Wild Samoan

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Umaga and his chew toy.

You probably don't need to be told this (what with all the Evil Foreigners running around), but Professional Wrestling isn't very culturally sensitive. Nowhere is this more evident than in the character of the Wild Samoan (or Tongan, or Fijian, or Marquesan, or...). Basically, in wrestling world, if you come from a small South Pacific island, you talk in grunts, groans, and gibberish, you devour raw fish on the way to the ring (not prepared raw fish like sushi either, just plain, whole, raw fish)... and you destroy everything in your path in the most brutal manner possible. Oh, and your head is hard enough to break concrete.

Fortunately, this is on its way to becoming a Discredited Trope, with the broadening characters for islander wrestlers (such as Samoa Joe, the Badass submission expert, Rosey, the erstwhile sidekick to wrestling Superhero The Hurricane, and for that matter, The Rock would count as well (his mother was Samoan, but his father was black) - not to mention Rikishi, the hip-hop dancing sumo wrestler who rubs his gargantuan, thong-covered ass into his opponents' faces... yes, you read that right). However, it does have a way of cropping back up from time to time.

Examples of Wild Samoan include:

Professional Wrestling

  • Afa and Sika, the original Wild Samoans (incidentally, Afa is the patriarch of the Anoa'i Wrestling Family, whose members make up most of the other examples)
  • Samu and Fatu, the Headshrinkers
  • Umaga (Samoan for "The End")
    • Umaga was actually a subversion of this trope before he began to embody it. He portrayed Jamal of Three Minute Warning, basically a gangsta, during his WWE run at the turn of the century. He continued to play Jamal in Japan after getting released.
  • Haku(WWE)/Meng(WCW), a Wild Tongan
    • In real life this was half true. Outside of the ring he was very quiet, respectful, and well spoken........until you pissed him off and lord help you at that point. Right, Jimmy Jack Funk?
      • Jake "The Snake" Roberts once joked that, if he ever had to fight Meng in real life, he'd need a tank and a gun with one bullet. The gun was for himself if the tank failed to stop Meng.
    • Haku currently works as a body shop manager at a Toyota dealership in Orlando, FL.
  • Haku had a tag team partner named Tama, who became known as the "Wild Samoan Savage" while wrestling in the NWA.
  • Sabu The Wildman, came long before and no relation the non Samoan ECW wrestler of the same name
  • While "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka, a Fijian, wasn't the typical Wild Samoan Archetype, he did still dress like Tarzan and grunt a lot.
    • According to Urban Legend, Vince McMahon once got Snuka off of a murder charge, by claiming to the police that he was an illiterate simpleton who spoke no English.
      • It wasn't Vince doing it, it was Snuka himself. Short version is that Snuka's girlfriend died in very questionable circumstances and, while no charges were ever brought, Snuka used his illiterate savage routine in his taped interviews with the cops to avoid saying too much. The Other Wiki has the details.
  • The Tahitian Savage, who was actually from Samoa.
  • This trope is subverted, if you can believe it, by TNA's Samoa Joe. Not only does he speak fluent English in the ring and out of it, but he wears shoes as well! Unfortunately, he has suffered not from this trope, but from Badass Decay. It's made more sad when he was ROH World Champion, he reigned for twenty-one months.
    • To give you an idea of how impressive that was, John Cena's longest title reign with the WWE championship was thirteen months.
    • Worse still, in attempting to get rid of the Badass Decay, he headed into Wild Samoan territory, wearing facepaint and carrying a sling blade. This lead to a moronic Face Heel Turn at the 2009 King of the Mountain match that was regarded as one of the worst turns of all time.
  • WWE then debuted their own completely normal Samoan, Manu, but what made it genuinely surprising is that it's Afa's son. He didn't last long, though.
  • Currently in WWE are the Uso brothers (who are the sons of Rikishi Fatu), who actually lampshade this trope by noting in their debut promo that they're not "your stereotypical Samoans."
    • When they preform a Haka, the commentators point out that athletes in Hawaii do that even if they aren't, Polynesian.
      • Now, they are indeed doing the Siva-Tau, the samoan wardance. Which is also used by many other samoan athletes.

Live Action TV

  • Non-wrestling example (though it's not too far off): the recent revival of American Gladiators included a Wild Samoan who went by "Toa" (the Samoan word for "warrior").
    • And who coincidentally is a cousin of The Rock, a decidedly non-Wild Samoan.
  • The Price Is Right's Bob Barker was infamously wary of any Samoans (or anyone who looked like one) who got to Contestants Row, given their alleged tendency to pick him up in bear hugs out of jubilation.
  • There was some game show on Boy Meets World where the losers were attacked by Samoans. Even in the home edition.
  • The Maori are portrayed this way in Deadliest Warrior.
  • On Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Jadzia's bachelorette party included one of these, a crewman named Manuele Atoa.


  • Amazing (and appalling) that it isn't discredited yet, as it was subverted as far back as Moby Dick. Queequeg is an "islander" from somewhere in the Pacific, and Ishmael initially fears him as a dangerous savage, but he turns out to be a basically civilized and decent fellow with some peculiar cultural mannerisms.


  • Doctor Gonzo from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is described as Samoan (though his real name was Oscar Zeta Acosta and he was Chicano). The charade carries over from the books, and was pretty much necessary to keep Acosta from being disbarred.

Video Games

Real Life

  • Heavyweight boxer David Tua certainly qualifies, at least early in his career. And yes, he is Samoan.
    • A few kickboxers fit this trope as well: Mark Hunt, Ray Sefo and Mighty Mo (although, considering his susceptibility to knockouts he may count as a subversion).
  • A disproportionate number of American Football players come from American Samoa. According to a 60 Minutes piece on the subject, it helps that they're taller on average than other Americans, have a strong warrior-culture influence, and spend a great part of their day from a young age in hard agricultural labor, as compared to the more sedate lifestyle in the US mainland.
    • Averted by Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers. He is of Samoan descent (albeit born and raised in the US) and is every bit the warrior during the game. However, off the field, he is very soft-spoken, laid back and sweet-natured.