As many of you know by now, WWE Hall of Famer “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka passed away on Sunday at the age of 73. WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley posted the following on Snuka’s passing on his Facebook page:
“A MOMENT IN TIME
Had it not been for this moment in time, it’s highly unlikely that I would have created any moments at all within the world of professional wrestling/sports – entertainment. Jimmy Snuka created that moment for me – a moment that was about so much more than just an athletic dive from the top of a cage. It was professional wrestling as art, and Snuka that night in October, 1983 was the consummate artist, painting on his own unique canvas in the most famous arena in the world. He painted with his facial expressions – especially with those eyes – so that the slightest glance to the top of the cage created a literal buzz among the 20,000 in attendance – like a fuse being lit, leading to a powder keg of anticipation, resulting in the rarest of explosions; a crowd pop so loud and emotional that all I need do is close my eyes and I can hear it all over again, as real to me now as it was that night at The Garden over 30 years ago.
I am struggling with both the news of Jimmy’s death, and the knowledge that he was responsible for the death of a young woman in his motel room in May, 1983. Unfortunately, the death of Nancy Argentino is inextricably entwined in the life-story of Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, making the celebration of his life and career so much more difficult. I have been asked many times to comment on the matter, but haven’t until now, simply because I didn’t know what to say. I still don’t. I hope that the final judgment of Jimmy Snuka will take into account the kindness with which he treated both fans and friends and the love he had for family and close friends. But Jimmy will likely be remembered as much for that one terrible night as he will be for his magnificent career. I don’t know how to reconcile this man’s heroic feats inside our world, with the tragedy he likely x played a role in outside of it, but I have always found wisdom and comfort in these simple words from Bruce Springsteen: “trust the art, not the artist”.
Art, at its best, inspires others to be something more than they could otherwise be. Spiritualist Thomas Merton famously wrote that “art allows us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time”. The masterpiece that Jimmy Snuka created that night at Madison Square Garden ultimately allowed me to do both those things. I would be a different man without the influence of Jimmy – a man without a dream. He was a true artist who inspired others to create moments that might stand the test of time – moments that might be remembered for years, decades even a lifetime. Thank you Jimmy Snuka for inspiring me.”