The Superfly Flies No More
January 16, 2017 8:04 AM   Subscribe

WWE Hall of Fame Pro Wrestler Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka passed away yesterday at the age of 73.

Snuka was arguably the most popular wrestler in the pre-Hulk Hogan era WWF. Unfortunately, Snuka's heroic onscreen persona bore little resemblance to his out of ring personality, where he is alleged to have murdered his girlfriend, Nancy Argentino, in a motel in 1983. Just two weeks ago, charges against Snuka were dropped when it was deemed Snuka was incompetent to stand trial

As a wrestler, Snuka was best known for his high-flying "Superfly Splash" off the top rope, or, in some cases, off the top of a steel cage

Among the more famous angles in Snuka's career was when he appeared on Piper's Pit and host Roddy Piper viciously attacked him with a coconut. Another famous incident occurred when Magnificent Muraco confronted Snuka for interfering with his interview time on "Buddy Rogers Corner", igniting a legendary feud

Prior to achieving national fame in the WWF, Snuka worked in many regional wrestling promotions throughout the country including:
*Portland (vs. Buddy Rose)
*Mid-Atlantic (w/Paul Orndorff vs. Gene Anderson/Jacques Goulet)
* Georgia (vs. Kevin Von Erich)

and also did several tours of Japan (here vs. Ricky Steamboat from 1981)
posted by The Gooch (13 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
RIP Nancy Argentino.
posted by andreaazure at 8:15 AM on January 16, 2017 [8 favorites]

He'll be holding a seat in Hell for Vince McMahon.

. for Nancy Argentino.
posted by Etrigan at 8:40 AM on January 16, 2017 [4 favorites]

posted by drezdn at 9:43 AM on January 16, 2017

The Soaring, Unsettling Life of Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka by David Shoemaker for The Ringer
posted by The Gooch at 11:21 AM on January 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

Aw man, I was a big Superfly fan. But I'm more shocked in learning of his murder charges. It's like he died twice for me.
posted by cazoo at 11:43 AM on January 16, 2017 [4 favorites]

Crazy that he had such a huge chunk of his career after he probably murdered Argentino.
posted by atoxyl at 11:47 AM on January 16, 2017

From the Syracuse NY newspaper:
Months before 1983 homicide, Jimmy 'Superfly' Snuka charged with assault in CNY
posted by maurice at 12:50 PM on January 16, 2017

If he'd lived another 5 days he could have seen another WWE Hall of Famer become president.
posted by L.P. Hatecraft at 12:57 PM on January 16, 2017

I had forgotten about the murder charges. :(
posted by drezdn at 2:03 PM on January 16, 2017

I'm not much of a fan of contemporary "wrestling entertainment" but any time I'm nostalgic about the 80's "Rock N' Wrestling" era, clips like the Magnificent Muraco one & Piper's Pit clip above remind me how casually racist a lot of that stuff was.

I think it is worth noting that Snuka was one the signatories of a lawsuit against the WWE from "retired professional wrestlers and performers who sustained long term neurological injuries during their tenure with WWE".
posted by Ashwagandha at 8:55 PM on January 16, 2017

When I was a kid, my Mom and I loved watching wrestling. The first match she ever took me to, in Fort Lauderdale, in 1981, featured Superfly Snuka. For an eight year old, he was amazing to see.It's one of the few positive memories of childhood with my Mom, so reading the news gave me a twinge in the pit of my stomach.

Then I read about the murder charge. Disgusting.

According to some obits I've seen, he died in Hospice care at Broward Health North in Pompano Beach, FL. Perhaps TMI, but that's the same hospital my Mom died at in 2012. Likely the same Hospice unit, too. .
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 12:56 PM on January 17, 2017

I love wrestling, bring back the days of Hulk Hogan. Like wrestling and like other sports such as football and horse racing, sports like these usually promote more bookmaker bonuses for those people who do matched betting.

But this is not good news, RIP Superfly
posted by metafiltermonkey at 10:36 AM on January 18, 2017

It's odd for me to see all these references to Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka when always knew him as Superfly Jimmy Snuka. I understand what media outlets are doing, but it just feels wrong to me. I don't recall him every being referred to a Superfly.
posted by layceepee at 12:01 PM on January 18, 2017

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