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Rodney Agatupu Anoaʻi (October 2, 1966 – October 23, 2000) was a Samoan American professional wrestler. He was best known for his time with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) where he wrestled under the ring name Yokozuna. The term yokozuna refers to the highest rank in professional sumo wrestling in Japan. Although the "Yokozuna" character was portrayed as a champion sumo wrestler, Anoaʻi never competed as an actual sumotori. Though Yokozuna wrestled as a representative of Japan, in real life Anoaʻi was Samoan American and was accordingly billed as hailing from Polynesia. However, he was managed by the Japanese character Mr. Fuji (in reality a Japanese American), who would follow Anoaʻi to the ring with a wooden bucket of salt, and waving a Japanese flag.

In the WWF, Anoaʻi was a two-time WWF Champion and two-time WWF Tag Team Champion (with Owen Hart), as well as the winner of the 1993 Royal Rumble. Anoaʻi was the first wrestler of Samoan descent to hold the WWF Championship as well as the first Royal Rumble winner who as a result of a direct stipulation received a world title shot at WWE WrestleMania. He defeated WWE Hall of Famers Bret Hart and Hulk Hogan, in consecutive pay-per-view victories in the main event of WWE WrestleMania 9 and the 1993 King of the Ring, to win his two WWF Championships, and also headlined WWE WrestleMania 10 against Hart. Anoaʻi was posthumously inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2012.

See Also

WWE Alumni

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