Yokozuna was a legendary WWF (WWE these days) heel, the professional-wrestling term for a bad guy — but Agatupu Rodney Anoaʻi was a legendary good dude.
As the first WWE Superstar profiled on the new biographical docuseries “WWE Icons,” Yokozuna’s episode will follow Sunday’s Royal Rumble pay-per-view event on streaming service WWE Network. Pretty good lead-in.
Don’t want to wait until Sunday? Iffy on the SVOD service’s $9.99-per-month price? TheWrap has your first look at WWE Hall of Famer Rikishi talking about his personal memories of Yoko, free of charge.
In our exclusive clip, Rikishi (real name Solofa F. Fatu Jr.) recalls a time in Yoko’s heyday when Rodney Anoa’i was making far more money than he was as a member of The Headshrinkers. While Fatu Jr. could afford a house, he couldn’t swing the money to replace its faulty heating system — but Yoko and a blank check took care of that, no questions asked.
Banzai. Watch the video above.
A member of the famed Anoa’i wrestling dynasty to which Roman Reigns and The Usos also belong, Yokozuna was a dominant force throughout the WWE in the 1990s. Weighing 589 pounds in his prime, the two-time WWE Champion was a deceptively athletic super-heavyweight whose size was both a blessing and a curse, according to the WWE Network logline. Although his massive stature made him a champion inside the ring, the “WWE Icons” episode also tells the story of a man who struggled his entire life to control his weight.
“WWE Icons” celebrates WWE Superstars who left an indelible mark on sports entertainment, with each episode examining the life story of a different WWE Legend or Hall of Famer.
Beth Phoenix, Lex Luger, Rob Van Dam and “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith will also be profiled on Season 1 of “WWE Icons.” The series debuts with the Yokozuna episode on Sunday, Jan. 31, immediately following the 2021 WWE Royal Rumble event.
WWE Network is folding into NBCUniversal’s streaming platform, Peacock, on March 18. The pro-wrestling programming will become part of Peacock’s “Premium” tier, which includes ads and costs $4.99 per month. It will also be part of Peacock’s Premium Plus tier, which costs $9.99 and is commercial-free.