Former professional wrestler Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka died on Sunday, January 15, 2017, the WWE announced. He was 73.
Snuka died at his son-in-law’s home in Florida. Attorney Robert Kirwan II said Snuka was taken Sunday to the home near Pompano Beach so that he could spend his last moments there. Kirwan said Snuka died “due to complications from his ongoing medical problems” but did not elaborate.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson tweeted his reaction to the news, ending with, “alofa atu i le aiga atoa”, Samoan for “Love the whole family”.
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) January 15, 2017
Over the past two years, Snuka faced charges related to the death of former girlfriend Nancy Argentino in May 1983. On Jan. 3, murder charges against Snuka were dismissed by a Pennsylvania judge who ruled that Snuka was not competent enough to stand trial.
“The family is simply heartbroken. It’s been a long journey,” Kirwan said on Jan. 3. “They are grateful to the judge for dismissing the charges against him.”
Lehigh County Judge Kelly Banach on Jan. 3 dismissed the murder case against the retired WWE star after the defense said he had dementia, was in hospice care in Florida, and had six months to live.
Snuka was charged with third-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in 2015 in the death of Argentino — more than three decades after her body was found in their Whitehall Township hotel room.
Prosecutors allege she was beaten, while Snuka maintained she died from a fall. Authorities reopened the investigation after The Morning Call newspaper raised questions about the case in 2013.
Snuka’s wrestling career dated back to 1970, and he had multiple runs with the World Wrestling Federation, now the WWE. His 1983 jump from the top of a steel cage during a match against Don Muraco at Madison Square Garden is widely considered one of the most iconic moments in pro wrestling history.