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ONLINE ONSLAUGHT
NEWSFLASH: Eddie "Umaga" Fatu Passes Away at Age 36
December 4, 2009 / Last updated at 7pm (eastern)

by Rick Scaia
Exclusive to OOWrestling.com

 

Multiple sources are reporting that Eddie Fatu (best known to fans as "Umaga") has been hospitalized in Houston, TX, after being found unconscious and not breathing by his wife this morning.
 
There are conflicting reports about his exact condition (and some early reports even said Umaga had died), but all are in agreement that the situation is critical as of this 2pm (eastern) writing.
 

Within WWE, the company is reportedly ready to make a public announcement but is holding off until Eddie's family (he is part of the voluminous extended Samoan family tree) is contacted first. And Ken Kennedy has already tweeted asking all to "say a prayer for my boy, Umaga."
 
I'll let those two tidbits speak for themselves for now, and stop short of adding much else other than the fact that I'm sure you're all with me when I hope for a happy ending to this breaking story, and wish Umaga all the best right now.
 
One way or another, I'm sure I'll be back here to update the site later tonight with additional details. Stay tuned, folks...
 
 
UPDATE: Local News Outlet Reports Umaga's Death
Latest as of Fri. 12/04/09 5:10pm (eastern)
 
A Houston news outlet is reporting that Eddie "Umaga" Fatu has passed away at a local hospital within the past hour, at the age of 36.
 
I have yet to hear any specifics through wrestling-related channels, and, as of this writing, WWE.com hasn't acknowledged the news, nor do I have any idea exactly what an "examiner.com" is, really. But the report seems all-too-believable given that I HAD been told (reliably) that Umaga had been on life support since arriving at the hospital and was being kept on it in order to allow friends and family time to gather and that he'd be taken off life support at some point this afternoon to let nature take its course, one way or the other.
 
I'll withhold any further comment for now, and hope you'll join me in keeping your fingers crossed that this is a load of ill-informed gossip and BS... but I'd probably be a liar if I didn't say I was gonna just go ahead and hunker down for the evening and start jotting down a few notes in preparation of writing yet another column in the genre of "ones I have absolutely no desire to write."

Keep hoping for the best and checking back for the latest, kids...
 
 
UPDATE: No Happy Ending, Umaga is Dead at 36
Latest as of Fri. 12/04/09 6:50pm (eastern)
 
It's now official: Eddie "Umaga" Fatu has passed away at the age of 36. The previous report from "examiner.com" (whatever the hell that is) was premature, as Eddie went into cardiac arrest around 6pm (eastern) and could not be revived.
 
It is thought that he suffered a major heart attack while sleeping on Thursday night/Friday morning, and was placed on life support upon arriving at the hospital. Family and friends were able to gather to be there, and Umaga was taken off life support at around 4pm.
 
WWE.com has issued their official statement, which clearly underscores that Eddie Fatu had his contract terminated on June 11, 2009. The reason for this: a second failed drug test. In and off itself, that is not grounds for dismissal, but it DOES require the talent to undergo an open-ended drug rehab program until he is given a clean bill of health.
 
Umaga refused to enter such a program, and was fired.
 
Though so far, the evidence points to "cardiac arrest" as the cause of death, that tells far from the whole story (everyone from Rick Rude to Brian Pillman to Eddie Guerrero had "heart attack" listed as thier causes of death, but were almost universally known to have contributed to said heart failure with years of drug abuse). Umaga's untimely passing -- another "heart attack" from a guy sill in his 30s or 40s -- will certainly be scrutinized given that he didn't just fail a WWE drug test, but refused the assistance they demand that he get (and which they would have paid for).
 
It's sad on a lot of levels. But at this juncture, the main level is the purely knee-jerk/visceral one: a guy who was undeniably talented, and who brought us fans more good than bad, is gone way too soon. And whatever we're feeling: it pales in comparison to what Eddie Fatu's family and friends are feeling at this difficult time.
 
So I hope I speak for all of you when I wish them all the best, and send them our condolences.
 
I'll certainly be putting together a more detailed eulogy as time permits, but for now, this depressing headline speaks for itself... keep checking back, and take a moment to remember Umaga (1973-2009) in the interim....


  
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E-MAIL RICK SCAIA

BROWSE THE OO ARCHIVES

Rick Scaia is a wrestling fan from Dayton, OH.  He's been doing this since 1995, but enjoyed it best when the suckers from SportsLine were actually PAYING him to be a fan.

 

 


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