SmackDown Live has added a veteran competitor to the roster. 39-year-old Tamina Snuka has been absent from WWE television for nearly a year, after undergoing knee surgery to repair torn ligaments in the spring of 2016. While she competed in a number of tag team matches in early 2016, her last single’s match was last February. Snuka defeated Becky Lynch in a match on Raw, and the guest commentator was Sasha Banks. Snuka was able to compete at WrestleMania 32, but her team alongside Naomi, Lana, EMMA, and Summer Rae (Team B.A.D. and Blonde) was unable to defeat the Team Total Divas group, comprising of Brie Bella, Paige, Natalya, Alicia Fox, and Eva Marie.
Throughout her career, Tamina’s skills have been grossly underutilized. Making her WWE main roster debut in 2010, Snuka made her first appearance as a manager of the Usos, portraying a villainous character and feuding with Natalya, who was managing The Hart Dynasty. After making a face turn by having an odd pair with Santino Marella, she would become the valet of his team with Vladimir Kozlov. This would last until a draft to SmackDown would commence yet another heel turn.
After a short time being a valet for JTG, Snuka would turn face again, and feud with Beth Phoenix for the WWE Diva’s Championship. Unfortunately, she was unable to capture the title, and continued to unsuccessfully chase the championship. Her character will continue to be booked inconsistently, as she returned from a back injury as a heel, and eventually become a bodyguard for AJ Lee. She made another face turn after having dissension with Lee, even gaining a Diva’s Championship opportunity. She would once again fail to acquire the championship, and took more time off before returning again as a heel to align with Naomi. She would be an instrumental part of the Divas Revolution as a member of Team B.A.D. (Beautiful and Dangerous), but usually on the receiving end of losses when the team was defeated.
Another injury put her on the shelf, and she spent the rest of 2016 recovering. In mid-February, Snuka returned to SmackDown Live roster, competing on house shows with Natalya against the team of Carmella and Alexa Bliss. She would team up with Nikki Bella during the Road to WrestleMania event against the heel team of Carmella and Natalya. This weekend in Mobile, Illinois, Snuka competed in her first single’s match in over a year, gaining an opportunity to partake in a SmackDown Live Women’s Championship match against Alexa Bliss, Carmella, Becky Lynch, and Natalya. She would once again be unable to capture the title.
Snuka recently experienced a very tough moment in her career, as her father Jimmy Snuka passed away. She posted a poignant comment on social media regarding the loss.
A post shared by SaronaSnuka (@saronasnukawwe) on
“I Miss You Dad… I feel your Energy, strength and love everyday. Thank you for loving me!!!”
In the eight years of her career, Tamina Snuka has experienced many close calls of becoming the top star for WWE. However, the company has relegated her to being a comical valet, heel manager, or bodyguard. During the times that she had a single’s push, it would either be extinguished by an unfortunate injury, or an ill-timed heel turn.
Unfortunately, the constant face and heel turns throughout Tamina’s career have created a significant level of inconsistency for her as a character. As a result, the fan support is just as inconsistent, as a result of her never having an opportunity to showcasing that one moment to fully exhibit how talented she is. Although she did come close a few times to being champion, she has never won a title in the WWE. Hopefully, this next run will create a promising future for the daughter of the WWE legend, Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, and she can have her first taste of championship success.
[Featured Image by WWE]