The wrestling world is well-acquainted with Naomi, but it has never faced a force like Trinity.
Trinity Fatu, who previously starred as Naomi, has brought her talents to Impact Wrestling. Her debut match in the company against KiLynn King illustrated a streak she rarely got time to explore in WWE, where she had worked since 2009.
“I had a great journey in WWE,” says Fatu, who only uses his first name as his ring name in Impact. “That was my introduction to wrestling and it was 14 great years with the company. I thought I’d retire with the WWE. I never thought I’d be with another company, but that’s the world of wrestling. As scary as it is was, so here I am. I’m looking forward to the opportunities and the opportunity for growth.”
A year ago, Fatu would never have predicted how her following year would unfold. Fatu and Mercedes Moné (who was known in WWE as Sasha Banks) were scheduled to defend their tag team titles on an episode of Raw, but the match never took place. The narrative is that they were frustrated with the creative – but that’s the furthest thing from the truth. Much more happened, which eventually inspired both women to leave the company.
Neither Fatu nor Fatu and Moné have shared these details yet, but it was alarming to see how certain people in WWE painted a picture of them being problematic, unprofessional or entitled. The reality is that they stuck to their principles, even when the company hurled insults at the two women on subsequent broadcasts and proclaimed that they were walking out of the company and refusing to fulfill their obligations.
“I understand the game, I understand the business, and I knew what I was walking away from that day,” Fatu says. “I just didn’t expect to go through it publicly. Mercedes didn’t let me go through it alone, so having each other made it a lot easier. But going through the public humiliation together, that was a lot.
“Getting a lesson sitting back, it was hard and painful. But it got me to this point and I’m pretty happy to be where I am right now.”
In the aftermath, Fatu and Varnado stayed out of the public eye. Varnado finally made his comeback in spectacular fashion at New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s Wrestle Kingdom in January, then, shortly thereafter, won the IWGP Women’s Championship.
But a wounded soul does not mend itself quickly. Fatu took her time before returning, and she looked spectacular — physical and violent in a way that’s different from the WWE product — in the Impact premiere.
“I didn’t sing; I didn’t dance, says Fatu. “It’s the first time in my life that I didn’t do any kind of performance. The whole process was challenging, and it was difficult to maneuver through at first. But I evaluated what I wanted in my life and I’m better for it.
“The hard times, they’re going to make the victory even sweeter. I have an incredible wardrobe of women to work with. There are new possibilities, like wrestling guys in intergender matches. There’s so much talent there – Killer Kelly, Jordynne [Grace]Jessica [Havok]Rosemary, Tasha [Steelz]Masha [Slamovich], Taylor Wilde – there are some badass women. My goal is to bring more eyes to the division.”
Fatu’s time away from the ring allowed for deep introspection. As much as she enjoyed wrestling for WWE, she realized what she loved even more was wrestling for her fans.
“There was a lot of hate and negativity in this situation, but the fans were always there to counter it, and spoke for me when I couldn’t speak for myself,” says Fatu. “It motivated me. I love my fans. I love wrestling fans. They are very loyal. They have been on this journey with me for over a decade.
“I’ve got a new pep in my step. I know what I want – I have aspirations to do Broadway, more modeling, acting, and I want to break. With the Impact plan and support system, I can live my dream as a women’s wrestler and pursue my other passions as well.”
Fatu is now in her new home, bringing her full skill set to Impact Wrestling. She adds a flair and precision to the ring that is not currently present in an already talented division, and this represents an opportunity for her to shine in a whole new light. She will break Gisele Shaw on Friday night at Under siegeready and hungry to show off what makes her different from all other performers in the industry.
Pro wrestling is built around a battle between good and evil. Inevitably, the beloved babyface finds a way to overcome insurmountable odds and taste victory. That is the real script Fatu should follow. She bled, cried and struggled in pursuit of her dreams – and now is her time to seize them.
Even in the toughest of times, Fatu stayed true to his principles. Resisting the urge to become bitter, she still champions the work of her friends and loved ones. With a blank canvas waiting for her, her chance to show the wrestling world that she belongs in the spotlight finally arrives.
“I’m really excited about what’s next,” says Fatu. “We will create something very special together.”
Justin Barrasso can be reached at JBarrasso@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @Justin Barrasso.