Papaliitele Max Amata Taogaga (28 April 1949) is a retired Samoan professional wrestler, best known for his appearances in the World Wrestling Federation as Siva Afi.

Professional wrestling career

Early career

Taogaga, born in Samoa, raised in New Zealand, where he began amateur wrestling at an early age. After deciding to turn pro he went to Steve Rickard and Peter Maivia who trained him for two years on the nuances of the professional game. In his first match Taogaga defeated one of New Zealand's top light heavyweights, Del Adams.

New Zealand

For the next four years Taogaga continued to work his way up through the ranks, wrestling the majority of foreign visitors to the country. Finally in 1978 he earned his big break, defeating Big John Da Silva in the final of an elimination tournament to decide the new, New Zealand Heavyweight Champion. Over the next few months, Taogaga successfully defended the title before heading to the U.S. at the end of 1978.

Touring (1978–1984)

For the next seven years Taogaga split his time between the U.S., New Zealand, Australia and Japan. However, it was in Hawaii that Taogaga would be the most successful. It was here, in 1985, where he wrestled Ric Flair to a one-hour time limit draw for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship in front of 12,000 people.

World Wrestling Federation (1986–1990)

In 1986, Taogaga signed with Vince McMahon's World Wrestling Federation (WWF). Taogaga wrestled consistently for two years, against the likes of Bret Hart, Randy Savage, Harley Race and Ted DiBiase as an enhancement talent wrestler. Initially, he was billed as "Superfly" Afi, and deemed to be the cousin of Jimmy Snuka, and as Sivi Afi. In 1988, after teaming for a short time with Haku as one half of The Islanders, he also wrestled in six man tags with the original Islanders, Haku and Tama. He debuted a new gimmick, that of "High Chief Afi", a Samoan chieftain. As part of his gimmick, Taogaga had gotten his legs and abdomen heavily tattooed (ala High Chief Peter Maivia). Unfortunately for Taogaga, it was all for naught; Tama would shortly thereafter depart from the WWF and Haku was repackaged as "King Haku" to replace the injured Harley Race, leaving Taogaga without a team or manager. Taogaga left the WWF and went on to work for Burt Reynolds as a stuntman and bodyguard.

Return to New Zealand

Taogaga made his return to New Zealand in 1990 to appear for Steve Rickard's "The Main Event". Taogaga defeated all comers during the short-lived show, becoming the new Commonwealth Heavyweight Champion in the process.

After the cancellation of "The Main Event", Taogaga resumed touring the world appearing in areas as far flung as Palestine, Israel, England and Africa.

In 1997, after over 23 years on the road, Taogaga retired from the business, wrestling his final match in South Africa.

Life after wrestling

Since retiring from professional wrestling, Taogaga has converted to Christianity. He studied to become a minister in Marion, Ohio. He has written two books, "Thus Said The Lord to America" and "Dance with Fire", and is working on a third, entitled "Reign of Fire." Has a Son Angelo Peter Tanu Taogaga born in St. Petersburg, Fl 12/31/97.

In wrestling

Championships and accomplishments

  • All Star Pro Wrestling
  • NWA New Zealand
  • PWI ranked him # 384 of the 400 best singles wrestlers of the PWI's WWE Top 400 in 2003

External links

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