Where Are They Now? Rosey

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November 13, 2012

The big Samoans spent time in WWE’s developmental territories in Memphis, Tenn., and Cincinnati, keeping themselves on the mind of WWE officials. They were surprised one day, while at a Raw taping in July 2002.

“We didn’t know we were going to start until Arn Anderson said, “You guys need to go see [the wardrobe staff]. We need to go find you guys some hip-hop clothes for tonight. You guys are starting.”

After an impromptu shopping trip, the cousins were ready for their WWE debut. That night on Raw, then–General Manager Eric Bischoff gave D’Lo Brown and Shawn Stasiak three minutes to entertain him. When the Superstars failed to impress Bischoff by the time his countdown reached zero, the massive Samoans had leaped the guardrail from the crowd and decimated the hapless grapplers. (WATCH) Though the WWE Universe had no idea who the two were, they had certainly made an impact.

In reality, the cousins didn’t know much about who they were going to be, either. They didn’t have names until several weeks later. In fact, the manner in which they got their names is quite surprising.

“I didn’t know [Rosey] was my name until Eric Bischoff, I think the second episode after we started, mentioned it,” Matt explained. “We were in the ring, but you couldn’t really hear what he said. I looked at my cousin and said, ‘Did he just give us our names?’ He said, ‘I don’t know.’ ”

The two, hoping for a little clarity, made their way back to the dressing room.

“As soon as we got to the locker room, a lot of the boys were like, ‘Alright, who’s Rosey and who’s Jamal?’ It just so happened that Eki walked through first, raised his hand and said, ‘I’m Jamal!’ ” Matt recalled.

“That was it. At that point, I was like, ‘I guess I’m Rosey.’ ”

The hulking cousins seemingly appeared out of nowhere whenever Bischoff said the words “three minutes,” so they earned the name 3 Minute Warning. Guided by the unique stylist Rico, the pair steamrolled over anyone in their path on Monday nights, from WWE Hall of Famers like “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka, to decorated tag teams like The Dudley Boyz, Billy & Chuck and Booker T & Goldust.

In June 2003, though, Jamal was released from his contract, which blindsided Matt.

“I was looking at reception buildings for my wedding,” he explained. “It threw me off.”

The two cousins talked for an hour and a half about what the future would hold for them. They both felt good coming out of the conversation.

“We just let each other know how we felt and what we thought would be the best for both of us,” Anoa’i said. “That’s when I opted to stay in WWE and he would go on and do what he wanted to do. I knew he would be just fine on his own.”

Matt had no idea the next step he’d be taking in WWE would be training for a new job, however. WWE’s resident superhero, The Hurricane, saw something in the big Samoan, and decided to take him under his wing, showing him how to uphold justice.

At first, Rosey wasn’t on board with the idea of becoming the Robin to Hurricane’s Batman.

“My reserves were that I’m not following the family tradition,” he explained. “But I felt that I could pull it off.”

Rosey went through intense superhero training with The Hurricane, doing good deeds like helping old ladies across the street and rescuing cats from trees. His training costume consisted of ratty gym clothes The Hurricane may have found at Goodwill and a purple domino mask that, according to Rosey, was more trouble than it was worth.

“I think it fell off every single time I wrestled,” he joked.

Despite his silly costume, Rosey made his superhero apprenticeship work. He knew he had made it by the response he received from younger members of the WWE Universe.

“God forbid, when you see a 380-pound Samoan walk out in an outfit that looks like a rodeo clown [you might get scared],” he said. “But they seemed to dig it. It made me feel good that little kids all over the world would want to come get my autograph because of what I was doing.”

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