WWE likes to feature the Anoa’i Family on their television shows. This is obvious judging by the Bloodline’s current spot on the roster. The famous wrestling family’s lineage in sports entertainment goes back generations, and one family member had a chance to face a member of the McMahon, but he did not see that encounter coming at all.

Lance Anoa’i is currently signed to Major League Wrestling, but he had a shot in WWE years ago. Lance is the reigning MLW World Tag Team Champion, in his first reign. As his name suggests, Lane is indeed a member of the Anoaʻi family. In fact, the 30-year-old wrestler is the younger cousin of undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns. The Samoans are arguably the biggest family in pro wrestling.

On the January 2nd, 2015, edition of WWE SmackDown, Lance Anoa’i teamed with Rhett Titus in a losing effort against The Ascension. Then on February 1st, 2017, Lance wrestled The Authors of Pain in a losing effort. This match was related to a tryout he was having with WWE at the time.

In April 2019, Lance Anoa’i wrestled for WWE as part of another tryout. Unfortunately, WWE didn’t offer him a contract, and Lance returned home empty-handed.


In May 2019, Anoa’i faced Shane McMahon on RAW, representing the great Anoaʻi family. Lance lost the match via submission following an attack from Drew McIntyre, who was working for Shane at the time. Lance was the target of a brutal beatdown at the hands of McMahon and McIntyre immediately after the match. Finally, Roman Reigns made the save and sent the heels packing that night.

While speaking on “The Family Business,” Lance Anoa’i recalled wrestling Shane McMahon after being originally told that WWE didn’t have anything for him.

“Right after my last tryout, which was in 2019, they said, ‘Yeah, we don’t have nothing for you at the moment.’ Then I got the call in May of 2019 saying, ‘Hey,’ two days before Raw, ‘We’re flying you out to Kansas City. Are you available?’ Of course, yes, I’m down. I don’t know anything, what’s going on. I was like alright, maybe this is the deal, I’m gonna get a break. Especially because for extras, they don’t really fly everyone out at all. But they got my rental car, my hotel, my flight, everything.”

“Then I arrived into Kansas City, go to Raw, and they’re like, ‘Hey, it’s you and Shane McMahon tonight.’ I said, ‘Oh, damn.’ No idea, I just found out two days ago I was flying to Kansas City for Raw, and now I’m here getting in the ring with Shane. What an experience, man. I knew he was stiff [laughs].”

Lance Anoa’i might have appeared this week on WWE RAW Is XXX, considering The Bloodline Acknowledgment ceremony was supposed to feature every generation of The Anoa’i Family. However, now that the special segment has been replaced by The Trial Of Sami Zayn, it remains to be seen when Lance would make his next appearance for Vince McMahon’s company, but he has already racked up a few memories.

What’s your take on the story? Sound off in the comments!

Tags: Roman Reigns
Saptarshi Sinha

Saptarshi Sinha is a pro-wrestling enthusiast and journalist. He has been covering the industry for over five years, providing in-depth analysis and coverage of the latest events and storylines. In addition to his passion for wrestling, Saptarshi also enjoys perfumery, photography, optometry, and gaming in his free time. He is dedicated to bringing his readers the most accurate and engaging content in the world of professional wrestling.

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