Although Cocoa Samoa never achieved superstardom, he left an impression wherever he wrestled.

Cocoa Samoa Death- Unknown Causes

1945-2007 (Age 61)

Cocoa Samoa is an unfamiliar name to some fans despite him being one of the many wrestlers hailing from Samoa.

Although he worked in various territories around the world during the 80s, he never became a megastar. Nevertheless, his influence on the lives of others would be his greatest contribution.

One Wrestler, Many Identities, and Many Homes

Born Ulualoaiga Onosai Tuaolo Emelio on March 9, 1945, in America Samoa, the future Cocoa Samoa (not to mention the Black Ninja, Sabu the Wildman, High Chief Onasahi, and Tami Samoa) studied martial arts in Japan, eventually wrestling there.

His travels took him to various territories, including Championship Wrestling from Florida, NWA Pacific Northwest, NWA Mid-America, Georgia Championship Wrestling, and Memphis’ Continental Wrestling Association.

Cocoa often worked as a babyface, battling wrestlers such as Dory Funk Jr. and The Assassin. He also became friends with Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, and wrestling legend has it, considered him his brother.

Samoa won several regional championships during his career, including the Pacific Northwest Heavyweight Championship and AWA Southern Championship.

The Samoan grappler battled various wrestlers in Pacific Northwest Wrestling including Gino Hernandez, “Playboy” Buddy Rose, and Jesse Ventura.

Even when he was largely used as enhancement talent (such as in Georgia Championship Wrestling), Cocoa always performed well. In Georgia, he battled top stars such as Ole Anderson, Terry Gordy, and Michael Hayes.

Cocoa’s Criminal Past and Subsequent Redemption

Cocoa’s life took a turn for the worse when he went to prison after working as a money collector for a West Coast drug runner. However, he found religion, turning his life around and opening a janitorial business where he employed homeless individuals, helping them to get back on their feet. Cocoa also reportedly became an evangelist, helping people in need.

Cocoa Samoa Death

On January 9, 2007, Cocoa Samoa died at age 61. His cause of death remains unknown but he left behind a large family. According to Online World of Wrestling, he was survived by:

wife, Esperanza; sons, Emelio, Maliuga, Tama, Onosai and Spencer; daughters, Tapuni Lualemana, Vinora Emelio and Lelani Momosea; brother, Amazon; sisters, Fiapaipai Fruean, Tusipasi Peneuta and Lotoleaga Emelio; 31 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren.

Other pro wrestlers who died in 2007 include Arnold Skaaland, Bad News Brown, Bam Bam Bigelow, Bronko Lubich, Chris Benoit, Crush, Ernie Ladd, Fabulous Moolah, John Kronus, Mike Awesome, Nancy Benoit, Sherri Martel, and The Missing Link.

What are your favorite memories of Cocoa Samoa? Let us know in the comments below.