This has been a bad weekend for old school wrestling fans with the deaths of Nicole Bass, George “The Animal” Steele and The Russian Bear Ivan Koloff. Nicole Bass was 52, George Steele was 79 and Ivan Koloff was 74.
Back in the day I was a big fan of both George Steele and Ivan Koloff. George Steele with his green tongue and his crazy antics in the WWF ring were things of legend. I first saw George Steele live at Madison Square Garden vs. Bob Backlund, and with classic George he was hitting Backlund with some sort of foreign object. Of course the referee never saw it, and Backlund grabbed the object in front of the referee and got disqualified in typical WWF fashion. George was a legend and I even had his action figure and his little green tongued teddy bear “Mine”. R.I.P George Steele and thanks for the memories.
Koloff was the first evil Russian and went all the way to the WWE championship by beating Bruno Samartino and ending Brunos long title reign. Koloff only had the title for 21 days until losing it to Pedro Morales. Koloff was rough and tough and a true legend.
Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka is the one who got me into loving pro wrestling. His story as the islander taken advantage by his manager Lou Albano and turning from a bad guy to a good guy got me into this new world of pro wrestling. Jimmy Snuka was electrifying in the ring and he really connected with the fans pretty much like Daniel Bryan in the modern era. He was always the underdog fighting to the top. What got me into wrestling was when Ray “The Crippler” Stevens attacked Superfly Snuka outside the ring and piledrived him on the concrete. Once I saw this I was a wrestling superfan for life.
Superfly Snuka was involved in many great matches and one of the best cage matches ever happened in Madison Square Garden in 1983 with Superfly Snuka facing The Intercontinental Champion The Magnificent Don Muraco. The match is a part of history, as a young Mick Foley was watching in the crowd, and then after this match decided this is what he wanted to do….
Another Superfly Snuka rivalry was with the one and only Rowdy Roddy Piper, and this led to Snuka being the outside enforcer at Wrestlemania 1 when Hulk Hogan and Mr. T took on Paul “Mr Wonderful Orndorff and Rowdy Roddy Piper….Here is a Piper’s Pit that is part of history.
I saw Superfly Snuka wrestle many times LIVE at Madison Square Garden once teaming up with Andre The Giant taking on The Wild Samoans Afa and Sika . Snuka climbed on Andre’s shoulders and jumped off onto Afa in this match. But the most memorable time was at The Royal Rumble 2008 at Madison Square Garden when Superfly Snuka and Rowdy Roddy Piper got to fight again. A amazing rivalry back in MSG.
So many memories of a superstar I grew up watching . Superfly passed away on January 15 2017 but his legacy and memory will live on forever. I have many great memories of my favorite wrestler and if I can say anything to the Superfly is just Thank you. Here are some awesome Jimmy Superfly Snuka memorabilia :