Hikuleo (wrestler)

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Taula Fifita (born Taula Koloamatangi on February 7, 1991) is a Tongan-born American professional wrestler. He is currently wrestling for the Japanese promotion New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) under the ring name Hikuleo, where he is a member of the Bullet Club. He is part of the Fifita professional wrestling family.[1][5]

Hikuleo
Birth nameTaula Koloamatangi
Born (1991-02-07) February 7, 1991 (age 29)[1]
Tonga[2]
ResidenceUnited States
Alma materWebber International University[3][4]
FamilyTonga Fifita (uncle/adoptive father)
Tama Tonga (brother)
Tanga Loa (cousin/adoptive brother)
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Hikule'o[1][5]
Hikuleo[1][6]
Leo Tonga[5]
Billed height6 ft 8 in (203 cm)[1][5]
Billed weight264 lb (120 kg)[1][5]
Trained byFale Dojo[1][5]
NJPW Dojo[7]
Team 3D Academy[1][5]
DebutNovember 12, 2016[1][5]

Early lifeEdit

Fifita was born in Tonga. In 1991, he and his elder brother Alipate were adopted by their maternal aunt, Dorothy Koloamatangi, and her husband Tonga Fifita, who brought them to the United States.[2][8] He was raised in Kissimmee, Florida, attending Osceola High School. He attended Florida's Webber International University, majoring in sport management and playing basketball as a center for the Webber International Warriors. He was named Webber International University's junior varsity men's basketball most valuable player for 2009-2010.[3][4][9]

Professional wrestling careerEdit

New Japan Pro-Wrestling (2016–present)Edit

Fifita was trained to wrestle by Bully Ray and Devon at the Team 3D Academy in Florida.[5] In 2016, he travelled to Japan, where he became a student at the New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) dojo.[1][7] Fifita, under the ring name Hikule'o (a reference to the Tongan god[10]), made his professional wrestling debut on November 12, 2016 in Auckland, New Zealand at NJPW's On the Mat Internet pay-per-view, losing to Henare.[1][11]

Fifita continued his training throughout 2017, serving as a young lion. He rejoined the active NJPW roster in September 2017, taking part in the Destruction tour under the ring name "Leo Tonga".[12][13] He joined the gaijin heel stable Bullet Club alongside his brothers Tanga Loa and Tama Tonga and his cousin Bad Luck Fale, substituting for the injured Kenny Omega.[14] On January 4, 2018, Fifita appeared at Wrestle Kingdom 12, the 27th annual January 4 Tokyo Dome Show (NJPW's annual flagship event), taking part in a New Japan Rumble.[15] At The New Beginning in Sapporo later that month, Fifita changed his ring name to "Hikuleo".[6][16] In March 2018, Hikuleo sustained an injury to his anterior cruciate ligament.[17]

After recuperating and spending six months training at the NJPW Dojo in Los Angeles, Hikuleo returned at Honor Rising: Japan in February 2019, accompanying his brothers to ringside. Hikuleo competed in the 2019 New Japan Cup for the first time in his career, in which he was eliminated in the first round by Mikey Nicholls. Following that, Hikuleo debuted in The European promotion Revolution Pro Wrestling for his excursion to gain more experience and training, losing to Dan McGee in his first match on June 29.

Personal lifeEdit

A second generation professional wrestler, Fifita is the nephew and adopted son of professional wrestler Tonga Fifita and his wife Dorothy Koloamatangi. He has a half-brother, Alipate, and is the cousin and adopted brother of Tevita and Vika. He is also the adopted cousin of Fale Simitaitoko.[2][8]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Hikuleo". New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Retrieved February 3, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Tama Tonga (July 2, 2016). "Episode 3: Tanga Loa (part 1)". audioBoom (Podcast). MLW Radio Network. Event occurs at 12:32. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Taula Koloamatangi - 2010-11 Men's Basketball". WebberAthletics.com. Webber International University. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Taula Koloamatangi - 2012-13 Men's Basketball". WebberAthletics.com. Webber International University. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i Philip Kreikenbohm. "Leo Tonga". Cagematch.net. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  6. ^ a b Robert McCauley (January 27, 2018). "NJPW 'The New Beginning in Sapporo' 1.28.18 preview & predictions". FightBoothPW.com. Retrieved February 3, 2018.
  7. ^ a b Jay Reddick (April 21, 2017). "Guerrillas of Destiny, big in Japan, look for even more success". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  8. ^ a b Lucas Wesley Snipes (December 27, 2016). "9 wrestlers you didn't know were adopted and 6 who adopted children of their own". TheSportster.com. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  9. ^ "Taula Koloamatangi". ESPN.com. ESPN. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  10. ^ Julian Baldick (2013). Ancient Religions of the Austronesian World: From Australasia to Taiwan. I.B. Tauris. p. 155. ISBN 978-1-78076-366-8.
  11. ^ Dave Meltzer (November 12, 2016). "Update on availability of New Japan New Zealand iPPV". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved 3 December 2016.
  12. ^ Philip Kreikenbohm. "Leo Tonga – Matches – 2017". Cagematch.net. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  13. ^ Bryan Rose (September 5, 2017). "Kenny Omega injures knee, still set for Kobe Destruction show". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  14. ^ Sean Radican (September 6, 2017). "NJPW announces Omega to miss several dates with injury, latest MLW One Shot w/Ricochet and Strickland". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  15. ^ Ethan Renner (January 3, 2018). "NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 12 live results: Okada-Naito, Omega-Jericho". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  16. ^ John Powell (January 28, 2018). "Bullet Club implodes at New Beginning". Canoe.com. Retrieved February 4, 2018.
  17. ^ Bryan Rose (March 8, 2018). "Kitamura, Hikuleo out of New Japan Cup tour due to injuries". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved March 11, 2018.

External linksEdit