Yokozuna

image


Real Name - Rodney Agutupu Anoa'i
Lifespan - 10/2/66 - 10/23/00
6'4" 550 lbs. - San Francisco, CA

Aliases - Rodney Kokina, Wild Samoan Kokina, Kokina Maximus, The Great Kokina, Mr. Sumo

Athletic background - n/a

Teachers – Wild Samoans

Professional background - Indies(`84-`8?), Cont'l(`85,`88-`89), USWA(`89), AWA(`90), New Japan(`90-`92), UWA(`91-`92), WWF(`92-`98), Indies(`98-`00)

Groups – Hawaiian Beasts, Camp Cornette

Peak Years - `92-`95

Career Highlights -
- Enters the WWF to much fanfare as a sumo wrestling champion
- Wins the 1993 Royal Rumble, last eliminating Randy Savage, to get a title shot
- Defeats Bret Hart to win his first WWF championship at Wrestlemania IX
- Beats Hulk Hogan in his last match after a decade with WWF for his second WWF title
- Has the last championship run teaming with Owen Hart and enjoying two championship reigns

Finisher(s) -
- Banzai Drop
- Legdrop

Favorites -
- Belly-to-Belly
- Reverse Avalanche
- Superkick
- Headbutt
- Throat Thrust

Ringwork Rating -
move set - 3
science - 0
aerial - 1
power - 5
strikes - 4

Intangible Rating -
entertainment - 5
selling - 4
bumping - 5
carrying - 4
heat - 5
legacy - 3

Place in History - The heaviest pro-wrestler of all-time, Yokozuna defied the mold of what a big man wrestler can be. His size makes it difficult to say whether or not he was the greatest "big man," but the greatest worker over five-hundred pounds - definitely! Rodney Anoa'i came from the legendary Samoan family as the son of Afa and nephew of Sika. He, like his father and uncle, had a natural aptitude for the big man role. He was a hefty youngster when he worked as half of a version of the Wild Samoans with his uncle and later as a monster heel in the AWA. Kokina was agile for his size and definitely had potential to be a star. In 1992, the WWF picked him up and gave him the monster push, which they'd seldom used for anything other than Hogan-fodder. The huge Samoan was given a sumo gimmick and dubbed “Yokozuna,” a title reserved for a grand champion of sumo. Yokozuna got publicity in Japan for his use of the gimmick, but the WWF never really capitalized on it. For Yoko, things worked out in the States as he became the premier heel and was the one to beat Hogan in his last WWF match. After a couple years, the Yokozuna character had run its course. His weight ballooned and his work suffered. He was a flat babyface and was approaching eight hundred pounds when the WWF finally cut him loose. After failing to shed the pounds, Yokozuna struggled through by doing odd indy shows. A heart attack claimed his life in 2000. The Yokozuna character had a short shelf life, but when he was in his prime, he was a reliable and competent big man. After the push fizzled out, Yokozuna was unable to find his place in the undercard and it was a sad decline for a former WWF champion.

1