Jimmy ‘Superfly’ Snuka’s Murder Rap Completes the Wrestlemania of Crime
From murder charges to Hitler Instagrams, it’s been a violent week for the WWE and its fans.
• WWE legend Jimmy Snuka (“Superfly”) was arrested on Tuesday and charged with third-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in the 34-year-old cold-case murder of a former girlfriend.
• One of the sport’s fanatics is fighting for his life in Orlando, Florida, after he was gunned down on Monday by deputies who said he was brandishing a sharp object and stalking a female wrestler.
• A buxom, tattooed wrestler in a tawdry tryst with WWE superstar Seth Rollins was outed as an alleged Nazi sympathizer and was drop-kicked out of the sport.
• Grappling big Dean Ambrose was ambushed during a taped event on August 25 by a rogue who was initially feared to be toting a knife, before security intervened.
• A British former WWE star was suspended after being arrested on charges of domestic battery.
• Crestfallen icon of the sport Hulk “The Hulkster” Hogan made a tearful mea culpa on national television Monday over his use of racist epithets.
It’s not the first time that WWE’s over-the-top, outlaw ethos has lost control and spilled beyond the ring into the headlines. (See: The aforementioned Hulk Hogan scandal.) But the sport’s juiced-up theatrics got some stiff competition this week from real-life scandals.
The 72-year-old Snuka is being held on $100,000 bail in connection with the 1983 death of former girlfriend Nancy Argentino, whose battered body was found in a motel room outside Allentown, Pennsylvania. At the time, Snuka was one of the WWF’s biggest stars, and he told authorities that he’d returned to his motel room after a taping to find Argentino struggling to breathe and leaking yellow fluid from her nose and mouth.
According to the Morning Call, an autopsy report showed that Argentino had died of traumatic brain injuries and noted that her body bore signs of possible “mate abuse”—including two dozen cuts and bruises on her face and extremities. Snuka was named a person of interest but never charged in the case until now.
The WWE issued a statement about the arrest on Tuesday, expressing “its continued sympathy to the Argentino family for their loss” and noted that “ultimately this legal matter will be decided by our judicial system.”
On Monday, Florida’s Orange County Sheriff’s Office began piecing together why Armando Montalvo had allegedly menaced employees at a World Wrestling training facility in Orlando, Florida—according to official reports, the 29-year-old was armed with a sharp object and refused to lay down his weapon until Corporal Steve Wahl fired a round from his service weapon and struck the intruder.
A report today in The Daily Mail claims Montalvo had become obsessed with a female wrestler and was stalking her. A court order, which had not yet been served, reportedly prohibited Montalvo from being on WWE property.
Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said that Montalvo was “fixated on one of the female wrestlers” and had been banned from the premises after stirring up trouble there for over a month.
That wrestling muse may very well be AJ Lee. Montalvo dedicated his Facebook background to Lee’s breasts and even made a video where he wiped his face with a blue thong while seductively chanting AJ Lee’s name and bragging about casting her in a Ghostbusters III film that he said he had written and was directing.
Beyond his WWE fixation, Montalvo had creating an extensive library of half-baked YouTube videos that featured the bespectacled young man on mad missions, sometimes twirling nunchucks or barber shears, rapping, and even defecating on camera.
In one video Montalvo speaks for an hour about battling mental illness and blames doctors for overdosing him with various antipsychotic meds and causing him to lose his wits and commit stunts such as hopping an airport fence to hitchhike an airplane ride.
After the shooting, Montalvo was shuttled to a local hospital, where he was undergoing surgery to recover from the life-threatening injuries.
Even as Montalvo’s condition remains grave, pro wrestler Dean Ambrose was lucky to avoid the ER last week. As the pro wrestler was strutting through the crowd after a match, he was almost clobbered by a fan during a SmackDown taping in Providence, Rhode Island. The man narrowly missed Ambrose; security members stepped in to neutralize the attacker, who, an insider confirmed, was not armed with a blade.
Meanwhile, two star gladiators of the wrestling ring are now unemployed after disturbing scandals this week. Thomas Latimer, a Brit who fights under the pseudonym Bram for the TNA Wrestling league—and who was once hitched to Rick Flair’s wrestling dynamo daughter Ashley Fliehr, is on indefinite suspension, accused of attempting to strangle a Florida woman.
And Zahra Schreiber, a nascent fan favorite who is dating franchise wrestler Seth Rollins, was booted from the WWE after it was revealed she had posted art with swastikas and a “My Little Pony” character wearing a Hitler mustache on her Instagram account in 2012.
A WWE spokesman confirmed that Schreiber was no longer a wrestler in their ranks “due to inappropriate and offensive remarks she made.”
Schreiber defended her Nazi art by claiming that “the swastika means prosperity and luck. It was around way before Hitler turned it into an icon.”
Schreiber, a Saginaw, Michigan, native, had been wrestling for the WWE’s development branch NXT and already made a salacious splash when she stole Rollins from his fiancèe, who unleashed a series of nude tit-for-tats that played out in true cyber-rumble fashion on Twitter.
Additional reporting by Jen Yamato