Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka was one of the most popular stars in the history of pro wrestling, but there is an incident that could have seen him not reach that star status. Snuka was indicted and arrested in September 2015 on third-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter charges, in relation to the May 1983 death of his girlfriend, Nancy Argentino. Snuka pleaded not guilty, but was ultimately found unfit to stand trial in June 2016 due to being diagnosed with dementia.
The complications with the 1983 incident may also bring reproach on Vince Mcmahon who may have helped to shield Snuka from murder charges. Vince Mcmahon had plans of expanding is northeast wrestling company into a global sports entertainment brand by hiring Hulk Hogan a few months later.
It is said in wrestling circles that the reason Jimmy Snuka was not put into a match at the inaugural WrestleMania was due to Mcmahon fearing that the possibility of bad publicity from Snuka was possible. It was safer to have Snuka as a cornerman for Hulk Hogan and Mr. T, so if any backlash came he would be easy to remove from the event without hurting the product.
Check out Viceland’s Dark Side of the Ring episode below.
The legendary manager Jim Cornette has a podcast and he reviews the documentary and touchy subject below.