Oh, how I long for the days when wrestling was still fun.
These days it seems like the WWF is more interested in plugging it’s seemingly endless supply of Twitter feeds than it is the art of pro wrestling, steel chair shots, and vehicular assault…
Oh well, as they say:
Back in the early 2000’s, the WWF made the somewhat bold decision to push the previously semi-mute Rikishi.
Originally Fatu of the Headshrinkers back in early 90’s, Rikishi’s path through the WWF saw him play a number of stereotypical heel characters ranging from Samoan to Middle Eastern, however it wasn’t until the early 2000’s that he would gain a significant following.
Somewhere down the line though, Rikishi began to eclipse the popularity of Grandmaster Sexay and Scotty 2 Hotty, (yes, those were in fact their names) resulting in him distancing himself from the group and being given the privilege to speak on the mic every now and again.
Boldly playing the race card, this story angle would involve Rikishi lashing out at the WWF backstage politics, alluding to the ongoing tendency of Samoan wrestlers to be cast as mid-tier “monsters” while white performers enjoyed the spotlight.
While many could look at this storyline as being silly and over the top, it’s impossible to deny the historical truth of his statements.
Probably the most entertaining thing to come out of this incident, (well, besides the whole vehicular assault thing) was the moment when Rikishi confesses to having “done it, for dah’ Rock.”
You see, Rikishi and The Rock, along with most of the Samoans on the planet, are actually cousins in real life.
Playing up this angle, Rikishi was revealed to have hit Stone Cold with the car as a means of bolstering The Rock’s popularity, and putting a fellow Samoan in power.
While I actually didn’t mind this angle all that much, given the fact that nearly a year passed between the time when Stone Cold was hit, and the time they actually revealed who the perpetrator was, it’s more than likely that the behind the scenes writers put the whole thing together out of desperation or lack of ideas.
That being said, at the very least, this whole incident provided The Rock with a shit ton of material for promos and smack talking.
To this day, “I did it, for dah’ Rock. I did it, for dah’ people” forever sticks in my mind as one of the funnier things The Rock’s ever said, as well as perhaps my fondest memory of Rikishi as a character.