Toa Liona Reflects On Working For Uber Eats, Getting A Contract At Rikishi’s Wrestling School, More

ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Champion Toa Liona from The Mogul Embassy recently appeared on AEW Unrestricted for an in-depth interview covering all things pro wrestling. During the discussion, Liona commented on his tweet he put out January of this year about Uber Eats in which he wrote, “Last year at this time, I was delivering for Uber Eats to fans who were watching Rampage. Fast forward to now, I filmed a commercial for Uber Eats and I get to perform on Rampage. Saying I’m blessed is an understatement. Hard work always pays off.”

Liona said, “It’s definitely surreal, especially like the commercial aspect. My goal was obviously to make it on TV and to wrestle for AEW. I would say AEW is the sundae because ice cream is the base. Everyone loves it, but the sprinkle and the cherry was definitely the commercial. They picked me out of my audition, not with wrestling. I didn’t say anything because I wanted to get it based on just my own credentials. So afterwards, I said something. So it was definitely fulfilling.”

How long he worked for Uber Eats:

“That was my job. I lived in the Bay Area during the pandemic and I was a personal trainer. So when I moved to L.A. for training, for wrestling, I couldn’t rebuild my clientele as a personal trainer, but I still had to take care of the bills. I had to take care of my family, so I had to figure something out. So Uber Eats was the job that I can still train and I’m my own boss, so I can go clock in whenever I need to.”

Getting in contact with Rikishi’s wrestling school:

“When my wife asked me, ‘Why don’t we get to wrestling’, and I was like, ‘You know, you’re right.’ At the time, we lived in San Diego. I looked up schools and I just so happened to see something on Instagram that Rikishi has a school. So I pulled this thing up and I was like, ‘Oh, it’s in L.A.’ My wife was like, ‘Well, do you really want to do this?’ and I was like, ‘Yeah.’ She’s like, ‘Well, drive’, and I was like, ‘Alright.'”

“I met up with Rikishi in 2019. At the time, I was playing arena football. I told him, ‘After the season’s done, I’ll come and I’ll start training. I just have to finish this football season out.’ Circling back, I grew up playing football. I went to City College, San Francisco, got a scholarship to San Diego State, and I got hurt, so then my football career was done. I was really disheartened because it was everything I wanted and I trained for. I did everything I could to achieve it and to be like that close and just fall on my hands. I just so happened to be at a Burlington Coat Factory. This football coach for the San Diego Strike Force said, ‘Hey, do you play football?’ I said, ‘I did.’ He’s like, ‘Well, we have practice at this time.’ Blah, blah, blah. Long story short, I pulled up, I met at the gym, and they signed me on the spot.”

“I was not in shape at all. This is post powerlifting, so I was close to 400 pounds. When I played at SDSU, my collegiate defense end’s weight was like 250 or 260. I’m pushing four bills, so I’m not the same player. I had to switch positions. I had to do a lot of different things. I told myself I’m gonna do this for my old stuff. He worked so hard to be called a professional football player and get paid to do it. So I’m gonna finish this off for him. After that, I was like, then I’ll start my new journey.”

“I met up with Rikishi in June. I started training in June of 2019. I would make the drives three times a week, two and a half hours down to L.A., train, drive back Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday, and I did that for all the way through the pandemic. Then when the pandemic happened., I moved to the Bay Area. When I moved to the Bay Area, that was rough because mind you, I still had a family.”

Meeting Rikishi’s family:

“Rikishi took me under his wing. He introduced me to all his nephews, all the sons, and immediately they were looking out for me, whether it was Jacob (Fatu) looking out for me, whether it was Sefa, known as Solo (Sikoa) now looking out for me like, I’m very appreciative of the whole family because they taught me how to be a Samoan pro wrestler. I never get offended when people are like, ‘Are you part of the Dynasty? Are you part of this? Are you part of that?’ I take it as a compliment because I’m like, if you think I’m good enough to be a part of that, good, but at the same time, I can’t wait when I have my time where it’s more eyes on me where everyone is going to be like, ‘Oh, he’s not a part of the family?’, but I was trained by the family. I’m not family by blood, but I was trained under them.”

You can check out the complete podcast below:

(h/t to for the transcription)