Ray Mullan reporting for 1Wrestling.com. Each week I’ll be bringing you the “Top 10 Of…”, an essential viewing list of the best matches and moments from some of Pro Wrestling’s biggest legends. Join me this week as we take a look at the Top 10 Of…”Superfly” Jimmy Snuka!
This week, I’ll be taking a look at one of the true innovators of pro wrestling, whose daring exploits in the ring are the stuff of legend to this day. I’m speaking of course about the one and only “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka! Hailing originally from the Fiji Islands, Snuka moved to Hawaii when he was ten and soon found a passion for wrestling.
After wrestling in various NWA territories in the States, Snuka finally got the call to the big time, the WWF in New York in January of 1982 where he proceeded to dazzle crowds and make a name for himself.
At the time, no one move in wrestling got the fans going like his signature leap from the top rope, better known as “The Superfly”. During his WWF run Snuka had feuds with many of the WWF’s top wrestlers including Bob Backlund, Bob Orton Jr., “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and Don Muraco. It was during his feud with the latter that Snuka was to have the defining moment of his career in a Steel Cage Match at Madison Square Garden in October of 1983. Following defeat to Muraco, Superfly dragged him to the middle of the ring and connected with the most famous Superfly Splash of his career, all the way from the top of the 15ft high steel cage. Many future greats in the business including Mick Foley, Tommy Dreamer, The Sandman and Bully/Bubba Ray Dudley were in attendance at this event and have talked publicly of it being the moment that inspired them to pursue a career in the business.
Following his stint in the WWF, Snuka went on to make a mark in the early days of ECW (then Eastern Championship Wrestling) helping put the promotion on the map as its first Heavyweight Champion. Snuka went into semi-retirement from the mid-nineties, making appearances on the independent scene as well as the occasional special return match with the major promotions including WCW and WWF/E.
Compiling top 10 lists like this is difficult at the best of times, even more so for a guy like Snuka who has had so many tremendous matches over the years but I hope you’ll agree that the following gives a great glimpse at the unique ability of one a wrestling’s finest athletes of all time in some of his most famous matches as well as some I guarantee you’ve never seen before.
10. NWA World Tag-Team Champions Jimmy Snuka & Paul Orndorff vs. Brute Bernard & Frank Monte: NWA Worldwide Wrestling from the WRAL-TV Studios in Raleigh, NC (1979)
9. “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka vs. Tommy Dreamer: ECW The Night the Line was Crossed (February 5th 1994)
8. Jimmy Snuka vs. Ric Flair: Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling (1979) *Arena Footage – No Commentary*
7. Jimmy Snuka vs. Intercontinental Champion Pedro Morales, Guest Referee – Ivan Putski: Madison Square Garden (August 30th 1982)
6. Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka & Andre the Giant vs. the Wild Samoans: Madison Square Garden (February 18th 1983)
5. Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka vs. “Cowboy” Bob Orton Jr.: Madison Square Garden (February 18th 1985)
4. “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka vs. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine: Saturday Night’s Main Event #22 (July 18th 1989)
3. Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka vs. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper: Madison Square Garden (August 25th 1984)
2. “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka vs. WWF World Champion Bob Backlund: Madison Square Garden (June 28th 1982)
1. “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka vs. Don Muraco: Madison Square Garden (October 17th 1983)
Before you go I’d like to remind you that the “Superfly” himself will be making an appearance this August in Atlanta as part of the NWA Wrestling Legends Fanfest Weekend! The Hall of Famer Snuka, along with many of his fellow wrestling legends will be signing autographs and taking photos with fans over the course of the three-day, four night event at Atlanta’s Airport Marriott hotel. For more information checkout NWALegends.com.
Last but not least, consider this a special “Bonus” video this week, as our very own Bill Apter sits down for chat with Rocky Johnson and “The Superfly” himself at last year’s NWA Legends convention, Enjoy!
Well that’s it for this week. As ever, any questions or comments you have relating to the “Top 10 Of…”, feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me at @TNAUKWRESTLING. Until next time, thanks for reading!