Of the many legends in the world of professional wrestling, few commanded the kind of excitement that hearing the name Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka announced would bring. His command in the ring and his personality both inside and outside of it made him an incredibly popular WWF superstar. His skills made him legendary.
James Snuka was born May 18, 1943 in Fiji. After his family moved to Hawaii, he became an amateur bodybuilder in the 1960’s. In 1970, he made his debut in professional wrestling, fighting under the name Jimmy Kealoha. Snuka joined the World Wrestling Federation in 1982 under the guidance of Captain Lou Albano. He left in 1985, but returned a year later. He fought every superstar in the lineup. He left and came back several times before going into semi-retirement in 1996. He continued to show up occasionally to be honored for his contributions to wrestling.
Snuka’s career and life were not without controversy however. In 2015, Snuka was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter for the death of this then girlfriend Nancy Argentino, in 1983. On June 1, 2016, a judge determined Snuka was not mentally competent to stand trial. On January 3, 2017, the judge dismissed the charges against him. He is survived by his wife Carole and his four children.