Jimmy Snuka discusses passing the “phenom” name to Undertaker
Jan 25, 2013 - by Steve Gerweck
JIMMY SNUKA DISCUSSES PASSING THE “PHENOM” NAME TO UNDERTAKER, BEING THE ORIGINAL ECW ORIGINAL, HULK HOGAN’S ROCK-N-WRESTLING CARTOON, AND MORE
He’s an icon of wrestling and now Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka comes to ClubWWI.com for a 34 minute uncut interview with James Guttman that covers a ton of topics that you won’t hear anywhere else. Jimmy and James discuss his new book “Superfly: The Jimmy Snuka Story”, whether he was approached to join the New World Order, why he didn’t turn heel and wrestle Hulk Hogan, seeing both of his children in WWE, competing against his son on a WWE Pay Per View, differences between Roddy Piper and Don Muraco, the infamous Piper’s Pit episode, how he felt about being at ringside for WrestleMania 1’s main event rather than in the ring, his facial expressions in the ring, and tons more. For a full list of topics, head to http://www.wewantinsanity.com/am2/publish/FeaturedArticles/ClubWWI_Jimmy_Snuka.shtml
James Guttman points out how Jimmy Snuka is an inspiration to many fans, but also to wrestlers. Not only does Mick Foley credit Snuka for inspiring him, but scores of stars who have come to ClubWWI.com for interviews have as well. JG asks Jimmy about this and whether he realized at the time that he was influencing an entire generation.
” You know, brother, not really. It’s just like when I’d travel somewhere and meet all these great guys who are coming up and getting into the wrestling business, I have a chance to sit down with them and talk to them. They pick my brain about the wrestling business. (They ask), “Why did you want to become a wrestler.” I tell them, “Brother, you got to love it. You’ve got to enjoy it. You’ve got to work at it. You’ve got to train. You’ve got to take care of number one. You’ve got to be healthy and you’ve got to be strong about what you’re doing. Don’t be negative about nothing. Just go out there and have fun with the fans, bro.””
JG compliments Jimmy’s positive attitude and asks about all the accolades that followed his career. Having got into the business during the 70s, it must have been surprising to see how the Rock-n-Wrestling era changed it all. He asks about Snuka’s response to seeing himself in the 1980s WWF Rock-n-Wrestling cartoon and Jimmy beams with pride.
“I thought back to being a little kid again, enjoying myself. When I saw myself in the cartoon, I just went coocoo, man. I loved it. It was a beautiful blessing for me.
One footnote to Snuka’s career that many people forget is that he was the original “Phenom.” Gorilla Monsoon would refer to the Superfly by that name and it wasn’t until The Undertaker came along – defeating Jimmy in his first of many WrestleMania wins – that he was christened “Phenom.” JG asks him about the nickname and Snuka tells ClubWWI.com member that he still may have a Superfly Splash with the Dead Man’s name on it.
“You know what, brother? I love it. Because I’m there like a teacher for these kids. The Undertaker? I looked forward to that, brother, when Vince (McMahon) Jr. told me to wrestle The Undertaker (at WrestleMania). Brother, I loved it. I loved it. I said, “Why not?” Here’s a kid that’s blowing up. He looks the part. He looked good. It was a pleasure for me to go in there and work with him. Look at him today. He hasn’t lost yet. But someday – I hope someday that I can come back and beat him for the record, you know? (laughs) So I gotta say that I’m the real phenom! But he can carry it. That’s alright with me. As long as they know I’m the real phenom.”
Not only is Jimmy the original Phenom. He’s also the original ECW Original. Many fans may not remember that before ECW went from Eastern Championship Wrestling to Extreme, the main selling point for new viewers tuning in was to see Snuka as the heel champion. He went from years as a hero to his heel roots and even JG ordered bootleg videos at the time to see Snuka’s ECW work. He asks The Superfly if people bring that up to him and how he felt about working the villain role after all those years.
“Yes. A lot of (fans bring it up to him). I love it, brother. That’s why I enjoy doing things that I do. Being places and wrestling different guys. It’s a beautiful trademark for me. I’m sure it is for them too…Being a bad guy, brother. It’s totally different than being a good guy, a babyface, against a heel. Brother, if I’m going to be a heel, I’m going to turn who I am, what I am, and what I’m gonna do. I love it. I love both sides of the fence. When I became a babyface again, I just had to turn the light on, brother.”
Remember you can find out tons more about Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka’s amazing career in his new book “Superfly” The Jimmy Snuka story available at Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1600787584/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1600787584&linkCode=as2&tag=worldwrestl01-20
Remember Jimmy is one of over 300 stars you get instant access to when you join us at ClubWWI.com. Including superstar hosted shows and thousands of hours of audio archives dating back to 2005.