In a new post, Camel Clutch Blog deconstructs Snuka’s claim about fighting Hogan at Mania

The great Camel Clutch Blog gave yet another example of something I had written about recently: Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka making some strange recollections of his heyday in the WWF.

I talked about Snuka’s claim that Rowdy Roddy Piper ad-libbed the famous coconut angle in 1984 and that Jimmy didn’t know that was coming. The Camel Clutch Blog piece got even better, referring to an interview that Snuka gave the Baltimore Sun. In that interview, Snuka said Vince McMahon originally asked him to turn heel and face Hulk Hogan in the main event of the first WrestleMania in 1985.

Eric Gargiulo at Camel Clutch was appropriately skeptical of Snuka’s claim:

“The timing would have put him against Hulk at the first WrestleMania. If you look at the event, it was based on celebrity. The idea that anyone would headline in a singles match with Hogan other than a celebrity doesn’t hold water. Vince McMahon had a master plan and that master plan was to incorporate celebrity and popular culture into pro wrestling. That wasn’t Jimmy Snuka vs. Hulk Hogan.”

Snuka actually was involved in the main event at Mania, standing in the corner of Hogan and Mr. T. to counteract Cowboy Bob Orton in the corner of Piper and Paul Orndorff.

But I’m with Camel Clutch on this one: There is no way Snuka could have leapfrogged over Piper or Orndorff as the lead heels, as both of them were on fire as bad guys at the time.

I’ve always joked that Snuka’s promos seemed off kilter, which worked with his wrestling persona. (Remember him going nuts in the empty arena with McMahon to build up the feud with Magnificent Muraco?)

But it’s hard to take Snuka seriously in a legit interview when he spouts stuff that he either thought really happened but didn’t (fighting Hogan), or makes up things for the sake of a worked shoot (Piper going into business for himself by smashing the Superfly with the coconut).


  1. Chuck Mullen

    @BostonGardenBalcony – Yes I do remember and no doubt Pat was there for that reason. I am sure that there was some time Pat talked about this, maybe on the Legends Roundtable segments or something. Got to do more research.

    @CamelClutchBlog – VERY Interesting, about John Nord, I never HEARD that one… they teamed up at WrestleRock 86 in a Cage vs IRONICALLY enough, the lead person of this article Superfly Jimmy Snuka, and Greg Gagne… “ol spaghetti legs GAN-YAAA” Though in 87 Nord and Brody was working in World Class together too, well, Brody and/or Gary Hart was BOOKING… there could be something to this… but as a TAG TEAM?, and then Nord didn’t show up in WWF until 1991… rather odd that they would go as a team, THEN, Brody was murdered in the summer of 88, and then he (Nord) didn’t debut til 1991 (that’s 3 years difference)… and instead went back to the AWA. That timeline doesn’t mix or gel actually. But again, you have added a new element to the puzzle.

  2. camelclutchblog

    BTW I interviewed John Nord a few years back. He claims that he and Brody were on their way to the WWE as a team when Brody died.

  3. Chuck Mullen

    Much like our discussion recently on “da twitta machine” about Brody, and the unknown factor of IF he was WWF bound at the time of the murder (basically everything points in that direction, though, largely unconfirmed) and IF SO, would HE of replaced either Savage or Warrior in the main events of WM5 or WM6. Hogan another huge source of misinformation did say in an interview once, (cant recall which, BUT he did), that he regretted he didn’t “GET TO” work with Brody. And there was plans for it, and the “deal was either done, or close to done” and Brody would of headlined vs him, almost for sure at a WM. Though it may of been a SummerSlam.

    Now as @ChurchOfWrestling said on twitter we wouldn’t of got the year long Savage vs Hogan feud, if Brody signed. However that DOES NOT necessarily mean that it would not of happened, if Brody did sign. I am of the opinion that while, YES, angles, and storylines back then was more thought out (well in advance) and the plans rarely changed, I am sure. much like now, it wasn’t always SET IN STONE and the first idea was the CONCRETE LAST IDEA. That meaning that perhaps Snuka is talking about an EARLIER TIME, that Vince approached him, before the idea to go with Piper/Orndorff along with Mr. T was actually finalized. This is highly possible. Only someone like Pat Patterson (for sure would know) or if somehow Vince did another wrestling themed interview with someone knowledgeable (highly doubtful) and the question was asked.

    I do recall when I was a bit younger, Mr. T had come to Pittsburgh for one of those conventions (after his acting career slowed), and I had asked him about WM and he said “that he didn’t want to do it, and his managers (along with NBC at the time) was scared shitless he would get hurt or exposed as looking like a phony tough guy”. If you recall Dick Ebersol (whom is one of Vince’s best real life friends) was at NBC in a power position (still is) and perhaps he pulled some strings to make it go through, knowing the risk that Vince was taking if the stories of bankruptcy and spending his last cent on this WM 1 is TRUE. So in that regard, perhaps there is some legitimacy to the story. Perhaps this is why Ebersol’s wife the absolutely clueless Susan St. James was doing commentary during WM2 as a “pay back” for Mr. T’s clearance.

    The fact that he was involved sort of signals something… the old saying where there is smoke there is fire. Id say though most likely, it was REVERSE, in that Snuka wanted to go HEEL to face Hogan… and the time may of been close to the time that WM was being planned… thus… this is the end result. Though again, until someone like Pat, or Vince HIMSELF gets asked this question and answers, there is no way to know FOR SURE either way WHO IS and WHOM ISN’T… being honest.

    • bostongardenbalcony

      Regarding Mr. T, I’ve read many times over the years that even the morning of Mania, he was refusing to go into the match, and that Hogan and Piper had to convince him he would be safe and wouldn’t look like a fool in the ring. Remember Patterson was the ref for that match? No doubt Patterson was there to “direct traffic.”

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