In a dubious claim, Superfly says coconut angle with Piper was ad-libbed

Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka was very complimentary of Bob Backlund and Rowdy Roddy Piper during a recent interview.

Josh Modaberi of the site talked to Snuka about his career and new autobiography.

Snuka said his cage match with Backlund in Madison Square Garden in 1982 – which I watched live, I believe on the USA Network when it was broadcasting the monthly New York City house shows – was a highlight of his WWF tenure.

Snuka leapt off the top rope in the ring and missed his superfly splash when Backlund moved and then crawled out of the cage door. I distinctly remember Vince McMahon interviewing Backlund after the match just outside the cage, and Snuka laid face down on the mat the whole time selling the missed dive.

I’m not a glory guy or anything like that, but it was such a great pleasure for me to wrestle Bob Backland, the champion at the time,” Snuka said. “He was such an awesome guy and such a great champion, and it was such a privilege to be able to wrestle him so early on in my WWF career in a title match at Madison Square Garden. Jumping off the cage at the Garden, you couldn’t even hear yourself. I loved it so much. Things like that just stick in your heart.”

Snuka said working with Piper was great, but then the Superfly snuck into a weird, almost kayfabe mode when talking about the famous Piper’s Pit during which Piper smashed a coconut on Snuka’s head.

“Well, first of all I have to tell you when he hit me over the head with that coconut we hadn’t planned it; he just did it out of the blue,” Snuka said. “Roddy was a real character, and with me coming from the Fiji Islands, he was teasing me about eating bananas, pineapples, then from nowhere he picks up the coconut and just hits me around the head.”

Hmmm, so they didn’t plan on the coconut angle, but then Piper just decided to crack it on his head? Hey, I can forgive Jimmy, he seemed spaced out in the 1980s, never mind 2012.

Sarcasm aside, I loved Snuka’s first run in the WWF. I’m very nostalgic about growing up watching all of his great feuds during those years on Saturday mornings on Channel 56 in Boston.


  1. Pingback: In a new post, Camel Clutch Blog deconstructs Snuka’s claim about fighting Hogan at Mania | Boston Garden Balcony
  2. modew's manager

    One of my favorite all-time angles was on Southwest. Blanchard and Gino Hernandez win the tag belts from a masked team, but only after several Gino screwups. Tully turns on his partner with a belt shot, later explaining he did so because “I hate incompetence!”

  3. Joe Lowry

    And lets not forget that Texas World Class Championship Wrestling started at noontime as well on the old Channel WXNE 25 – which is now FOX 25 Boston. Saturdays were awesome back then…When the cable boom hit, you also had the New York stations, WOR and WPIX showing WWF programming. Then at 6:05 TBS aired Georgia Championship Wrestling. Top that off with USA Networks once a month showing of WWF wrestling from MSG on Tuesdays nights at 9:00 pm!! Does anyone remember which station aired the (back then) newly formed Southwest Texas Championship Wrestling? I remember fondly watching Adrian Adonis and Tully Blanchard and Swede Hanson going at it for that areas championship. What about Bedlam from Boston that aired on WSBK TV 38? Those were Killer Kowalski’s mask wearing days…Lucious Johnny Valiant actually landed on my lap back at the old IBEW hall in Dorchester during a house show. Do you also remember Channel 5 airing Ric Martels only AWA Title defense in Boston (not sure which arena). I recall a young Mike Lynch interviewing Martel afterwards. This was during the wrestling 80’s boom where everyone was trying to get in on it. Also ESPN’s showing of AWA All Star Wrestling in the weekday afternoons…

    • bostongardenbalcony

      Southwest Wrestling aired on USA on Sundays at either 11 or noon. It was eventually taken over by the WWF’s All American Wrestling. Southwest was a great show. A lot of those Texas promotions were so different than what the WWF offered in the early 1980s.

    • Robert DeSantis

      The Rick Martel match I would like to say took place at Northeastern University as part of Eddie Andelman’s charity show. I think Wahoo McDaniel was his opponent. It was broadcast live on WCVB TV in Boston. As far as tv times go – I remember if WOR had a late Rangers game it would broadcast Championship Wrestling at 4pm. I went to a house show on one of those days were Larry Z wrestled as a face that night because the heel turn on Bruno hadn’t been broadcast on Boston TV yet – but it was on NY cable at 4. Confusing in the Kayfabe days with half the crowd (with cable) booing and the non cable half cheering.

    • bostongardenbalcony

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who searched the stations for any showings from other cities. I used to also try to tune in to WWOR in NYC to catch the house show promos for Madison Square Garden. And I also occasionally remember trying to tune in WMUR Channel 9 in Manchester, NH, for All-Star Wrestling.

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