Randy Orton pays tribute to former champion, who tragically passed away at just 36 years old RandyOrton/Facebook

Umaga, also known as Eddie Fatu, tragically passed away at just 36 years old back in 2009 after a lethal combination of pain killers, muscle relaxers and anti-anxiety medications resulted in him having a heart attack.

He was found unresponsive by his wife and rushed to the hospital, where he later died.

On Monday, current WWE star Randy Orton shared a photo remembering the life of Umaga:

“12/4/09 8 years ago, many people including me lost a true friend. He was one of the most intimidating characters in the ring, but for those that knew him, he was one of the absolute funniest guys we knew. Here?s proof. In this pic if you look closely, he is wearing my trunks. They never fit me quite right after that night! #RIPUCE

Umaga saw his WWE debut as a member of 3-Minute Warning, billed under the name Jamal with his cousin, Matt Anoa’i (Rosey).

Upon his return as Umaga, he jumped right to the top of the card, landing in feuds with top stars such as John Cena, Degeneration-X and others.

He eventually represented Vince McMahon in the infamous Battle of the Billionaires at WrestleMania 32.


Umaga’s WWE run lasted from 2005-2009, when he was released following a second Wellness Policy violation and refusal to go to rehab.

The former WWE star was the brother of Rikishi and is a family member in the famed Anoa’i lineage, which includes Rosey, The Usos, Yokozuna and the Rock.

Umaga is a former two-time Intercontinental Champion.

Prashad is the Senior Content Editor for Cox Media Group's He considers Muhammad Ali, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce some of the all-time greats. Boston is TitleTown, in case you were wondering.
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