. Over the next year, Fatu’s booking doubled, and he returned to some of these promotions many times. In 2018, he wrestled over thirty matches over the course of the year.
Jacob Fatu – The Samoan Werewolf With a Menacing Bite
For Fatu, family may have provided him an opportunity, but he was the one that possessed the skills he was able to showcase to those behind the scenes. It was as important to show that he was more than another branch of the Anoa’i family tree and that he could do things in the ring that made him special to watch.
By 2019, the wrestling world was taking notice of ‘The Samoan Werewolf.’ By that time, he was armed with an array of dangerous strikes and an aerial assault that showcased his immense agility. With his uncle Samu Anoa’i and cousin Lance Anoa’i already working in the promotion, he would sign with Major League Wrestling, which is run by former WWE writer Court Bauer. Bauer’s astute business sense meant he wasn’t going to allow Fatu to be passed over when the opportunity to bring him in presented itself.
Simple: WWE had their shot, then another, then another… and STILL slept on him. I didn’t. https://t.co/0RmKBv6aTM
— Court Bauer (@courtbauer) November 3, 2020
Shortly after joining MLW, Fatu would be aligned with Josef Samael. He would attack MLW World Champion ‘Filthy’ Tom Lawlor at MLW’s Intimidation Games event. This was the genesis of what would become the Contra Unit faction, alongside Simon Gotch. After five months in the promotion, Fatu would defeat Lawlor at Kings of Colosseum to capture the MLW World Heavyweight Championship.
Fatu’s win led to him headlining MLW’s Saturday Night Superfight on November 2nd, 2019, against LA Park. As of this writing, Fatu has held the title for over 600 days and counting. His reign has been remarkable, and his championship defenses have reflected that he is able to match up with the very best the promotion has to offer. He recently signed a contract extension with the company securing his immediate professional future with MLW.
“What I can say is MLW has been great…Obviously, I’m still here with them. Myself, Tom [ Lawlor] and Alexander [Hammerstone] are gonna be here. We’re gonna be here, and we all expect a lot of great things to happen. MLW is family. Shout out to Court Bauer and the entire team, the production people, and cats that set up the lights, the pyro and the ring. There has been nothing but love out here.”
One of the questions he is often asked is about where he is and where he may go. Whether or not he will remain with the company will always be speculated upon, as others may wonder if he wants to move on to a promotion that has been synonymous with his family’s success.
“Everybody knows my family is made of tag team wrestlers, starting from The Wild Samoans to The Headshrinkers, and Three Minute Warning to The Usos, so factions and tag teams have always been close to my heart. So, when we started out [with CONTRA Unit] with just a few members and it got bigger and bigger. I’m really excited, especially after The Restart we added some new members [Mads Krügger and Daivari].”
Born into a family that is so firmly entrenched in wrestling’s past, present and future, Fatu was a fan of the industry at a young age but never really gave wrestling a thought outside of his fandom. He recalls his late uncle Rodney Anoai’s (Yokozuna) ‘s success during his time in the company. But seeing how far he’s progressed as a pro in less than a decade is a testament to the dedication to the sport that he has now.
“Well, I’ve always been a fan, and I was a fan through that era being young [and] being around the wrestling business. This was when my uncle Yoko was there, when he was the champion throughout the ‘90s’. I was also there at WrestleMania 12. I was actually a fan throughout the ’90s. It was cool. I’ve never thought about wrestling at all, but I was just so thankful.”
Much like any fan in attendance, Fatu was star-struck by the talent. As a result, he immersed himself in the culture. But for as much good as he saw, he admits to being around the bad and the ugly side too. His personal and professional perseverance is a testament to his upbringing and commitment to improving.
“It was just so cool running up to the wrestlers, get a picture, come home and just hang them all up all throughout the rooms, but it was just cool to go out there but not really knowing what I was actually around, knowing that other people actually kill and die just to want to be around and see what we were seeing as young kids growing up in the wrestling business. But other than that, it was good. You also saw the good, the bad, and the ugly, but other than that, it was a lot of good times.”
At times, a comparison is made to another prominent Anoa’i family member, and he has been asked about that. He isn’t a tribal chief, but he has been asked where he sits at the family’s table. In response, he remains humble. He doesn’t consider himself the head of the table but an equally important one nonetheless.
“To answer that truthfully, where I sit at the table is just playing my position and playing my role at that time. If everybody just plays their position [and] plays their roles within the family, this legacy could go on. Not only that but we could do great things, and I think it’s kind of cool having my Big Dog, and Jimmy and Jey out there in WWE.”
What does the future hold for the Samoan Werewolf? If the present is any indication, it is win after win. Whether it is as part of a faction or alone, Jacob Fatu is driven to succeed. He continues to carry on the pride of his Samoan Dynasty and is among the most important members of the Dynasty’s future. This Samoan Werewolf will prove that his bark is equally as dangerous as his bite.