Before he was Yokozuna Rodney Anoaʻi wrestled as Great Kokina and Kokina Maximus on the indy scene and in the AWA. He comes from a long line of the great Samoans who have been in wrestling. He is the nephew of the Wild Samoans, Afa and Sika. He is also cousins with The Rock, Rikishi, Samu, Rosey, Manu and Umaga.
He made his debut on October 31st 1992, and started going through superstars such as Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Virgil. In 1993 he captured the WWE Championship on two separate occasions by defeating Bret Hart and Hulk Hogan. In the later part of 1993 he feuded with Lex Luger, Yokozuna and Randy Savage. Once his WWE title reign ended he took some time off and then returned to be apart of a tag team with Owen Hart.
Owen and Yoko feuded with the Smoking Gunns, Allied Powers and the Dudes with Attitudes. He also formed an alliance with the British Bulldog once the Bulldog turned heel. In 1996, he slowly began to turn face by turning on Jim Cornette, Owen Hart and British Bulldog. He feuded with Vader for the majority of 1996. Yokozuna was released in 1998 after he was given almost a year to drop his weight which at one time was reportedly 680 pounds.Yokozuna passed away on October 23, 2000 due to his continuous weight gain. His last known match was in 1999 as part of the Heroes of Wrestling event that was on Pay-Per-View. He teamed with Jake Roberts to take on King Kong Bundy and Jim Neidhart.
Yokozuna will always remembered as one of the greatest big of all time. He moved so well for man of his size and was believable as WWE Champion. Congratulations to the family of Yokozuna who will be accepting the award on his behalf. No one will ever forget he word he uttered before each match…BANZAI!