WWE Hall of Famer Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka Passes Away
On Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017, WWE Legend, Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka’s daughter, Tamina Snuka, reported that her father passed away at age 73.
In August, 2015, Snuka’s wife, Carole, announced that the Hall of Famer was diagnosed with stomach cancer, and that Snuka would have to undergo surgery to remove the lymph nodes. According to his attorney who represented him after his September 2015 indictment for the suspicious May 1983 death of his girlfriend, Nancy Argentino, Snuka also suffered from Dementia due to injuries that were suffered throughout his wrestling career. In December 2016, it was reported that Snuka was in hospice with an expected six months to live, due to a terminal illness; however, he passed away on January 15, 2017.
James Reiher Snuka, born on May 18, 1943, was a Fijian professional wrestler and actor. Wrestling for a laundry-list of promotions since 1968, Snuka is most recognized for his time in World Wrestling Federation, now called World Wrestling Entertainment due to legal purposes. Snuka is credited for integrating the “high-flying” style into the wrestling business, with his trademark “Superfly Splash”. Snuka is also remembered as being the first-ever ECW Heavyweight Champion, and being The Undertaker’s first WrestleMania opponent, who started Undertaker’s undefeated streak. Snuka was inducted into the WWF Hall of Fame in 1996. His daughter Tamina, and son Jimmy Snuka Jr. are both wrestlers.
Although Snuka had made a legacy for himself in the wrestling industry, some would suggest that his name was tainted after suspicions rose of his girlfriends death in 1983, in which the coroner stated her injuries were consistent with domestic violence. For over 30 years, the case was cold with Snuka being the only suspect. Snuka was indicted on third-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter charges in September of 2015, however, Snuka maintained his innocence and plead not guilty. On January 3, 2017, Snuka was deemed unfit to stand trial due to his battles with cancer and Dementia, causing all charges to be dropped just twelve days before his death. The direct cause of death has not been released.
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