I was born Laurel Danielle Bullock Varty, the only child of a failed marriage between two star crossed friends. I took my great-grandmother's maiden name, O'Connor, to celebrate my Celtic heritage.
My parents divorced when I was a toddler, my estranged father was never a positive part of my life. My single mother's parents struggled to assert a positive influence, providing balance and stability.
I struggled in school, due to a difficult home life and chronic health problems. Small for my age and bullied, I found courage and confidence through sports, bodybuilding and martial arts. Wrestling, music and performance art were an escape for me.
After much upheaval, I enrolled in UCF on an exceptionally high scoring GED and entrance exam, but was unable to graduate, losing my financial aid due to a severe ear infection of which nearly cost me my hearing.
We lost our family house to foreclosure, forcing yet another difficult round of hardship and insecurity. I pursued a career in sports journalism, not very lucrative, but it enabled me to go places I would not have been granted access. At one event, I was plucked from the audience by a friend and offered the opportunity to be a part of the wrestling promotion. Initially declining the offer, I soon realized that this may be a way to manifest the dreams that I had been forced to set aside.
I found myself on the card with the very wrestler who introduced me to the WXW Family and the Anoa'i Dynasty. Recognizing that my heart is truly in this business, Afa and his famous family has taken me under their considerable wing. My life will never be the same, and I remain forever grateful for this opportunity.
First of all I want to thank Uncle AFA Anoai and Aunty Lynn. It has been a
true blessing being able to be the first one to receive the Lia Maivia
Scholarship. I love the woman behind the scholarship, and I am honored to
have the privilege to represent her in the wrestling industry. The
scholarship helped me to get to where I am today. I was able to train at The
Wild Samoan Training Center and learn so much from Afa and his trainers. It
gave me the opportunity to grow and make my dreams come true as a WWE Diva
Wrestler. I am now at the WWE training school known as FCW, and my Uncle Afa
was a huge part of my training. He was very hard on me and its not just
because I was his niece, but he treated everyone equal. He always does his
best in trying to help students like myself reach their full potential and
goals in this life, especially when it comes to wrestling. The Lia Maivia
Scholarship will always and forever be in my heart and spirit; it was a
stepping stone to where I needed to get, and it has blessed not only me but
my family as well. So I just want to say, "Fafetai lava:" (Thank you) for
privileging me and allowing me to pursue my dreams. I am moving forward now
in my goals as a WWE Diva wrestler, and I will do my best to positively
represent the Lia Maivia Scholarship and the Wild Samoan Training Center in
everything I do. Thank you again Afa and for the Lia Maivia Scholarship!!!!
WWE SIGNS WILD SAMOAN TRAINING CENTER GRADUATE & WXW
SUPERSTAR SARONA SNUKA!
MINNEOLA, FL -- WWE Hall of Famer Afa “The Wild Samoan” is proud to announce
that WXW superstar, and daughter of WWE Hall of Famer “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka,
SARONA SNUKA has been signed to a WWE Contract! Sarona was trained at the
world famous Wild Samoan Training Center located in Minneola, FL. WXW and the
Wild Samoan Training Center have once again made history with Sarona Snuka
following in the footsteps of numerous other stars who started their careers
in WXW and the WSTC! Sarona is also a recipient of the Lia Maivia scholarship
and is a proud supporter of Usos Foundation.The WXW Family wishes Sarona well
on her next steps to superstardom in the WWE!
It is an absolute honor to receive this scholarship from Afa and the Usos Foundation. They are helping me one step at a time to try to achieve my dream of being a pro wrestler and along they way I am learning a whole different meaning of the word "family". I remember the 1st time I saw Wrestling on TV, I watched The Rock deliver a Rock Bottom to Rikishi in the middle of the ring. I find it amazing how now I am training underneath Pops' guidance and teachings. It's hard to believe that it was not destiny that made this possible.
When I was younger, everyone would shoot down my dream of becoming a pro wrestler. If you were to ask my friends and family 10 years ago if they thought I would ever be this far along towards reaching my dream they would've thought you were delusional. I love that I can now stand here today and prove all of them wrong. I went through a very dark time before Afa and Mom awarded me this scholarship. I had lost 3 of my best friends within 3 weeks, popped 3 of the tires on my car with no money to pay for them, and my family got foreclosed on our house, and then one day I was stuck outside my house in the cold and rain for an hour straight. I had to punch a hole through a glass window in order to let myself back in. When I got inside I lay down and passed out as I thought to myself... can it get much worse than this?
The very next day I went to Wrestling Training at the Gym and Mom and Pops called me into their office and told me that they would love to give the Adam Carreras Scholarship to me. Just at the sound of what they had just told me, I burst into tears and thought that all the suffering I had been enduring the past few months had finally paid off. It was like a dream come true for me and my family. My mom was also very excited and struck with emotion. She was so distraught over the fact that she didn't have the money to help me pay for my dream and she loves and thanks Mom and Pops for providing me with the opportunity that she couldn't.
I have learned so much from my time with Pops and the rest of his blood family and the WXW family. I have learned that Family is most important 'cause they will always be there for you through anything. I've learned that there is only one man who has talent on loan from god in PC- Richard J Creiado. I've learned that O'Doyle Rules!. I've learned that a match with Dylan Night and Candi will always be High Profile. I've learned that there is no one more explosive than TNT Mottley. I've learned to believe in Nick Nero. I've learned that there is no better 3 time Cruiserweight champion more high flying than Sean Maluta. I've learned that no one can eat their own pants and a bag of potato chips better than The Puerto Rican Hound Dog. I've learned that there is only one Silverback from the outback, Mark Silva. I've learned there is no one more Frat-tastic than Chris Russo. I've learned that there is no one more funky than Jamaican Funk and more funny than Hatchet City. I've learned that there is no one more sweet and beautiful than Miss Kimberly. I've learned to always try to have a nice day with a side of BANG BANG!! I've learned that I have a great friend in Kekoa The Hawaiian Warrior. Last but not least I have learned that there is no one more vicious, more ruthless, more aggressive, more wild, and more kind, more loving, more caring... than Pops. I love Pops so much and I would take a bullet for him. That's saying a lot because Noah is one of my best friends and I wouldn't take a bullet for him. Might push him out of the way though.
I would like to thank all of the Wrestling Legends associated with Pops and the Usos Foundation as well as all over the world, because without the dreams of younger wrestlers, today wouldn't even become a reality if it wasn't for them. I would like to thank my girlfriend for always supporting me and keeping my spirits up through all my hardships and troubles. I would like to thank the parents of Adam for establishing such a wonderful scholarship in his name. I would also like to give a special thank you to one person who is not here tonight; Aleki. Before he left I told him that I loved him even though I've only known him for a short while. He told me something that I'll never forget and that is this: " You need to do more than being a Ref. Not only do you need to but you are capable of being and doing so much more." I will never forget that. People like him are what drive me to keep going, keep pushing until I cant push anymore. I know if he was here right now he would tell everyone... that we suck.. with love of course.
Once again a special thanks to the Usos Foundation and everyone else who made this possible for myself.