Eddie "Umaga" Fatu: 1973 - 2009

December 8, 2009

I’ve been meaning to post my thoughts on the unfortunate passing of Eddie Fatu for several days now but every time I sat down to do it, I drew a blank. Part of the problem is that I didn’t know him well, but the other part of it is I think I’m just running out of energy to write obituaries. I’ve lost way too many co-workers, and written far too many obituaries, for a 40 year old man, and the combination of sadness, frustration, and anger that each new death stirs in me is taking its toll. I don’t want to write anymore of these and with each one that I do write I fear the next one won’t be far enough away and may strike even closer to home.

My own feelings aside, I do want to offer my condolences to the friends and family of Eddie Fatu (A.K.A Umaga). I didn’t know him very well, which as I said is one of the reasons I’ve struggled with writing this. I don’t even know what name I should be using when I refer to him. We first met back in 2002 when he was brought up to RAW as part of 3-Minute Warning. He was working as Jamal back then and that was the name I got to know him by and still think of him as today. I was gone from WWE by the time he returned as Umaga, so I never knew him under that name. We never worked together or became close friends so I don’t think I’ve earned the right to just call him Eddie, so I still think of him as Jamal, but know very few others think of him under that name.

Even just knowing him the few months that I did, I can honestly say I liked the man and will miss him. I don’t know what it is about the Samoan people but every Samoan I’ve met has struck me as a very caring, friendly person, and Jamal was no exception. Samoans seem to have a stronger sense of family than a lot of people, and the love and loyalty they have for their family seems to also extend to their friends. I last saw Jamal this past October at an autograph convention near Philadelphia and despite not knowing each other well, his face lit up when we met and he greeted me like we were long lost friends. He was the kind of guy you couldn’t help but like, and enjoy being around.

The loss I feel from his passing must pale in comparison to that of those who loved and knew him well but it is there just the same. He was one of the good guys, and it was my pleasure to know him the short time that I did. Rest in Peace Eddie “Jamal/Umaga” Fatu, you touched a great number of people; you will be missed and remembered by many.

Lance Evers