Legendary professional wrestler and WWE Hall of Famer Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, who thrilled fans for decades with his splash from the top rope, died Sunday from stomach cancer. He was 73.
His daughter, who wrestled under the name Tamina Snuka, posted on Instagram with the hashtag #BestDad to announce Snuka’s death.
Snuka, billed from the Fiji Islands, had three stints with World Wrestling Federation/World Wrestling Entertainment and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1996.
Snuka most famously feuded with Magnificent Muraco. Snuka’s leap off the top of the steel cage in Madison Square Garden on to Muraco in October 1983 is among the most iconic images in pro wrestling history.
Snuka also is noted for his 1984 feud with Rowdy Roddy Piper, which included Piper making fun of Snuka’s South Pacific heritage by hitting him over the head with a coconut. Snuka would be in the corner of Hulk Hogan and Mister T for the original WrestleMania against Piper and Cowboy Bob Orton.
Snuka also wrestled in ECW, AWA, TNA, WCW, and other independent organizations and was in the ring as recently as 2014.
His death comes two weeks after murder charges were dropped because of his health in the death of his girlfriend in 1983. Charges were filed in September 2015 after prosecutors reopened the case following a plea from Nancy Argentino’s family.
Snuka was moved to hospice care in Florida months ago and given six months to live, his lawyer told the court in December in a hearing to re-evaluate whether Snuka was competent to stand trial. At the time, his wife told the judge that the family was struggling to keep him from leaving home during episodes of psychosis because he thinks he is late for a match.
The judge ruled in June that Snuka was not competent to stand trial because of dementia and other health issues, but the charges remained in place until they were dismissed this month.
Snuka was charged with third-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter. Argentino’s body was found in a hotel room in Whitehall Township, Pa., and the coroner determined she had a skull fracture. Snuka had said she died in a fall.
After the charges were initially filed, WWE suspended Snuka’s legends contract and removed his page from the Hall of Fame portion of its website.