Where Are They Now? Rosey

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November 13, 2012

Eventually, Rosey graduated from The Hurricane’s rigorous training program. Surprising The Hurricane and sidekick “Super Stacy” Keibler with his new, sleek gear, the Samoan hero saved his super friends from a beatdown at the hands of Tyson Tomko and Trish Stratus.

Rosey and The Hurricane soon rose to the top of WWE’s tag team ranks, capturing the World Tag Team Titles in a Tag Team Turmoil match at Backlash 2005. For the second-generation Superstar, the moment the referee counted three, declaring the superheroes champions, was very emotional. (WATCH)

“I felt like I was part of my family tradition,” he explained. “As soon as they handed me the title, I was just hoping my dad was watching. It was pretty cool.”

Unfortunately for Anoa’i, all good things must come to an end. By fall 2005, his partnership with Hurricane, who he considers a great friend, ended. And in March of the following year, Rosey was released from his WWE contract. Having grown up in the industry, Anoa’i took the news in stride.

“I let them know that in no way, shape or form do I ever want you to think I’m mad,” he told WWE Classics. “I understand this game, that’s the way it is. I was looking forward to the next step.” 

After his release. Rosey competed in Japan, along with former WWE Superstars like D’Lo Brown and Bull Buchanan. To this day, he still makes appearances at autograph signings, and occasionally gets back into the ring. The former Superstar has found a new calling, though, turning another passion of his into a profession.

Settling in Cincinnati, Anoa’i enjoys spending time with his children, Madison, Koa and Jordan, but his main focus right now is the upcoming launch of his restaurant, Island Boi BBQ. (CURRENT PHOTOS) The idea for the restaurant came after he searched for a place in the area that served South Pacific style barbecue, only to come up empty. He told us there may have also been another factor.

“I got tired of giving food away in my backyard for free,” he joked. “Nobody seems to dislike it.”

Matt learned to cook when he was 13. There wasn’t much room for error, considering the guests he was serving.

“It was a very hard thing to learn,” he recalled. “If you’ve got Hulk Hogan, ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage, my uncle, Greg Valentine and Iron Sheik in your backyard and you drop a steak or a burger in between the grill, you better watch out!

“I got a few smacks in the head about dropping meat through the grill. I learned real quick.”

Anoa’i moved on from burgers and steaks to learn more traditional Samoan barbecue dishes, which are on the menu at Island Boi BBQ.

“They’re family recipes that have been passed down over the last 27 years through my family,” he said. “It’s what I’ve learned to cook through the Anoa’i and Fatu families.”

Hoping to open the restaurant by the first week of December, Matt finds himself going through the same emotional rushes he did while competing in WWE.

“It’s exciting and scary,” Anoa’i said. “You get those butterflies when you’re in WWE, but they go away as soon as you get through that curtain and make your way down to the ring. Here, the butterflies stay, there’s no pyro or music, and 25,000 fans screaming.

Nerves aside, the former superhero is very eager to have the first customers walk through the doors of Island Boi BBQ.

“Bottom line, we’re serving great food and we’re going to serve it with a smile,” Anoa’i explained. “And every now and then, if you catch me out in the dining area, there’ll be somebody wanting me to tell a story. We’re going to have a lot of fun with it.”

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