One of the biggest stars of the Wrestling scene, Jimmy SuperFly Snuka passes away.
Let me first start by saying that Jimmy Snuka was one of my favorite wrestlers. I grew up in a time when the WWF (before WWE) was first starting to gain momentum and steroids ran rampant through the sport. In the 1980’s it wasn’t about how athletic and technical a certain wrestler was, it was all about showmanship. This is why Hulk Hogan was so popular.
The Superfly made his appeal in his dress and one signature move. Jimmy Snuka was born in the Fiji islands and he would wear tiger print stripes on his shorts, knee pads, and elbow pads. Also, was an island necklace that he wore routinely.
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What Snuka offered was not so much the entertainment, but he was a first in opening the doors to wrestlers of today. Don’t get me wrong, he was ripped and was doing steroids, but he was also athletic. Due to his talented skill, he would use a finishing move where he would climb the top rope and fly off landing on his opponent. It was a combination of risk-taking, high-flying, yet incredibly powerful, technical move.
Snuka was also a very believable, effective and dangerous heel (villain). He was always in the mix of winning the Heavyweight belt but never did. His feuds included those with Roddy Piper, Hulk Hogan among other greats and his career went nearly thirty years. Superfly made his biggest impact during his prime in the late seventies and early-mid eighties.
The biggest match of his career could arguably be in Wrestlemania 1. The event took place in 1985 and it put the WWF on the map. The headline act was between a team of Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff versus the team comprised of Mr. T and Hulk Hogan. The confrontation was a combination of a wrestling and boxing match. Snuka was on team Hogan. The winning team.
I was 13 years old when I saw a live CCTV showing of the first episode of Wrestlemania and it was amazing. For the first time, not just a couple of headliners participated, but every contest had someone you either loved or hated. The greats included wrestlers such as Andre the Giant, Junkyard Dog, Nikolai Volkoff, Iron Sheik, and even singer Cindy Lauper who wrestled as well.
Snuka went on through most of the 1980’s and early 90’s eventually facing the Undertaker in his first ever match. It was an exciting match that displayed the power of the Undertaker and the fall of Jimmy “SuperFly” Snuka.
Unfortunately, Snuka fell ill and was in hospice care beginning in December. Today, he passed away as noted by his daughter Tamina Snuka in an Instagram photo of both of them.