The Anoa’i Family is, perhaps, the first family of professional wrestling. They’ve produced multiple generations of Superstars including The Rock, Roman Reigns, Yokozuna and The Usos.
Lance Anoa’i is part of the third generation of Samoan wrestlers to emerge from this family. He is the son of Samu (formerly of The Wild Samoans and Headshrinkers) and nephew of Manu, but Lance envisioned competing in another sport while growing up as he told our Andy Malnoske.
“We breed professional wrestlers, our whole family. All the way from my grandfather, WWE Hall of Famer Afa, my father, Headshrinker Samu, coming from a great lineage is awesome,” said Lance.
“Growing up in the business, it’s something, honestly, I never wanted to do growing up. I always wanted to be a baseball player, but at the time [wrestling] just grew on me. Just living and following in my family’s footsteps, it’s been a dream for me. So now, I just want to continue to follow my dream and fill the same footsteps that my family did.”
There are already six members of the Anoai’ Family in the WWE Hall of Fame while The Rock and Roman Reigns can get their speeches ready for future enshrinement. That’s a lot of pressure on someone who is next in line to take the family mantle and Lance discussed if he feels any pressure to become the next Superster.
“It’s not really pressure to me. Yes, I have big shoes to fill: Umaga, Yokozuna, The Rock, Hall of Famers. It is big shoes. I don’t feel much pressure but pressure is there. I don’t want to be the one to not make it. But if I don’t, I’m happy. I love what I do,” stated Lance.
“It’s a whole different ballgame [now]. Back then, it wasn’t like this. You can almost make a living off independents which I like. Performing and meeting new people every day ? basically you do the same thing [as major promotions]. You don’t get paid as much, but I love doing it. I’ll keep doing it until I can’t do it no more. So, maybe one day I’ll be able to make it [to WWE], but until that time comes, you can see me anywhere.”
Currently Lance Anoa’i is competing for Major League Wrestling. He’s also had a couple of tryout matches with WWE including wrestling at an NXT TV taping last February.