Wrestling Legend Jimmy ‘Superfly’ Snuka Is Dead at 73

Legends of squared circle remembered one of their own after his death this weekend.

The father of high-flying, top-rope wrestling, Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, died over the weekend after a battle with an undisclosed terminal illness. The announcement was initially made on Twitter by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who, like Snuka, shared a connection to the famed Anoaʻi wrestling family.

In a statement on Snuka’s death, the WWE, where he wrestled in the early ’80s and early ’90s, said it is “saddened” by his death and commented on the revolutionary nature of his famed “Superfly Smash.” It was a dynamite move that took wrestling to new heights—literally—and it reached its nadir in 1982 at Madison Square Garden. After a months-long battle with then-WWF champ Bob Backlund, they pair met up at the World’s Most Famous Arena. There, they put on an unbelieved steel cage match that ended with Snuka jumping from 25 feet in the air and landing with a thud on the mat. 

Snuka’s legacy was tarnished a bit in recent years after charges were brought against him for the 1983 death of ex-girlfriend Nancy Argentino. The cold case was reopened in 2015 and Snuka was charged with manslaughter. He was deemed incompetent to stand trail because of dementia. Two weeks ago, the charges were dropped.

After Snuka’s death, he was remembered by many wrestling greats on social media.