top of page

Polynesian Pro Wrestling’s Female Promoter: Lia Maivia

In 1979, The High chief Peter Maivia made a bold move and purchased the 50th state Big Time Wrestling in Hawaii and turned it into Polynesian Pacific Pro Wrestling. The stacked cards and well-known talent made it a success. Sadly, Peter had to consider the company’s future without him due to his cancer diagnosis. So, he made the last wish to his wife, Lia Maivia that she run the company after he passed.

Lia Maivia took over the NWA-affiliated Polynesian Pro Wrestling organization and worked with some of the greatest in the industry. Lia was considered to be a strong-willed businesswoman who demanded a lot from her employees. She had to think about keeping all of the men on the roster in check and running a tight ship so that her authority was respected.

According to Lia, the acceptance of her taking over the promotion came easy because the other promoters knew her. She traveled the world with her husband and learned a lot about the business. Polynesian Pacific Pro wrestling’s biggest event was Hot Summer night on August 3, 1985, to a crowd of 20,000. This was one of the first shows that featured WWE, AWA, and New Japan talent on the same card. Wrestlers like Kevin Sullivan, Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler, Rocky Johnson, Kamala, The Von Erichs, Ric Flair, Bruiser Brody, Macho Man, Andre the Giant, and others wrestled for Polynesian Pacific Pro Wrestling.

The women’s champion Debbie Combs, The fallen angel, and Lady Maxine were brought in to spice up the card. Shawn Michaels and Kevin Von Erich had pleasant memories of working with the promotion early in their careers.

In 2021, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’ premiered the NBC show, Young Rock. A presentation that looks back at important times during his formal years. His grandmother, Lia Maivia, was a promoter, and he got a front-row seat to the magnificence that is pro wrestling.

With the help of WWE, Lia Maivia was able to use top-notch talent to bring big crowds to the shows. After a successful run in Hawaii, Polynesian Pacific Pro Wrestling quietly folded in 1988, after which WWE became a sports entertainment mega-machine that sold out countless concerts. Lia’s run was shorter, but her effect on the Hawaii wrestling industry was recognized and respected to this day. Her work, together with the rest of the Maivia family, has let the world notice the island’s ability.

Her contributions are being felt even more so now, because of the success of “Young Rock.” Lia’s hard work, great ideas, and memorable collaborations with other promotions made for entertaining events and great launching pads for many young wrestlers. Lia’s story can be seen on NBC’s “Young Rock” every Tuesday at 8 pm EST.


bottom of page