Where Are They Now? Haku

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January 29, 2007

The sports-entertainment world has had its share of "monsters" over the years, but few have played or lived the part as intensely as the fearless Tongan warrior, Haku. From his early days terrorizing opponents north of the border in Montreal, to his multiple WrestleMania appearances with World Wrestling Entertainment, Haku earned his reputation as one of wrestling's toughest competitors.

Upon his entry to WWE, Haku established himself as a highly skilled tag team specialist. As a member of the "Heenan Family," Haku first tagged with fellow Islander Tama before moving on to capture the World Tag Team Championship as a member of the Colossal Connection with his partner, Andre the Giant. While the "Heenan Family" may have been a popular moniker onscreen, the relationship that Haku shared with those men felt like a real family offscreen.

"I look at those days with great fondness," says Haku. "They were such great people. We used to travel together, stay together, take care of each other, it was like a brotherhood. They were great friends to me."

In the mid '90s, Haku moved south to enjoy a lengthy run as "Meng" in WCW. There, he excelled in singles competition while competing with some of the company's top performers. In 2001, Haku made a shocking return to WWE with an appearance in the Royal Rumble. Not long after, the big man hung up the boots and retired to his home in the Sunshine State. 

Today, "Tonga" as he is known to his co-workers and friends, manages the detail shop at David Maus Toyota in his hometown of Kissimmee, Fla. When he's not patrolling the lot, he's patrolling the links in his new sport of choice: golf. While WWE.com was unable to confirm if he holds his golf clubs with the patented "Tongan Death Grip," we were able to confirm that his game is a work in progress.

"I play all the time, but I'm not that good yet," said Haku. "I'm going to keep trying though."

Aside from his battles with his putter, Haku still makes a few rare appearances inside the squared circle for local independent wrestling companies. The itch to compete and be in the ring is something that the big man has never lost. 

"Wrestling has always been my life, it's still in my blood," said Haku. "I don't know anything better. When I go to these shows, I see some of the guys that I used to work with years ago, and it's like being back on the road. It's a cool feeling and it's nice to be back with the boys."

Haku also knows that he couldn't have enjoyed the extended success he did without the continued support of WWE fans. Tonga wanted to send a special message to those people, and a message regarding the future of sports-entertainment.

"Thank you for all your support over the years," said Tonga. "Thank you for watching every week, and thank you for watching today. The next generation of WWE Superstars are ready to carry the ball."

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