In Boston in ’84, Rowdy Roddy actually pinned Superfly Snuka

Twenty-eight years ago this month at the old Boston Garden, Rowdy Roddy Piper pinned Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka in the main of the monthly WWF card.

I wasn’t at the show, but remember so well hearing the result from my old friend, Doug, who had been at the matches and was a devout Piper fan. I actually could not believe Piper had pinned him, because at that point in my wrestling fandom, the heels rarely won the big blow-off matches.

Those of you who were watching wrestling back then will understand this when I say that Piper was a new kind of heel in the WWF: Young, on the small side, and absolutely insane on the microphone. The angle in which he bashed Snuka in the head with the coconut may go down as the greatest in WWE history. So when Piper actually pinned the Superfly, it was in  a subtle way a changing of the guard.

All these years later, I’m not surprised Piper won. He gained a reputation in the WWF for not jobbing (he may have only done it a handful of times during his heyday from 1984 to his “retirement” in 1987 at WrestleMania III), and he always made sure he was involved in the top feuds.

Snuka stayed around in the WWF for about a year, but his losses to Piper signified that his run was ending. New stars had come in to take the spots of the established guys. It’s a formula that keeps the matches fresh, and unfortunately in today’s WWE, we’re in a dry spell when it comes to new talent breaking through.


  1. Pingback: It says it in print: I may have been my hometown’s biggest wrestling fan | Boston Garden Balcony
  2. Joe Lowry

    Also, these types of cards (two shows taking place in one night) flourished all over the WWF. Vince and the machine were just starting out and Hulkamania was running wild with green $$$$. I remember about this time I noticed empty seats popping up at the Boston Garden. As fans, we were smart enough to know (via cable tv) what the deal was. If Hogan was coming to town, so wasn’t the rest of the premier talent. No disrespect to the other wrestlers, but even they will tell you that. Matches such as Piper defeating Snuka were meant for only one audience, and in this case it was for Boston fans only. There was no media present, no taping of it and most of all no mention of it in any of the storylines during that time.

  3. Joe Lowry

    This was WWF’s prime time when the roster as well as the gate ruled supreme. The WWF was not only in Boston that night, they were also taping a PRISM Network card in Philadelphia at the Spectrum. The Spectrum card was showcased by Hogan pinning Greg Valentine and the other main event was Andre the Giant starting out his fued with Big John Studd. Also on that card Tito Santana defended his WWF Intercontinental title against The Iron Shiek. Obviously a star studded card. On the flip side, the Garden got a lonely 8 match meaningless card highlighted by Snuka losing to Piper in what is now referred to as Snuka’s punishment for his out of ring antics. It is well documented that Jimmy Snuka battled various demons during this time and therefore was moved down on the talent roster and eventually released.

  4. Pingback: Piper’s Pit with Superfly Snuka could be the best WWF angle ever « Boston Garden Balcony

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