Tonga Uliuli Fifita
"There are 3 types of men: tough men, wrestler-tough men, and then there's Meng."
(b. February 3, 1959) is a semi-retired Tongan
sumo and Professional Wrestler
best known for his time in WWE
from 1986-1992 as King Tonga
or his time in WCW
from 1994-2001 as Meng.
After competing in sumo wrestling under the name Fukunoshima
, he made his pro-wrestling debut for All Japan Pro Wrestling
in 1978. He also worked as a referee for the Funk family's territory in Amarillo, Texas. As King Tonga, he first made his name in the International Wrestling promotion in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He made his PPV debut as King Tonga in the battle royal that was part of the Chicago
stage of WrestleMania II
. He has competed for WWE, WCW, the AWA
, New Japan Pro Wrestling
, various National Wrestling Alliance
and many independent promotions around the world. Among his in-ring achievements, he is a former WWE World Tag Team Champion
with André the Giant
as the Colossal Connection and a former WCW Hardcore Champion
. He is very
well known among other wrestlers as being one of, and perhaps, the
toughest man in American wrestling.
Not to be confused with those other guys called Haku
, that other guy called Meng
or with Ming the Merciless
As usual, you can find the basics at The Other Wiki
"Tongan Death Tropes":
- Afro Asskicker: He has had some BIG hair at different points in his career.
- Ascended Extra: As per the tradition in Japanese wrestling promotions, started in All Japan as an anonymous second.
- Badass: Oh dear gosh, where to even begin?
- He once got arrested for getting caught up in a bar fight that he was trying to break up, and broke the handcuffs and asked the police officer, "Is that it?" He pulled wrestler Jesse Barr's eye out. He bit some guy's nose! He'd probably qualify for The Tyson Zone if he had any kind of mainstream presence.
- Badass Beard/Beard of Evil: Depending on his face/heel alignment at the time.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: As Col. Robert Parker's bodyguard in WCW.
- Badass Longrobe: In 1995 after joining the Dungeon of Doom.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Back in WCW in 1998, he was talking backstage with Chris Candido, Tammy Lynn Sytch and Chris Jericho when Eric Bischoff and Greg Gagne, an office suit, approached them. Meng told them that they were interrupting him while he talked with his friends. Bischoff and Gagne apologized to Meng. That's right, MENG got ERIC BISCHOFF, his boss, to apologize to him. THAT's the kind of Badass reputation he has and how scary he could be.
- Bash Brothers: The Barbarian, Earthquake, Rikishi
- Breakup Breakout: From the Islanders and the Faces of Fear.
- Commuting on a Bus: 1998-2001 saw him get built up as a threat, lose to, say, Goldberg and then disappear again. This happened several times.
- Cool Mask: Wore one that looked sort of like a lion's head after joining the Dungeon of Doom.
- Cool Shades: While in his bodyguard role as a member of the Stud Stable.
- Cool Uncle: To The Rock, albeit not biologically
- David Vs Goliath: Played straight at least twice, with Fifita on both ends:
- In 1986, while competing as King Tonga in the WWF, once bodyslammed Big John Studd (easily) after Studd had won a squash match (against two jobbers who had accepted Studd's latest "bodyslam challenge"). Later in 1986, when he began teaming with the Tonga Kid (and both changed their names to Haku and Tama, respectively) and called themselves the Islanders, got another major victory over Studd and his tag team partner, King Kong Bundy, by winning a $50,000 Tag Team Battle Royal at Madison Square Garden.
- At WrestleMania VII when the Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty) defeated Haku and Barbarian.
- Inverted when the Faces of Fear defeated Chris Jericho and Eddie Guerrero on the February 4, 1997 WCW Monday Nitro.
- Death from Above: Could get up to over 300 lbs. and could do a frogsplash.
- Defeating the Undefeatable: He and Dino Bravo actually once defeated THE ROAD WARRIORS in the old Montreal territory.
- Demoted to Extra: In 1991 WWE until he left, and at various points in WCW. Then again in WWE in 2001-2002 after Rikishi's injury and subsequent face turn.
- The Dragon: In the Dungeon of Doom and to heel Rikishi in 2001.
- Facial Markings: In the early stages of his Dungeon of Doom run.
- Finishing Move: Tongan Death Grip, Crescent Kick, Diving Headbutt. During his Dungeon of Doom days he also sometimes used a golden railroad spike as a foreign object.
- Hard Head: So much that ramming his head into the turnbuckle would often prompt him to start no-selling everything, and/or ramming his own head into the turnbuckle to demonstrate how little it hurt him.
