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Umaga released by WWE
By JON WALDMAN -- SLAM! Wrestling


Umaga at Sunday's Extreme Rules PPV. Photo by Mike Mastrandrea

WWE has made another surprising roster cut, as Umaga was released on Monday.

The news, which comes under two weeks after Mr. Kennedy was dropped from the Fed, was announced on WWE.com, in an article which stated that, "World Wrestling Entertainment has come to terms on the release of SmackDown Superstar Umaga as of today, June 8, 2009. WWE wishes Umaga the best in all future endeavors."

Nicknamed the "Samoan Bulldozer", Umaga had been a fixture on WWE TV as a classic heel in the lineage of fellow islanders such as Afa and Siki. Umaga, real name Eddie Fatu, is one of the classic brother team's nephews.

Fatu was in his second run with WWE, following an earlier stint along side his cousin, Matt, as Three Minute Warning (he went under the moniker Jamal at the time).

Umaga re-debuted in WWE in 2006 and was originally managed by the previously released Armando Alejandro Estrada. He made an immediate impact, attacking Ric Flair in his debut and later defeating Shawn Michaels and Triple H among others.

Umaga would continue to be a dominant force in WWE, eventually earning a title shot against then WWE Champion John Cena. The two had several battles but Umaga was unable to beat the Raw brand title holder.

Umaga continued to be a dominant force in WWE and would soon enter a lengthy angle as the muscle for the McMahon family, first representing Vince in a match against Bobby Lashley (representing Donald Trump) in a hair vs. hair match at WrestleMania XXIII. He would continue battling Lashley past 'Mania, eventually helping Vince secure the ECW Championship. Along the way, Umaga earned (and lost) the Intercontinental Title.

Umaga would eventually regain the IC belt and trade it with Jeff Hardy in mid-late 2007 and the two would fight intermittently through the remainder of Umaga's time on Raw.

In 2008, Umaga was drafted to Smackdown. In part due to injury, Umaga's tenure on the Friday-night brand was somewhat stilted as he would often disappear for weeks on end. He had most recently entered into a feud with CM Punk and had his last WWE match with the now World Champion on Sunday at Extreme Rules.

RELATED LINKS:

  • SLAM! Wrestling's bio of Umaga
  • WWE releases Mr. Kennedy... Kennedy

    Stay tuned to SLAM! Wrestling for more WWE roster news.