Zilla Fatu chats his venture into pro wrestling.
A month ago, the Reality of Wrestling Twitter account shared that Zilla Fatu, the son of Umaga, joined the school and is training to become a pro wrestler.
With a month of in-ring time under his belt, Zilla sat down with MuscleManMalcolm to discuss why he opted to head this route. He shared that when he was in prison, wrestling was not on his mind but when he got out, he saw his family was at the top of the business and figured why not give it a shot. Zilla mentioned that the late Umaga did not want any of his younger family members in wrestling.
To be honest, when I was in prison, I really didn’t have it (wrestling) on my mind, you know? But when I came home and I seen that my family was on top of the business, I’m thinking why not? And I don’t know if you know or anybody else knows, my dad didn’t want none of us to do wrestling, like at all. So that was kind of hard on going against what my dad’s wishes was. But right now, I’m like man, why not bro? So I gotta do it.
He went on to open up about going to prison. Zilla chalked it up to being lost and he while he does not want to use it as an excuse, he said things went downhill after his father passed. Now being on the outside, Fatu wants to regroup.
So, what led up to me going to prison, I’ma say, just me not having a plan, just me being lost bro, being a kid and obviously at that time, my mom or anybody I was dealing with, we’re just living in poverty, you know? And when you’re being in poverty, there’s so much things that’s going on that’s out of your control and obviously, when I lost my dad — I don’t wanna use it as an excuse but it was kind of big on not just me and my whole family but after my dad died, we went downhill from here. But, going in there and seeing that prison is not a joke, that a lot of people (do) not make it home, a lot of people die in there, I didn’t want that for me and I wanted to come out and regroup and re-establish myself into a better man and a man that my mom and my dad just grew to raise me. But the after experience which is right now, it was kind of hard for me to readjust back into society and the reason why I say that is because you say that I was institutionalized for a long time, so me coming home and have to deal with stuff that had nothing to do with the penitentiary rules was kind of hard because it’s a different world in there versus out here. But, obviously right now, I’m doing real good. Obviously I’m staying out of trouble. I’m doing whatever my parole officer tells me to do but like I say, when I first came home, it was kind of hard because I didn’t know how to readjust back into society but right now, I’m doing good. I’m just taking it one day at a time uce.
The contact about him getting into wrestling started with Shelton Benjamin. Before moving forward, Benjamin suggested that Zilla have a talk with his mother. Initially, Zilla did not understand why that needed to happen but after they talked, he understood why Shelton suggested it.
Fatu stated that just because he’s related to The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) and those alike, none of it matters if he does not put the work in.
Okay, so, I wanna say my second month when I was home, I was actually talking to Shelton Benjamin and I was asking him, I was like, ‘Hey uce, man, I’m really thinking about doing wrestling’ and he was like, ‘Well, did you talk to your mom about it?’… And I’m like, ‘Man, nah.’ He was like, ‘Man, you need to get with your mom to see what’s her outlook’ and at the time bro, I’m like, why I need my mom’s approval? But, eventually when I end up talking to her, I’m like, okay, yeah, this is what Shelton meant but long story short, I did talk to my mom and she was like, she’s up for it and she’s happy for me and she was just like, she’s gonna support me through anything and everything that I go through so just having her approval, it just made my job easier to go in there and handle business and when I went there (Reality of Wrestling), my first day, I actually did get on my channel. I was excited, but at the end of the day, I knew I had business to handle. Even though if I’m related to The Usos or whoever, that does not matter if I don’t put the work in so…
WWE Hall of Famer and NXT commentator Booker T is a close friend of the Fatu family. Zilla states that his dad and Booker were always friendly.
Another one of the reasons Zilla chose Reality of Wrestling is because he could not leave the state of Texas due to parole. When he first began talking to Booker, he was instructed to finish the courses for his parole and graduate. Once he achieved that, Booker invited him to the school and simply told him to handle his business.
(I chose Reality of Wrestling) because it’s in Houston. You know, I’m on parole so I can’t leave the state (Fatu smiled). But most importantly uce, he’s [Booker T] a really close friend to the family. Before my dad was Umaga, my dad been knowing Booker since then so that’s a long time so, it was an easy choice for me to choose. When I came home and I had that discussion with Booker two months after being home, we talked about it and he was just like, ‘Just focus on your parole stuff first.’ So when I got some of my parole classes done — because when you’re on parole, you have to do certain classes and you have to graduate from them and you know, I’m very happy that I did successfully complete my classes on parole. So that’s when I hit Booker up and I was, ‘Aye uce, I’m ready,’ and he was like, ‘Man, pull up.’ So I pulled up. He wasn’t there but I talked to one of his main, main trainers which was Kevin [Bernhardt]… I was talking to Kevin and yeah, it was an experience. So, and then I wanna say the following week, that’s when Booker showed up, on Thursday and yeah, we talked and he was just like, ‘Man, uce, just handle your business. Handle your business’ and I was like, ‘Say less.’
So far in his venture into wrestling, Zilla can see himself being John Cena as far as his in-ring movements. At his training sessions, people tell him he moves like Cena. Fatu does not plan on doing too much high-flying outside of the Samoan Splash.
I’m gonna say John Cena (is who I can see myself as in wrestling)… Because I can see his attributes and the way he moves in the ring and the reason I say that right now is because when I’m at school, they tell me, ‘Bro, you move like John Cena.’ I’m like, ‘What?’ Out of all the people, they would say that but when I when I go to watch him, like I’ve been studying him lately and I’m like, okay, okay. Now I can see why they say that because me and him, it’s like — well I can see myself. I’m not gonna do too much flying, jumping off the rope. I mean the only thing I am going to do is the Samoan Splash off the ropes. That’s understood but, other than that, I’m just gonna try and keep everything down on the mat, just go from there uce. So yeah, I wanna say him. He’s one of the main ones.
Near the conclusion of the conversation, Zilla was asked about his goals. He stated that next year, he can see himself being the Heavyweight Champion of Reality of Wrestling.
So a year from now, wrestling, I should be the Heavyweight Champion over there at Booker T’s school. I should have the belt over there in a year, and be way better than I am right now because obviously, right now, I’m still progressing (Fatu laughed).
Fatu shared that he’s in constant contact with The Usos and Solo Sikoa and they’ve been supportive of him.
If the quotes in this article are used, please credit MuscleManMalcolm with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.