Over the past few weeks Tamina has been in an alliance alongside Nia Jax. The two came up short in their quest to be the inaugural Women's Tag Team Champions as they fell to the Boss 'n' Hug Connection at Elimination Chamber and again at Fastlane.
Tamina is still looking for her first taste of WWE gold and winning a WWE title is also something that her father, Jimmy Snuka, never experienced. Tamina talked about following in her father's footsteps on Lilian Garcia's podcast.
"I feel like everyone thinks and expects that coming into the wrestling industry, if you are a generation wrestler then it is so easy to get into it," said Tamina. "But while others don't realize this, it actually isn't because you have all these different generation wrestlers from Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes, you know, you keep going down the line of all of us that have come up, it is nice because you have to try and put yourself, like, 'Okay, I am actually the daughter, or the son and now I have to live up to their expectations.' But really, no, you have to work even extra harder."
Making it to WWE was no easy task even with her father being a Hall of Famer. Tamina discussed being rejected by WWE after her first tryout.
"I tried out and didn't make it the first time," stated Tamina. "I tried out, and didn't make it, but I needed to lose weight. I was too big, there was all these different things I didn't make it to what they thought at the time a 'Diva' should be, and that wasn't me. Coming in, I was around 185 lbs; a big, strong Samoan girl. But at the same time it wasn't what they were looking for, but again, I look back to what my dad said: it is all about the timing.
"That was when I had to go to Afa's school and train there for a little bit and kind of get it down to where you knew what you had to do and learn all the little bumps."
Tamina trained at the Wild Samoan Training Center in the Orlando area before getting into contact with WWE again in 2009. Also before her second tryout, the had her father teach her how to do The Splash.
"The first time I had done The Splash was on my dad, and when he taught me it at that moment, he said that I have to do it again and I have to keep going and we just kept doing it one after another after another. I don't know if that was what got me hired, but when I tried out the second time, and at the time Johnny Ace was looking to see if he was looking to hire, I had my tryout with Mickie James," said Tamina.
"We were in Orlando, Florida and they told Mickie James to let her work with me, and at the time I didn't know about the code of shaking everyone's hand and you have to make sure and put your bag in the bathroom and stuff like that. I had no idea because I wasn't that locker room etiquette type, I only knew what my dad taught me and was preparing me for, so I went in and had that tryout."
During the tryout, producer Jamie Noble asked Tamina do The Splash on James, but to miss it. Tamina had only done The Splash while connecting with her opponent, so she had to do something she had never done before.
"The only thing I had ever learned was to hit The Splash and it was on pops. So when they told me to miss it, I didn't know how to land or what to do. So when I went up and did it and Mickie James rolled out of the way so I missed it, I was like, 'Yeah, I don't know how I'm supposed to sell this' but I was like, I guess just try to sell it going up. But Jamie was telling me like, 'No Tamina. When you hit it you roll up and sell your stomach.' All those little things that you don't know at that time, it was crazy. So after that the show was going on and that was when Johnny Ace gave me that speech that they were going to take me in.
"I feel like just being that generational wrestler you are hating it, but you are doing it because of you and not because of your father who wrestled at that time because it is a totally different time. You have to be that whole different generation. They want you to be better than they were but it is hard because they were the legends during their time," stated Tamina.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Chasing Glory with Lilian Garcia with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.