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    Open Letter From Afa Anoa`i a/k/a "The Wild Samoan"


    Open Letter From Afa Anoa`i a/k/a "The Wild Samoan"

    Post by Guest on Wed Feb 18, 2009 2:58 am


    This letter is not being written to make the reader sad, I just want to express my feelings and thoughts because I know in some way, that it will touch each of us and our loved ones in one way or another. It doesn't matter if your life is wrestling or any other career, because all of us have been through hard times. My letter is about wrestling because that is the career that I have chosen and enjoyed with little regret for the past 40 years.

    When I was asked to take on the project of training the actor Mickey Rourke for the movie The Wrestler, I really didn't want to take the job because I am very protective of our sport and didn't want to be part of or know anything negative about the sport that not only saved my life, but gave me the chance to meet and know so many good people around the world and live my dreams.

    I remember discussing the job with my wife Lynn and daughter Vale, and they reminded me of the real me, and that is to do it to make sure the actor would be safe and receive the best possible training for the role he was about to take on, and to help some of my students to be part of something to help their careers, and to also help my daughter whose dream is to be an actress, so I agreed to meet with the director Darren Aronofsky and agreed to take the job of training Mickey Rourke, and this later turned out to be the best choice I ever made.

    Anyway, I did not want to know about the script and refused to read it, I was only concerned with the training of Mickey. After watching the movie about 3 times, I saw so many real touching feelings in the movie that really hit home not only to me but to many of us in our sport. I see so many hard times that some of us went through but in different ways. The bottom line and why I'm writing this letter is that I want to do something and hope some of you will understand what we all have been going through in our wrestling lives.

    I thought that with all the buzz of the movie The Wrestler that maybe its time to share my a vision that I have had for some time and to take steps to act on it. I have started conversations to put my ideas and plans on the Usos calendar. My hope is for Usos to become an advocate for universal health care by offering grants for medical bills or grants for medicine for wrestlers in need.

    If you did not know, In 1999, a vision came to life when Usos Foundation was created. (Usos means Brothers in Samoan) The foundation focuses on at-risk youth. I am proud that through Usos, we have been able to save a few young lives from heading down the wrong path. Through Usos scholarships have been awarded to young men and women allowing them to begin the dream of being part of our great sport. Usos also offers education, management, self-esteem, exercise and good nutrition through our mind, body and spirit programs.

    Because of my Samoan heritage, and the way us islanders were brought up with good hearts and loyalty to our elders, family, and friends I can't help but think that I want to do something that is long overdue and that is to ask for your support and wisdom so we can help each other by getting the word out on my vision which is about us Wrestlers.

    Being in our sport for so many years, I saw so many of my peers make it all the way to the top of our profession and then somehow find themselves hit bottom and don't understand how, we ask ourselves where did I go wrong? What happened to me and why me etc.

    I have seen through my wrestling life when things go right it really felt good. I also saw so many who never made it to the top and they are so talented and should be given the opportunity but somehow just don't fit in the system so the business turns sour and begins to change their life style. But what really touches me is the way many of my generation ended up after we put so much time and energy to the sport we love so much.

    I see so many wrestlers being put on the back burner without any kind of help from not having medical insurance, money to cover doctor's bills, losing family, ending up doing stupid things to their body and mind so some tend to hide behind either drugs, alcohol and even suicide etc.

    I can remember so well how so many of us tried to make ends meet so we can take care of our family, I can remember when its time for us to go to work each night, kissing our kids and wife because we don't know if we were ever going to make it back safe at home for all the traveling we do each day. I can remember the love we have for our business that we put our feelings and pride aside and do what the promoter want us to do, like putting your opponent over in front of our friends, family and neighbors, this is how much we love our business that we do it without complaining so your little girl or son will have a bottle of milk in the fridge. I can also tell you how hard it was with our wives to take care of our children while we were on the road sometimes months at a time. And how many birthdays, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter holidays that we missed because of our love and dedication to our fans and the promoters etc. The fact is, that our kids did not know where her/his milk comes from, all they knew is, when they woke up in the morning there is a bottle of milk in the ice box not knowing sometime we get paid so small that we cant even buy a loaf a bread.

    I also remember well how hard a job our wives go through because most of us wrestlers share all our thoughts, complaints, reading mail and even cry together and the same time keep our family together. When I think back of all the hard times we went through in our careers and life it really hit home especially back then when all of sudden I would wake up in the morning or a hotel and find myself all alone and the only thing is left is our family at home, all the glory is gone and I find myself sitting there wondering where or what is happening to me. Never once though was I sorry that I was a wrestler giving my soul to my fans.

    Through it all, the ups and the downs, I always remembered what my Dad told me when I was growing up and that is, never forget who you are and where you come from son, remember that the people you passed on your way up in your life will be there when you come down. I have lived my life remembering those words and I can tell you that of all the years and friends we have, you will never hear anyone in our business say anything bad about my brother and tag-team partner Sika and I because we really are those people. We respect and always see ourselves as underdogs and always want to help out those who need help. Actually, most of us island people are like this and that we are so proud of.

    I can only hope that my vision will become a reality and offer grants to wrestlers and to help do something to assist wrestlers that need help with their medical bills so that they do not put their needs on the back burner. Of course none of this can happen without your support with helping me to get the word out.

    Think about this, how many of us feel like our world comes to an end when things get so bad and started to blame promoters or even your self and don’t know who to turn to or ask for help because we have too much pride. We keep it all to our self instead of reaching out or expressing what is bothering us with someone that really understands our situation, the truth is, only we in the business really know the answer. Think about when part of your body starts to break down and you can't go to the doctor because you don’t have insurance or can't afford to fix your bad knees or your back.

    Anyway, this is why I am trying to spread the word and raise money and get grants so that Usos foundation can help the boys in their time of need. I know that we cant help everyone, but if we can help a few of the

    many men and women who need that extra hand to carry them through some hard times, well then we have done something to help us all sleep a little better.

    Anyway, I don't want to bore you or try to bring back memories that are behind most of us but its time for us to do something to help others that really need the help that we all deserve.

    The vision is something to build on and I wanted to share it with you my friends. If anyone feels what I feel and remembers how hard times can be if we can't afford to take care of ourselves and family because of the hard time especially in the economy that we are facing today, please feel free to send me your ideas and suggestions and allow me to add your name to support this vision.

    It is time to start something to help our peers that really need a hand and possibly save lives and family from falling deep in depression and what not.

    Joining together can help to make this something that is so special and important for our fellow workers.

    Thank you for letting me share my thoughts with you.

    God Bless,

    Afa Anoa`i

    A/k/a The Wild Samoan
    GM of Raw Is War

    Number of posts : 99
    Registration date : 2009-02-15

    Re: Open Letter From Afa Anoa`i a/k/a "The Wild Samoan"

    Post by Joe on Wed Feb 18, 2009 3:02 am

    Who is this to Dead?

      Current date/time is Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:05 pm