Tha Sports Junkies 101

“Superfly” Jimmy Snuka Passes Away At 73

Jimmy Snuka - Portland Wrestling, 1973 Lloyd Phillips


“Superfly” Jimmy Snuka Passes Away At 73

The wrestling world lost a legend this past Sunday, as WWE Hall of Famer “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka (born James Wiley Smith) passed away, losing his long battle with stomach cancer.

At 11:40AM, Sunday morning, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson tweeted to wrestling fans that the legend had passed, tweeting:


Sarona (Tamina) Snuka, the daughter of Jimmy Snuka uploaded a photo around that same time on her Instagram, along with the hashtag #BestDad.


I LOVE YOU DAD #FOREVERMYDAD #RestWell #FamiliesAreForever #BestDad #SnukaLegacy

A photo posted by SaronaSnuka (@saronasnukawwe) on

Although the family would not directly say what was the cause of Snuka’s passing, Snuka had been in declining health in recent years, after his 2015 surgery, following the diagnosis.

Hailing from the Fiji Islands, Snuka had an amazing career, that spanned from long tours of Japan, to competing for the WWF/WWE, to working for WCW, ECW, AWA TNA, and numerous independent promotions over the years.

He had many notable, memorable moments, from his leap off of the top of the steel cage onto Magnificent Muraco in 1983 at Madison Square Garden, to his feud with Roddy Piper in 1984, which led to him being in the corner for Hulk Hogan and Mr. T, as they would face off against Piper and Paul Orndorff at WrestleMania 1.

He had also wrestled along with the likes of Jesse “The Body” Ventura, Bruiser Brody, Terry “Bam Bam” Gordy, and Stan “The Lariat” Hanson, to name a few.

Snuka had a court case thrown out of court just two weeks ago, citing him being unfit to stand trial, as he was also diagnosed with dementia, which was caused by his years in the ring. The case was based off of the 1983 murder of Snuka’s then girlfriend, Nancy Argentino, who died of traumatic brain injuries. An autopsy would reveal that her injuries were consistent with strikes with a blunt object, but, also revealed possible abuse.

Snuka was the only suspect in the case, although, charges were never pressed, the case remained open. In 1985, Argentino’s parents won a civil suit against Snuka, where Snuka was said to have to pay up to $500,000, though, he claimed financial inability to do so.

The case would brought to preliminary hearings in 2015, although, in June of 2016, he was found unfit to stand trial, until they re-evaluated his mental competency. Charges would subsequently be dropped on January 3rd of this year.

In December of 2016, he would be moved to a hospice, and was believed to have six months left to live.

Jimmy Snuka, Ed Francis - 1973

Portland Wrestling – Jimmy Snuka & Ed Francis Prepare to Battle the Royal Kangaroos
Portland Sports Arena, Portland, Oregon. Circa 1973

We here at ThaSportsJunkies101 would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to the Snuka family in their time of mourning.

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