- I Have Many Names: Prince Tonga, King Kong Tonga, King Tonga, Haku/King Haku, Tama Tonga, Meng
- I Know Sumo: And seven other unspecified martial arts disciplines.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Referred to this way at times in WCW.
- Impossibly Cool Clothes: Seriously, just look at the picture.
- Lightning Bruiser: During his younger days especially.
- Mean Character, Nice Actor: Could be this way, so long as someone didn't make him angry.
- Bobby Heenan, who managed him for several years, said that while he was definitely as tough as his reputation precedes, he really was a kindhearted family man.
- No Sell: One of the best ever at it.
- Omniglot: Can speak English, Tongan and a few other languages, he just, in character, chose not to most of the time.
- Popularity Power: His unstoppable monster image made him very popular in WCW.
- Power Stable:
- Pressure Point: His Tonga Death Grip and Asian Spike finishers were supposed to be based in those.
- Put on a Bus: WWE sent him down to OVW to manage the Island Boys (Kimo [Rosey] and O.G. Ekmo [Jamal/Umaga]), and eventually released him, with Haku never returning to WWE TV.
- Real Song Theme Tune: As King Tonga in International Wrestling in Montreal, he used Van Halen's "Jump."
- As King Haku: Modest Mussorgsky's "The Bogatyr Gates (in the Capital in Kiev)" (from his famous piano suite Pictures At An Exhibition. It's the same music Harley Race used during his run as the "King of the WWF" and that Jerry "The King" Lawler has used his whole time in WWE.)
- Red Baron: "The Monster," "The Face of Terror"
- Screaming Warrior: He had a signature bellow that went HEEE-YUHHH. It sounded more intimidating than it looks in print.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After some 6 1/2 years of constant semi-pushes, he finally won a singles title in a major promotion when he defeated WCW Hardcore Champion Terry Funk and Crowbar in a three-way match at WCW Sin on January 14, 2001. A week later, he jumped to WWE as Haku, returning at the Royal Rumble and aligning himself with Rikishi. He explained on WWE's website that his motivation was being able to take care of his family.
- Shout-Out: The Punk Rock band Tongan Death Grip.
- Tag Team:
- (in WWE): The Islanders, w/Tama
- The Colossal Connection, w/Andre the Giant
- (in SWS in Japan): The Natural Powers, w/Yoshiaki Yatsu
- (in WCW): The Faces of Fear, w/The Barbarian
- We Used to Be Friends: With Kurasawa (aka New Japan's Manabu Nakanishi). They were tag team partners as part of the Stud Stable before Meng switched to the Dungeon of Doom. On the September 30, 1995 WCW Pro, Kurasawa had finished his match but was still in the ring doing some kind of meditation/prayer ritual when Meng came down for his match and they had a standoff, with Kurasawa's manager Col. Robert Parker having to hold Kurasawa back. It happened again in December prior to Starrcade. In the latter case, it may have been justified, as WCW was building up the "WCW vs. New Japan" angle, as Starrcade that year was billed as the "World Cup of Wrestling" and featured a tournament between WCW guys and New Japan guys, although neither Meng nor Kurasawa competed that night.
- Who's on First?: He's a guy from Tonga named Tonga.
- Wild Tongan
- The Worf Effect: Prior to Kevin Nash booking himself to kill Goldberg's streak, was able to inflict enough damage on Goldberg to make himself into a believable threat.
- Meng actually made a career out of Worfing. Since he often ended up playing Dragon-like roles, he'd regularly lose to the faces to set up their final showdowns with whoever he was Dragoning for. This was usually sold by the commentators as "I can't believe he beat The Monster Meng!"
- He also Worfed for Goldberg during his final WCW appearance by losing in the usual 30 second squash instead of having a back and forth match with him.
- Worthy Opponent: Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Demolition, Chris Benoit. For a time in WCW, Benoit and Goldberg were the only guys who were allowed to get clean wins over Meng, although the Giant (Big Show) and Wrath got a few here and there.
- Would Hit a Girl: Defeated Madusa in the WCW World Heavyweight Title Tournament on the October 25, 1999 Nitro. To Meng's credit he tried to scare her away by roaring and only hit her back after she actually hurt him a bit with a missile dropkick.
- Wrestling Family: His sons Tevita and Alipate. Tevita spent a few years in WWE as Camacho. Alipate competes for New Japan Pro Wrestling as Tama Tonga or King Tonga Jr. While in WWE's developmental program FCW, Tevita was billed for a time as Donny Marlow and teamed with Brodus Clay as the Colossal Connection, which was the name of Haku's team with Andre. Also, Afa counts him as part of the Samoan dynasty.
- Wrestling Monster: Actually one of the smallest guys ever to play the 'monster' role.