Superfly Jimmy Snuka recently published a book with some interesting tidbits from his legendary WWE career. One in particular is a claim by the WWE Hall of Famer that he was in line for a big program against the biggest star of his era.
[adinserter block=”1″]Snuka was the first wrestler I cheered for as a kid. I loved Snuka as a kid. I had his poster on my wall and begged my dad to take me to the Spectrum whenever he was in town. So it is interesting hearing Jimmy reflect on his career with stories from that particular era.
Snuka spoke with The Score and the Baltimore Sun recently about his career while promoting his brand new autobiography. Snuka hit on several topics but one was most interesting. His story about a proposed run with Hulk Hogan.
According to the former U.S. champion, he was supposed to turn heel and wrestle Hulk Hogan theoretically at the first WrestleMania.
“Vince McMahon came up to me and said ‘we want you to turn heel’. I said ‘OK, what’s up brudda?’ and Vince said he wanted me to wrestle Hulk Hogan and I said I loved it. I heard that Hogan later that ‘I don’t want to wrestle with that crazy maniac.’ But I loved him anyway.”
According to Snuka, he was going to turn heel and be the top bad guy in the WWE I have a hard time buying this one, especially the timing. 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.
Roddy Piper was obviously booked at the time to be Hogan’s top foe. Could Piper and Snuka have teamed up together vs. Hogan and Mr. T? I guess so but that alliance would have made absolutely zero sense. Propelling Snuka ahead of Piper in the pecking order wouldn’t have made any sense either. I just don’t see that happening.
I also think that Vince learned from watching Snuka as a heel wrestle Bob Backlund for the WWWF championship that he’d have a big risk of Hogan getting booed in favor of Snuka. As a matter of a fact, I am almost sure he would have avoided the match at that time for that reason alone. In the northeast especially I am pretty sure that Snuka would have gotten cheered more than Hogan.
Finally like Hogan or not, I can’t see him refusing to work with someone because he thought they were crazy. Hogan worked with just about anyone and everyone whether it was in the WWE or in other territories before coming to the company. There was probably nobody with a crazier reputation than Randy Savage when he came to the WWF and Hogan worked with him for years.
[adinserter block=”2″]I will say this. After Snuka’s singles series with Roddy Piper it did appear that Vince phased him out. It appeared that they really just didn’t know what to do with him. Could Vince have been brainstorming one day and thought about Jimmy turning heel? I don’t think that is out of the realm of possibility. Do I think Vince thought he could headline WrestleMania with Hogan vs. Snuka? Not a chance.
Snuka vs. Hogan would have certainly been an interesting program. It would have been something of a Dream Match at the time, maybe only behind Hogan and Andre if promoted right. I think they could have done some big business which is why I would be surprised that Hogan turned the feud down. Additionally, I can’t see Vince going to Jimmy with the idea before clearing it with Hogan.
Snuka also claims in the interview that Vince McMahon Sr. wanted to put the WWWF title on him when he was feuding with Bob Backlund but he refused the title. That is another one that I have a hard time buying into. For one, why would Snuka turn down the opportunity to make more money as champion? Two, plans were laid out so far in advance that I can’t imagine Snuka being part of that plan.
I’ll give the man a break. After all, he was hit over the head with a coconut.
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