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January 23, 2017 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Death of Jimmy Snuka, WWE UK tournament review, more

Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, who was the WWF’s biggest star in 1982-83 and the supreme American high flyer of his era, but whose names brings up a number of different connotations and emotions, passed away on 1/15 at the age of 73, just 12 days after third degree murder and involuntary manslaughter charges were dropped against him.

The charges were dropped due to Judge Kelly Banach ruling that dementia had set in to the point he was not mentally competent to stand trial. This came one month after his attorneys stated he was in hospice care, battling stomach cancer and infections, and was not likely to live another six months.

No cause of death has been released. Dwayne Johnson, who considered Snuka like an uncle, first released the news.

In some ways, Snuka was like the different variations of his wrestling persona. He was a native of Fiji, and grew up in Hawaii, where he was a bodybuilder and a baseball player. He felt he could have played in the major leagues if he had gotten the opportunity. But that never came and he found his way to pro wrestling.

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