Chris Jericho posted a tribute to Umaga on Instagram this week in acknowledgment of Monday marking eight years since his passing.
This past Monday marked eight years since Umaga tragically and suddenly passed away. At the age of just 36 years old Umaga, real name Edward Fatu, was found unresponsive with blood coming from his nose and passed away soon after. It was later discovered that his death had been the result of two heart attacks which were brought on by a drug overdose.
Just six months before his death, Fatu had been released by WWE following a violation of their wellness policy. Normally Superstars are only suspended for violations but his unwillingness to go to rehab meant that the company decided to instead terminate his contract. Umaga died on Dec. 4, 2009, and that's why various Superstars have been paying tribute to him this week.
Chris Jericho is one of the performers who has taken to social media this week in order to pay tribute to Umaga eight years on from his death. Y2J posted a still of a match between the two of them on Raw along with the caption "Remembering my BIG UCE #Umaga today. One of my favorite people I’ve ever met and worked with." Praise indeed considering the number of people that Jericho has been across the ring from.
Before Umaga's refusal to enter rehab, he actually appeared to have a bright future in WWE. The Samoan had already held the Intercontinental Championship and had tangled with the likes of John Cena, CM Punk, and even Triple H. You'd imagine with opponents like that a World Title run might have been in his future. Sadly we will never know whether that was the case and if it would have come to fruition.
Unfortunately, performers dying young is common in professional wrestling and Umaga is just one name in a long list of Superstars who were taken long before their time. Judging by the tributes that have been paid this week on the anniversary of his death the man behind the paint and the persona Edward Fatu was a very well liked guy and one who is sorely missed by his peers and by the family that he left behind.