Between the celebratory dances and stink face closers, Rikishi was one of the most unique wrestlers at the height of the WWE’s Attitude era. As announced on last night’s Raw, Rikishi becomes the third member of the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2015.
Rikishi is a member of the well known Anoa’i family dynasty, nephew to WWE Hall of Famers Afa and Siki (The Wild Samoians). Rikishi began competing at 20 years old with his cousin as the Samoan Swat Team duo. The pair joined the NWA under the leadership of Paul E. Dangerously (Paul Heyman), duking it out with The Midnight Express and the Road Warriors.
Rikishi arrived in the WWE in 1992 when The Samoan Swat Team was rebranded as The Headshrinkers. The WWE tag team enjoyed success in the chaotic WWE ranks, going on to win the WWE World Tag Team titles on an episode of Raw in 1994. In 1997, Rikishi changed identities as The Masked Sultan and challenged Rocky Maivia for the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania 13 before Maivia took off as The Rock.
Rikishi enjoyed the greatest success of his career in the Attitude Era alongside Grandmaster Sexay and Scotty 2 Hotty as the team Too Cool. some of his most memorable moments of the time included a heated steel cage match with rival Val Venis, where he dove from the top of the cage onto his opponent. In 1999, Rikishi was revealed as the driver of the car that ran over “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, giving his cousin, The Rock, the chance to go on to win a WWE Championship.
Rikishi’s own sons, The Usos, will induct him into the WWE Hall of Fame. He joins Anoa’i family members The Wild Somoans, High Chief Peter Mavia and Yokozuna enshrined in the hall.