On The 8-Year Anniversary Of Umaga’s Passing, Randy Orton Paid Tribute To His Old Friend

Former WWE Superstar Umaga passed away on December 4th, 2009. Edward Smith Fatu was only 36 years old when he died of a heart attack, and it was another crushing reminder of how brutal the professional wrestling industry can be.

Fatu was part of the iconic Samoan wrestling dynasty, and more specifically, he was the uncle of Jimmy and Jey Uso, and the cousin of Rosey, Yokozuna, and Roman Reigns. Fatu started his run with WWE as Jamal, one half of 3-Minute Warning with his cousin Rosey, but he’ll always be remembered as Umaga, one of the company’s top heels from 2005-2009. It was an unfortunately short run at the top, but Umaga was your quintessential WWE monster.

It’s been eight years to the day since his passing, and Randy Orton posted a tribute to his old friend on Instagram Monday. Orton highlighted Umaga’s funnier side, noting that just because he may have looked like a monster on TV, doesn’t mean he wasn’t a great guy to be around behind-the-scenes.

12/4/09 8 years ago, many people including me lost a true friend. He was one of the most intimidating characters in the ring, but for those that knew him, he was one of the absolute funniest guys we knew. Here’s proof. In this pic if you look closely, he is wearing my trunks. They never fit me quite right after that night! #RIPUCE

We have to assume that this was on some sort of house show or live event, because there is no way Vince McMahon would allow his monster to get in the ring wearing Orton’s trunks. Regardless, this is a hilarious photo from a moment that obviously meant a lot to Orton, and perfectly lines up with everything we’ve heard about Umaga over the years.