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Matt Hardy: Umaga Was Incredible, It Was Great Working With Him

Matt Hardy discusses Umaga and praises the late star’s talent.

Edward Fatu originally worked for WWE from 2001-2003. He later returned to the company in 2005 and debuted as the repackaged Umaga character in 2006. “The Samoan Bulldozer” went on an impressive undefeated streak, and he memorably defeated Ric Flair in one of his first pay-per-view matches. Umaga later won the WWE Intercontinental Championship and subsequently feuded with WWE Champion John Cena. Umaga was ultimately released by WWE in June 2009, reportedly due to a second wellness policy violation. He ultimately passed away at the age of 36 in December 2011.

Speaking on his Extreme Life of Matt Hardy podcast, Matt was asked to share his thoughts on working with Umaga, as he and co-host Jon Alba were talking about Jeff Hardy’s feud with him in 2008. Matt responded by saying they were all good friends, and Jeff was particularly close with him. He recalled how Umaga used to go to Jeff’s house and ride on his racetrack. Matt also shared his belief that Umaga could have been a huge draw if he had stayed healthy, and he called him a great guy.

“I mean, he was great. We all ran in the same circle of friends, and him and Jeff were like, they were best friends. I mean, they loved working together, he would come to Jeff’s house,” Matt said. “I remember, we got some great pictures of my dad, and Umaga, and Jeff together when he was there, he actually wanted to come to Jeff’s house and ride his racetrack, you know, it’s pretty pretty famously known that Jeff has a motocross track on his land, and Umaga would come there and ride motorcycles with Jeff, which is so crazy to think about.

“But he was a great guy, a real sweetheart, but also a legitimate badass as well. A guy who could really kick your ass if he had to get down to it. But he was an amazing worker, he was so good for his size, and I really do feel like he could have been a a massive draw in pro wrestling, and a massive top guy if he would have been able to keep everything between the lines and stay healthy.”

Matt continued by emphasizing that Umaga was a remarkable athlete, and he always liked working with him. He praised the powerhouse’s abilities and noted that it was a pleasure to share the ring with him. The veteran also stated that he thinks people now look back and appreciate Umaga’s talent.

“He was incredible. I mean, we loved working with him because on house shows too, he would know how to do an entertaining match where you’d be smart and work smart,” Hardy said. “So that was super enjoyable. And then like, man, if you were having a pay-per-view or whatever, he’d go, like he was huge. He could move, he was he was underrated as a worker.

“I mean, I think now people look back on him and realize how much they they miss Umaga and the amazing things he…he was so quick and so explosive, especially for a guy of his size and his strength. It was great working with him, it was always a pleasure to walk in and see your name across from his.

Rikishi previously stated that he wanted to see Umaga get inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. Check out his comments here.

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