RIP Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka: Original, Aerial Acrobat of Professional Wrestling Passes at 73; Listen to Chris Yandek’s Rare, 2003 Interview with the Legend
Today, it was reported that pro wrestling legend Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka had passed away. He was 73 years old. The former WWE Superstar and territorial wrestler is arguably most known for his leap off the cage onto Don Muraco at Madison Square Garden, in their famous cage match back in October 1983.
Mr. Snuka also wrestled for World Class Championship Wrestling, Mid Atlantic Wrestling and ECW. In his later years, he made appearances on the independent wrestling scene and at a variety of fan conventions. In 1996 he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. In 2003, I spoke with him before he did an independent wrestling show.
You can listen to that interview or read the entire transcript below:
Listen to the entire Jimmy Snuka conversation:
(Backup Player: Including IE)
Chris Yandek: Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, how are you doing today man?
Jimmy Snuka: “Aloha brother.”
CY: How you doing man?
JS: “Everything is lovely. Thank you very much.”
CY: What have you been up to of late and do you think possibly, maybe retirement is in your near future?
JS: “Brother excuse me, but I don’t know what that word means. Maybe someday brother, someday, but not right now at the moment.”
CY: You are gonna be working for SSCW tomorrow night taking on Rob Eckos for the SSCW World Heavyweight championship. What are your thoughts on this Friday night’s contest?
JS: “Brother, there’s only one thing I am looking forward to, is to meet the beautiful children, the families, the wonderful fans, and all the greatest people in the world because there will be a lot of excitement there tomorrow. So I am looking forward to it.”
CY: How much do you enjoy doing these independent wrestling shows?
JS: “Brother, nobody can take that away from me. I love it so much. That’s why I love them brother.”
CY: What are your thoughts on the wrestling business today overall and how it’s changed from the days of the 80s, when you were with the World Wrestling Entertainment?
JS: “There are a lot of changes, a lot of changes brother. Things are going on today, a lot different than, you know, the way we used to do it. This is a new generation and everything, but, you know, everything goes step by step.”
CY: What are you thoughts on how the WWE Confidential piece went down with a look at your career and any possible future involvement with the WWE maybe?
JS: “It’s really up to Vince brother. It’s really up to Vince. If he wants the Superfly to fly, he’s always ready.”
CY: You had the chance to work for World Class Championship Wrestling. What were your experiences like for you there and what are your thoughts on the Von Erich family tragedies?
JS: “Brother, I guess I was there close to the 80s and I had a wonderful time with the family and everything. You know, I loved the father and the mother and of course all the kids were alive then at the time. You know, it was pretty hard for them.”
CY: When you moved to the Mid Atlantic Territory, you put on some great matches with Ricky Steamboat and had the chance to work with Ric Flair. What was it like to work with these guys 20 years ago and what were their work rates like back then?
JS: “Brother, it’s hard to describe these kind of guys. I mean, you know, they’re generals, you know. And generals will make sure that everything will work out right. People come in there and you know, get rid of their frustrations and go home happy and you know, that’s what it’s all about.”
CY: When you moved to WWE, your monumental leap off the cage at Madison Square Garden against Don Muraco still has fans talking about it today. What are your thoughts looking back on that most historic moment in World Wrestling Entertainment history?
JS: “Brother, I love the people very much, you know. Something like that in Madison Square Garden brother is the Big Apple of them all. That’s the only place you can cut loose.”
CY: In another famous memory Roddy Piper slammed a coconut on your head on a Piper’s Pit segment.
JS: “Now you’re really giving me goose bumps.”
CY: What are your thoughts on that honestly? You really don’t have to comment on that, but it’s probably not one of your greatest highlights. But people still remember it.
JS: “Well, you know what? That’s probably one of the greatest Piper’s Pit that ever happened.”
CY: During your second run with World Wrestling Entertainment, your match with The Undertaker at WrestleMania 7, you were regarded as a teacher. How did that make you feel?
JS: “Brother, I love it. I love it. I’m not a glory man, but I’m a business man.”
CY: Why don’t you think you ever worked a program with Hulk Hogan?
JS: “I don’t really know brother. To be very honest with you, there was a time that it was supposed to happen and I guess things didn’t even work out. I don’t know why, but that’s the way it goes brother.”
CY: When you moved to ECW you were the federation’s first champion. How influential do you think you were laying down the ground for guys like Rob Van Dam, The Sandman, and Shane Douglas?
JS: “Business is a wonderful thing when you look at it right. When it’s done right and everything is lovely brother, you know, there’s no negative about it, everything has to be business. Yeah”
CY: Sure. Absolutely. There were all sorts of strange stories about your behavior on the wrestling road. What’s the weirdest story that you have heard someone say about you and how does it make you feel to hear something like that?
JS: “I don’t really know brother. It is probably just jealousy.”
CY: Final thoughts on your future in the wrestling business at this point? What are your final thoughts for this interview?
JS: “I love it. I enjoy it. I love the people. I love the fans. I love what this business is doing for everybody.”
You can email Chris Yandek at ChrisYandek@CYInterview.com
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