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Peter Maivia (1937-1982)


Real Name - Fanene Leifi Pita Maivia
Lifespan - 4/6/37 - 6/13/82
5'9" 240 lbs – American Samoa

Athletic Background -n/a

Teacher(s) - Steve Rickard

Professional Background - New Zealand(`62-`65), Australia(`64-`65), England(`65-`66), New Zealand(`66-`68), Hawaii(`68-`73), San Francisco(`69,`71), Los Angeles(`72), San Francisco(`73-`74), Texas(`75-`76), WWWF(`77-`79), Hawaii(`78-`82), New Zealand(`79), Los Angeles(`81)

AliasesPeter Anderson, Prince Peter Maivia, High Chief Peter Maivia

Groups - none

Peak Years - `68-`75

Finisher(s) - 
- Samoan Twist Hold
- Big Splash

Favorites - 
- Headbutt
- Bodyslam
- European Uppercutt
- Gut Punch to running opponent
- Overhand Chop

Ringwork Rating - 

 Move Set

Intangibles Rating - 


Place in History - Pro-wrestling has attracted many men from the South Pacific Islands with the rough action, the wild antics and the chance to leave the island and become a star. Peter Maivia left his home country of Samoa for New Zealand where he proved to be a quick study in the sport that was growing in popularity in the region. Steve Rickard, a promoter and top star, helped train and get Maivia over in his formative years. Throughout the 1960s, Maivia would gain a reputation as a tough babyface that the fans quickly took to. In Hawaii, his last name bore a similarity to Neff Miaiva, who he was billed as a cousin of upon his arrival. Hawaii had a great pool of talent and Maivia improved more, then he ventured to San Francisco where he learned more and grew more as a performer. It is here that Maivia began training men like Afa and his future son-in-law Rocky Johnson. After a run in Texas, Maivia was ready for the big time. Vince McMahon brought him into the WWWF and made him a top babyface. The “High Chief” wore symbolic tattoos from his chest to his knees and was a unique character for the Northeastern crowds to say the least. He feuded with WWWF Champions Superstar Graham and Bob Backlund (who he turned on) and proved himself to be a drawing card as both a face and as a heel. As he came out of his peak years, Peter Maivia was an established star in many places. California, Hawaii, Australia and New Zealand all valued the presence of this popular Samoan star. He and his wife Ata bought the Hawaiian territory, but sadly Peter Maivia was struck down by cancer three years later at 45 years of age. The territory continued for another six years, many of his proteges were enjoying great success and his ten year old grandson would go on to become one of the biggest stars in pro-wrestling history. While he was not the first pro-wrestler of Polynesian ancestry to come to the States, Peter Maivia's success was unprecedented and it paved the way from stars as diverse as the Jimmy Snuka (Fijian), Haku (Tongan), Yokozuna (Polynesian) and Samoa Joe (Samoan) to name a few.