WWE Hall Of Famer Rikishi is a member of the Samoan Wrestling Dynasty, but doesn't necessarily agree with the booking of his cousin Roman Reigns.
Rikishi spoke with the Two Man Power Trip Of Wrestling Podcast recently about his career, the Hall of Fame, his family and more. Thanks to Two Man Power Trip for sending in these highlights, which were transcribed by Chad & John. You can hear the full podcast at this link.
Being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2015:
“To this day, when I see the ring and you look at it I am still very humbled and honored and so forth to be able to start off my wrestling career in San Francisco, California and years later to be inducted in the same city where I was born and raised in. That type of feeling is not explainable. There are so many people you want to thank or that you forgot someone during that time but it really comes down to the fans. The fan's voices are so strong and I am so happy that they were able to remember me and the work that I've done and every time that I come out on TV I try to give 110% doing what I do and I know my role as far as the big man with the big booty that wears the thong and to go out there and be able to entertain is rewarding. It's such a blessing and I am very grateful.”
Joining members of the Samoan Dynasty in the WWE Hall of Fame:
“It is a wonderful feeling. It just shows the work ethic and the passion that our families and the Samoan Dynasty has for this industry and to professional wrestling. We are groomed and this is part of our culture. We get out there and we work hard and that you are able to accomplish anything that you put your mind to and when you have guys above you like Afa and Sika and the High Chief Peter Maivia, Yokozuna those guys, they push you to the limit and I was petrified coming into the business because I know the shoes that I had to fill up. Afa and Sika's shoes and Yoko and High Chief Peter Maivia are big shoes to fill up so being around them and to be able to learn all I can and sponge up every (piece of) knowledge that I can it is such an honor to be a part of this family and be a part of this Samoan Dynasty.”
Watching his sons The Usos WWE career thus far and how much they have grown as a team:
“I scratched my head the first day they came to me and said they wanted to join into the family business and get into the industry. I am very proud of my sons and what they have accomplished in WWE and so forth and I say this, they are not done and they have been there for six or seven years and there is so much more and they are still so young. For them to be able to experience and to be in the entertainment business whether it is wrestling or in entertainment/film, they have this gift to be able to adapt at any given time. My main concern for my kids is to be able to stay healthy and make sure their bodies hold up because I say this all the time; when you come home that 3/4 ply-wood and steel pole wins every night and no matter how good you are. Those are my concerns, I want them to be healthy and be able to walk away from the ring after their match in the same way they went towards the ring.”
Is Roman Reigns in the right spot in WWE:
“Yeah and I've said this before and again this is from my experience of being there. The fan's voices are so strong and they have a big impact in professional wrestling and instead of them (WWE) trying to fight to push Roman down people's throats because look at him he's got everything. He's a good looking guy, has a beautiful body and what I'd like to see is let him earn the fan's respect because he is talented. There is so much more to him than his in ring skills; he is a good father, he is a good brother, a great family man and things like that where you can show the fans that this guy is a real dude. It is not just us trying to shove a wrestler down their throat and we've all seen this done many, many times where when you try to shove somebody down the viewer’s throat and they haven't had that relationship yet and like him.“
“I look at it like this. If you boo me and I keep on coming day in and day out on every Monday Night Raw and you still boo I would have gone to them and say just go ahead and turn me heel and let me give these people what they want. Let them hate me until the point that they hate me so much that when I do turn baby face they will love me. There it is..it is an easy fix.”