In the times of darkness, in days of the future past, there is a light that glows, and all you need to do is follow it to the promised land.
Such is the way of the neon-laden Trinity Fatu, now formerly known as WWE’s Naomi.
Perhaps you’ve followed her throughout her tenure with the company. Maybe you’ve seen her Royal Rumble appearances go viral on social media. Whatever the case, it is likely that Naomi has caught your eye in one way or another with the glow she emanates. Whether it was her time as a dastardly villain in the Funkadactyls and Team B.A.D., or as that woman with explosive performances as a babyface, you know Naomi, or otherwise you have poor attention skills with professional wrestling.
All I know of Naomi is that she has a reputation of kindness and that she is an underdog when she doesn’t need to be. That, and she will give any promotion the best she can give. While I can’t speak too much on how her work fared in her time as a heel early on, as I rarely watched anything related to professional wrestling around that time, I was instantly hooked around the time I was slowly coming into the medium between 2016-2018, around the time she brought in her gimmick of The Glow.
Was this the woman I’d see now and then on the side of Cameron, Tamina Snuka, and Sasha Banks? Is that who this is, with the incredibly bumping music and visually striking entrance? I had yet to buy into the glow, but she kept my eye with her distinct wrestling style that saw her flying into the air and bouncing like only she can. Then, as I watched and watched, I saw the glow for what it was.
And what’s not to like? Her entrance lit up in darkness like playing laser tag with your friend Tyler until he’d cheat and you’d no longer hang out with him. Or her smile and her hairstyles, or just how athletic she is. She literally lights up the darkness.
Even in the shadow of the background, Naomi grabs your attention. Beneath the lights that blind you, the luminescence of the former Smackdown Women’s Champion pulls you in and you wonder why and how she is able to move the way that she does. Every landing, every jump, every strike sings a song of a light that doesn’t cry or beg to be seen, it just is. And it gets you talking, and you see what those responsible for her haven’t, and you wonder why they can’t see it, it’s right there! Again and again, Naomi gets the community talking. Whether it’s her aerial and powerful performances or her gear or her sheer aura alone, it gets people talking. She gets people talking.
Hell, one time she garnered attention by simply rocking a cosplay of Bumblebee from Teen Titans. It was just cosplay, and she killed it. She didn’t win the match, but she certainly won the conversation. She did some amazing spots and performed as Naomi, which means she performed with exemplary skills. Do you know how special of a presence you have on your hands when the work and passion and appearance makes up for the lack of foresight given? Of the creative aspects of a character that gleams past the process itself? You’ve got something far better than you deserve, that’s what you’ve got. In my humble opinion, she deserved and deserves better than how she was handled. How do you not capitalize on someone so wholesome? She’s a total role model, and the fact she’s held so much patience in her career speaks to her character. Keep her happy, and she’ll make some magic for your company or promotion.
I’d be remiss to leave out just what she can do. For instance, the way she ducks out of her opponent’s offense by simply doing the splits, or the way she flies about the ring like it’s her personal playground, she displays incredible acrobatics, she lives what is beyond our expectations of what most humans can do. For all we praise of Kenny Omega, El Hijo del Vikingo, or Kazuchika Okada, she deserves to be in those conversations.
I need only point you to most of the Women’s Royal Rumble matches she’s featured in, where she overcomes insurmountable odds to return to the ring, escaping elimination by traversing impossible landscapes, just to survive. I specifically remember women, black women, expressing that though they didn’t watch professional wrestling, they were in love with Naomi. It’s hard not to, with how she shows up and shows out every time, giving it her all. That is the type of talent you just do not give up on. That is the talent you help position to the forefront of your entertainment empire.
Such a connection with the fans warranted a special sit-down interview on a Miz TV segment on Smackdown in 2020, to discuss how important she is to the company and how she trends so easily any time she makes an appearance.
And boy, does she give. There seems to lie an inherent joy in lifting other women up that makes her career feel worth it, to smile that radiant smile as others get to prosper. After all, what greater feeling is there than seeing those you admire succeed?
Cue my excitement when her alliance with former stablemate Sasha Banks resulted in a tag team title win on Night Two of WrestleMania 38, as the duo held gold. Week after week, the two would carry the titles with vigor and passion and having amazing chemistry against the team of Rhea Ripley and Liv Morgan, and it felt as though things were on the up-and-up for the megastars. They were the conversation. I looked forward to every match they had in their brief time as Women’s Tag Team Champions. They were women who would try to lift other women when they could, while maintaining some attention for themselves as well.
Apart from the awkward happenings backstage at WWE on May 16, 2022 that had been brought to light, I don’t know myself what could have happened that caused the rift between Sasha and Noami against WWE, but my heart (and brain) definitely are on the side of the women who, despite their successes in the company, had their fair share of misusing and squandering at the hands of creative. I won’t know because I wasn’t there, and I don’t need to.
Whatever the inner machinations of backstage WWE is, it feels like it’s been boiling for quite some time with the direction of the company having changed drastically. Perhaps the duo saw the writing on the wall, and so Sasha and Naomi turned in their tag team belts and walked out, just like that. The damage had been done, and this time, it feels like this wound might not mend. Sometimes you just have enough of that toxic partner, that shitty manager at your job, or just life in general. Enough was enough and it was time for a change.
The final straw had been plucked and it crippled the camel’s back in the process. The company had summarily and unprofessionally dropped the ball for the last time, and the tag team walked away from the company.
Since, Trinity and Mercedes have been to red carpet events, convention appearances, and modeling shows. They even guest starred on an episode of Bar Rescue in a nightmare scenario (should have sent Sheamus and Cesaro). But Trinity also spent her time supporting the Boss turned CEO. In the background, she cheered for the debut of Mercedes Moné at NJPW’s Wrestle Kingdom 17, Night One. Both women have had each other’s backs.
The problem with the pair lied not with success in the company, it was with the presentation that the company gave them, and maybe she finally realized that, because what is success with the golden reward, if there lies no substantial memory stamped in the minds of the many? What of the stories told that stick with fans? Though she has her fair share, it is not enough to encompass over a decade of solid work put in. It is not enough to see someone who should be valued be treated without value.
Even the nicest person has their limits. Even the humblest of us know just what we are owed in our lives when we give so much to the universe, and someone blocks it from giving back. Enough was enough, and it was time for a change, so out of the depths of darkness did she walk. She walks now through fire, to glow forevermore to the evolution of a woman who does not tolerate such misgivings and toxicity.
She’ll bring the show while fans, and the glow, will follow her as she pursues whatever her dreams may be. Even if it isn’t wrestling, even if it isn’t somewhere we all can see. Personally, I hope she reaches a space that makes her happy, whole, and fulfilled. I hope she reaches her dreams, even if she’s not in arenas or on our screens. Enough games – time to glow.
Wherever she goes, it is doubtless that Trinity Fatu is going to show up and show out. In the end, she’s going to bring it to the floor and glow like the star she is.