The Face of Fear: The Legend of Tonga Fifita

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Brian Damage

“There are 3 types of men: tough men, wrestler-tough men, and then there’s Meng.”-Arn Anderson

Very few men in the history of pro wrestling has garnered fear…legitimate fear for a single individual than Tonga Fifita. If the name doesn’t sound familiar, he was also known as Meng in WCW and Haku in the WWF. Regardless what you call him, make sure you do it with a smile and respect…because Tonga Fifita has one heck of a reputation.

The stories you hear or read are that of legend. Whether it’s gouging another wrestler’s eye out or breaking off someone’s bottom teeth in a brawl…Fifita has been called one…if not the toughest wrestlers in the business. A man who was truly feared and respected for his brute strength and unprecedented intensity. All it took was a certain look or glance from his eyes and you knew if you were going out of bounds.

Ric Flair

Ric Flair comparing MMA fighters to Haku: “Don’t ever think that anybody would mess with Haku. If he was a young guy and he got into MMA, my god — he’d have done everything! He was the toughest son of a bitch I’ve ever met in my whole life. No lie, take my word for it.”

Bobby Heenan

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“The toughest man I’ve ever met in my life. “He took his two fingers on his right hand, his index finger and trigger finger, and he reached into a guy’s mouth and he broke off the guy’s bottom teeth.” Heenan added, ‘I wouldn’t have believed it, if I didn’t see it for myself.’ Bobby Heenan also claimed that Andre the Giant wasn’t afraid of anybody…except for Harley Race and Haku.

Jake Roberts

“If I had a gun and was sitting inside a tank with one shell left and Meng is 300 yards away, he’s mine, right? Well the first thing I’m going to do is jump out of the tank and shoot myself because I don’t want to wound that son of a bitch and have him pissed off at me.”

Rick Steiner

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“I was in LA one time with him and he fought eight cops, they shot him with mace and he closed his eyes and sucked it in. He just opened his mouth and took a deep breath. I mean, some of the stuff he did was like ‘What the hell’. Scotty (Steiner)and I always thought we were tough guys but that was before we met Meng.”

The Late Chris Candido

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“He was talking to me, Tammy, and Chris Jericho. In comes Eric Bischoff and Greg Gagne and they walk right in front of us and starts talking to Meng. He looks at them and goes ‘Hey!’ And the entire lockerroom just froze. I was like ‘Man, these weren’t just funny stories, this guy must really be tough.’ And then Meng says, ‘Apologize to my friends, I’m talking’ and everyone shuts up while Bischoff and Gagne apologize to me, Tammy, and Chris.”

Perry Saturn

“Nobody else would stand a chance. Not even a question. He could kill everyone without blinking and there is nothing anyone could do about it.”

Ted Dibiase

“Some of the guys got into a fight and Meng got involved. He was just trying to help and in the process of trying to help, he gets maced by 4 cops and handcuffed. Now they handcuffed him behind his back and then he said “Is this it?…and snapped off the handcuffs!”

Eric Bischoff

The former President of WCW has stated on numerous occasions that there were times that WCW wanted to release Meng from the company…but nobody did because everybody was afraid to do so. Even in an interview after Meng walked out of WCW as the Hardcore champion…Bischoff was very complimentary of Meng.

Kevin Sullivan

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The former booker of WCW Kevin Sullivan tells a story about a run in he had with Meng…”One time I asked him to do something that was completely wrong and he got a little upset. And I mean that was the scaredest I’ve ever been in my life and he wasn’t even that upset….Thank God.”

Other stories include Fifita pushing a man through 3 doors with his bare hands and brute strength. He also admits to biting off a man’s nose for calling pro wrestling fake. He was later sued for over 2 million dollars because of that incident. Kevin Sullivan used Fifita as a threat to other wrestlers who wouldn’t cooperate or were difficult. When that would happen, Sullivan said he would bring Fifita into the room and have him stand there and the wrestlers would instantly work well with the plans.

Another story had Brutus Beefcake complain to WWF management that Fifita was working too stiff. When management confronted Fifita of the incident…Fifita went right after Beefcake. He found him in the shower and began choking him. It took management to ask Hulk Hogan to intervene and calm things down.

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The final story involves a little bit of urban legend as it pertains to Tonga Fifita gouging a wrestler’s eye out of its socket. As the legend goes, Jesse Barr aka ‘Jimmy Jack Funk’ was being very difficult and it angered Fifita. The two got into a fight in which Fifita ripped out Jimmy Jack’s eye. While it was true that they had a fight in the WWF locker room, Fifita has stated that ripping his eye out was just an urban legend. Yes, he did gouge his eye, but realized that Barr had a family and was a brother on the road and stopped himself from further injuring him. Jesse Barr was later fired over the incident.

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Despite all the stories from his peers… many have also praised him for being a great, loving family man. A man who would give the shirt off his back for anyone who needed it. While Tonga Fifita is now retired and working for a car dealership in Florida…his memory and legend continues to be told, cherished and feared.

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8 thoughts on “The Face of Fear: The Legend of Tonga Fifita

  1. U have great talent my dad really once to meet u. His name is Viliami. U use to go with him to atele in Tonga

    Like

  2. Pingback: The Toughest And Most Feared Wrestler Of All Time - MVP

  3. Pingback: Hakus in video games – fighting sticks i made myself

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