Vince McMahon’s dramatic u-turn, in which he intended to fire Rikishi but instead hired three of his relatives, has been discussed by Jim Cornette.
Rikishi is a member of the legendary Anoa’i wrestling family, which includes Afa and Sika of The Wild Samoans and current Universal Champion Roman Reigns. Rikishi had played a variety of roles since joining the WWF in 1992, including Fatu – both as a Headshrinker and as someone attempting to make a difference – and The Sultan.
Rikishi’s time with the organisation appeared to be up around the turn of the millennium, and Vince McMahon was ready to let the larger-than-life star go. On his Drive-Thru podcast, Jim Cornette detailed why this didn’t happen and how McMahon ended up with three more names on his wage bill instead:
“I think he’d been The Sultan for a while and then they’d done something else… he’d gone through two or three gimmicks, he’d been there for a few years and Vince one day said, ‘We’ve got to cut Fatu.’ So, they called Fatu to the office – they didn’t do it on the phone back in those days – Vince was going to talk to him personally.”
“Afa comes with Fatu, and so did Rosey and Jamal. All four of them come in, they had the meeting with Vince and I see them leave and went in and talked to Bruce Prichard about something. I said, ‘Did Vince tell Fatu?’ He said, ‘Nope. He not only didn’t fire Fatu, he hired the other three.’”
Jamal and Rosey made their WWE television debuts as Eric Bischoff’s villainous minions, who inflicted a 3-Minute Warning on his adversaries while he controlled Raw. On SmackDown, they were involved in the controversial Billy and Chuck wedding angle, which they disrupted at Bischoff’s request.
Rosey later became a Superhero In Training with The Hurricane while Jamal became known as Umaga and captured the Intercontinental Championship. Sadly Umaga passed away in 2009 with Rosey also passing away in 2017.