-This is one of several “retro” posts I’ll be making-since at the time that this happened, I wasn’t able to make an entry on this (I’m actually typing this on 2/6/17).
-When I was growing up, I was introduced to wrestling via my Dad, his brother and his father (my grandpa). They had stacks of old wrestling magazines lying around and would watch it on TV whenever it was on. Naturally, I got hooked on it. The magazines and shows were usually centered on wrestlers from the American Wrestling Association (AWA) like Ric Flair, Sting, The Road Warriors and The Fabulous Freebirds. While I enjoyed watching those, I started spending more time and attention on the World Wrestling Federation (WWF-now WWE). The first wrestler I took notice and became a fan of was Mil Mascaras (aka “The Man of a Thousand Masks”)-but soon, following on his heels, was Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka.
-Now, realize that this was the WWF before the likes of Hulk Hogan, Randy “Macho Man” Savage, The Ultimate Warrior and many more were in their stable. This was the era of Bob Backland, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, George “The Animal” Steel, Andre The Giant, Rowdy Roddy Piper and more. Outside of Mascaras, I don’t recall any high flyers in the WWF at that time (I could be wrong). The Superfly changed all that. His high flying style was different from the Lucha Libre style Mascaras brought to the WWF, but still exciting to my young mind of mush 🙂 . A defining moment in his career came when he faced The Magnificent Muraco in a steel cage match in Madison Square Garden on 10/17/83 (the video clip above is this match). Towards the end, the Superfly climbed to the top of the 15 ft. cage and connected with his “Superfly Splash” on Muraco. As stated in Wikipedia, “Future wrestling stars The Sandman, Mick Foley, Tommy Dreamer, and Bubba Ray Dudley were all in attendance at the event and cite this match as the reason they decided to aggressively pursue professional wrestling.” I watched that match on TV and it’s one of my earliest memories in regards to wrestling. It had never been done before (that I knew of) and it was spectacular. I’m glad I was able to find a copy of this match. 🙂
-Admittedly, I didn’t follow the Superfly after he left the WWF (after his return in the late 80’s that is-he left the first time around 1985), as many others rose to take his place. Nor did I see / hear about him in other wrestling federations or the murder charges he faced or even his fights against cancer and dementia-hence I will not comment about them as I do not know the facts about them. All I know are the memories of my youth.
R.I.P. Superfly 😦