Just two weeks after all murder charges were dropped against him, “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka passed away at age 73. His daughter and WWE Superstar Tamina Snuka posted a photo on Instagram holding her father’s hand, writing that she loved him, using the hash tags #forevermydad and #restwell among others.
Born in 1943, Snuka made his professional wrestling debut in 1968, wrestling for the National Wrestling Alliance before joining the World Wrestling Federation in 1982. His match against Don Muraco that same year from Madison Square Garden is one of the highlights, with Snuka leaping off the top of the cage with a splash, an image replayed a million times on WWE television. In 1985, Snuka was part of the main event of the first-ever WrestleMania, serving as the enforcer in the corner of Hulk Hogan and Mr. T.
He left the WWE in 1985 and then joined the AWA before rejoining the WWE in 1989. In 1992 he joined ECW. becoming their first ever ECW Heavyweight champion. Snuka returned to the WWE in 1993 for a very short stint and then made sporadic appearances for the company, including appearing at WrestleMania XXV where he teamed up with Ricky Steamboat and Roddy Piper to take on Chris Jericho.
In 2015, his WWE Legends contract was terminated and removed from the Hall of Fame after the murder investigation into the death of his former mistress Nancy Argentino was reopened. The cold case made it back to court and Snuka was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter. Snuka’s lawyers argued that their client was not fit to stand trial since he was suffering from stomach cancer and dementia. Snuka eventually pleaded not guilty and a hearing to determine if Snuka was fit for trial kicked off in May of last year. It was only earlier this month that the judge finally deemed Snuka not mentally fit to stand trial.
Snuka never won a title in his WWE career but he was part of the WWE Hall of Fame class of 1996, inducted by Don Muraco.