Matt Anoa’i, a former WWE tag team champion and member of the famed Anoa’i Samoan wrestling dynasty, died Monday at age 47.
He came to fame in the early part of this century, working as one-half of Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff’s enforcers, Three Minute Warning, alongside his cousin Eddie Fatu. He’d later go on to form a comedy tag team with Shane Helms’ superhero character The Hurricane where Rosey played a “Superhero In Training”; they would win the WWE World tag titles in 2005. Anoa’i was released in 2006.
After leaving WWE, Matt continued to wrestle on the independents and entered the restaurant business. According to reports online from friends and family, his cause of death was congestive heart failure, which also hospitalized him in 2014.
He is survived by his ex-wife and three children. Anoa’i’s father is WWE Hall of Famer Sika of the Wild Samoans tag team, and his younger brother is current WWE Superstar Roman Reigns.
WWE.com has posted the following regarding his passing, which includes a statement from his family:
WWE is saddened to learn that Matt Anoa’i, known to fans as Rosey, has passed away at age 47. The son of WWE Hall of Famer Sika and older brother of WWE Superstar Roman Reigns, Rosey grew up in the legendary Anoa’i wrestling dynasty.
He debuted in 2002 alongside his cousin Jamal as part of 3-Minute Warning. The imposing, powerful tandem tore through Raw’s tag team division before going their separate ways. Rosey then formed a beloved superhero duo with The Hurricane, which culminated in his first World Tag Team Championship reign.
The Anoa’i family shared the following statement:
“The Anoa’i family is mourning the loss of Sika’s son, Matt aka Rosey, due to an untimely death.
We want to let his fans know that he loved them and the wrestling world so much. In his passing, he left three beautiful young children and a heartbroken family. Please respect the privacy of his children and family as they mourn the loss of this kind, loving, gentle man, who was a father, son, brother and a superhero to us all.
Our family appreciates your prayers and continued support during this very difficult time.”
WWE extends its condolences to Rosey’s family, friends and fans.
On behalf of the entire Cageside Seats community, we’d like to thank Rosey for entertaining us during his career, and send our thoughts & prayers to the Anoa’i family.