Yokozuna, whose real name was Agatupu Rodney Anoai, was an iconic professional wrestler who left an indelible mark on the world of sports entertainment. His immense size, charisma, and in-ring prowess made him a beloved figure in the wrestling community.
However, the tragic news of Yokozuna's untimely passing shook the wrestling community. In this article, we will explore the circumstances surrounding the death of this wrestling legend.
Who Was Yokozuna?
Yokozuna was a professional wrestler from the United States. He was best known for his tenure with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) which refers to the highest rank in Japanese professional sumo wrestling. He was a two-time world champion and a Royal Rumble champion.
Despite the fact that the Yokozuna figure was portrayed as a champion sumo wrestler, Anoai never competed as a sumotori. Though he wrestled as a Japanese representative, he was actually a Samoan American who was billed as being from Polynesia.
He was, however, handled by the Japanese persona Mr. Fuji (in reality, a Japanese American), who would accompany Anoai to the ring with a wooden bucket of salt and a Japanese flag.
Anoai was a two-time WWF World Heavyweight Champion, a two-time WWF Tag Team Champion (with Owen Hart), and the 1993 Royal Rumble winner.
He was the first wrestler of Samoan heritage to hold the WWF World Heavyweight Championship, as well as the first Royal Rumble winner to receive a WWF world championship title opportunity at WrestleMania (due to a direct stipulation).
He won his two WWF World Heavyweight Championships by defeating WWE Hall of Famers Bret Hart and Hulk Hogan in consecutive pay-per-view triumphs in the main event of WrestleMania IX and the 1993 King of the Ring.
He also headlined WrestleMania X against Hart. He was the third-fastest rookie to win the WWF/E Championship following his debut, trailing only Brock Lesnar and Sheamus. In 2012, he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame posthumously.
How Did Yokozuna Die?
On October 23, 2000, he was discovered unresponsive in his hotel room in Liverpool, England, while on an indie wrestling tour.
Yokozuna died as a result of pulmonary edema, a condition in which fluid accumulates in the lungs. This is most likely because his weight troubles had a huge impact on his wrestling career.
His last public appearance was on The Big Breakfast Show, a UK TV show, just six days before he died.
Despite his exceptional mobility and agility for a man his stature, his weight frequently hindered the types of maneuvers he could perform in the ring.
During his stint in WWE, he was said to weigh more than 500 pounds. However, his true weight was rumored to be much higher at times, maybe reaching 700 pounds.
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His troubles eventually led to his exit from WWE in 1998, when he was unable to obtain medical clearance. In the years preceding up to his death, he struggled with his weight.
The death of the Somoan star was a major loss to the wrestling world, and his contributions to the profession were honored in the years that followed. While his life was brutally cut short, his influence on the wrestling world will not be forgotten. His cousins, the Usos and Rikishi, honored him into the WWE Hall of Fame posthumously in 2012.