Former Headshrinker, Rikishi, has credited the late, great Yokozuna for aiding his family financially at a point when he was really struggling to put food on the table.
In 1993, the master of the Banzai Drop became one of the very first members of the Anoa’i family to earn big money on a main wrestling stage. While The Wild Samoans had paved the way for the star in the decades prior, the pay-offs Yokozuna received for his main event role in the company as WWF Champion exceeded any of their wildest dreams.
However, Yoko wasn’t the only Anoa’i family member on the WWF roster at the time as his cousin Rikishi – then Headshrinker Fatu – was also plying his trade at a different level and earning much less than his larger bloodline. When the creator of the Stinkface ran into financial difficulties, the colossus was there with a helping hand.
Talking to WWE Icons: Yokozuna, the father of The Usos told of how Yokozuna shared his wealth among the family and helped him personally in a time of great need:
“This big, mega, mega, mega superstar in the industry never let the industry change him. He took his platform and he share and he helped people that he loved. He helped people that were in need. Everybody. When I say everybody, I’m talking about our whole clan. Everything changed for everybody because of Yoko.
Back in the day when I was a Headshrinker, Yoko was making a lot of money. And we were kind of doing so so. I just moved into this home, pretty much dumped everything I had into this home. And I needed heat in my home. I had no money and uh, Rodney. He gave me a blank check and he signed it, and I came home and put a new system in the home. My family and the kids, we had heat, and a house. And he was around, you know, when times are hard for me. He was a brother that I could truly call a brother, an Uso, that during the times when I needed help, that Rodney Anoa’i, not Yokozuna, Rodney Anoa’i was there for Junior Fatu.”
One of the greatest big men to ever step foot inside the squared circle, Yokozuna rose to fame when he pinned Bret Hart to capture the WWF Championship in the main event of WrestleMania IX.
Though his reign only lasted seconds thanks to the power of Hulkamania, the powerhouse would regain the gold at the 1993 King of the Ring before dropping it back to ‘The Excellence of Execution’ in the main event of WrestleMania X to repay the favour Hart did for him one year prior.
Credit for the interview: WWE Icons
h/t for the transcription: Wrestling Inc.