Wrestler Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka died Sunday at age 73.


Dwayne Johnson announced Snuka’s passing to the public on behalf of his family. The World Wrestling Entertainment Inc., where Snuka performed, also confirmed his death on their website. The cause of death has not yet been released.

“Snuka is regarded by many as the pioneer high-flying offense because of his Superfly Splash from the top turnbuckle,” said the WWE statement. Snuka’s signature move saw him jump from the top rope in the ring and flatten his opponents. The success and popularity of the move brought him to fame in the 80s with the WWF, now WWE. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1996.

Many fans and colleagues of the late wrestler took to Twitter to share their condolences, including his daughter Tamina Snuka who simply wrote, “I LOVE YOU DAD” and shared a photo of the pair holding hands.

I LOVE YOU DAD #FOREVERMYDAD #RestWell #FamiliesAreForever #BestDad #SnukaLegacy

A photo posted by SaronaSnuka (@saronasnukawwe) on

His death comes just 12 days after a Pennsylvania judge dropped third-degree murder charges against him in the 1983 death of his girlfriend, Nancy Argentino. The judge said Snuka was incompetent to stand trial based on his medical records. The case had been cold for decade.

Argentino was found unresponsive in a motel in Allentown, Penn,, where the WWF filmed its matches. Snuka called 911 for her, but was gone when paramedics arrived on scene. Argentino died hours later. Her family won a wrongful death suit against the wrestler in ’85 but he was not charged with her death. Based on excerpts from Snuka’s memoir Superfly: The Jimmy Snuka Story, a jury decided to press charges in 2015.

Also in 2015, Snuka suffered from stomach cancer, and underwent surgery that removed more than half of his stomach, plus lymph nodes and parts of his large intestine. He was also diagnosed with dementia and showed signs of CTE, an Alzheimer’s-like disease associated with repeated hits to the head. CTE cannot be diagnosed without a postmortem examination of the brain, but attorneys argued that he showed outward symptoms of the disease.

Snuka was one of 50 ex-wrestlers who went against the WWE in a lawsuit for long-term brain damage incurred as a result of their WWE careers.

Read more about: