The Jimmy Snuka Murder Case
In 1983, Jimmy Snuka’s girlfriend Nancy Argentino, who was merely 23 years old then, was found dead in their motel room. In the consequent investigation, the police tagged Snuka as a ‘person of interest’. The Superfly was a big draw in the company then, what with him being responsible for some of the earliest high flying “Holy S*it!” moments in the WWE.
Luckily for WWE and Snuka, he was never convicted for the crime, despite regaling the police with contrasting explanations for Nancy’s death. One report claimed the Snuka admitted to having pushed her and thus causing her to hit her head while falling down. Another account that Snuka gave the police was pointedly different; He claimed that she had slipped and hit her head on the highway while they pulled their vehicle over in order to take a leak.
Upon autopsy of the body, it was concluded that her head injury was consistent with a stationary head being struck repeatedly with a blunt moving object. (oops!)
However no conclusive evidence was uncovered that could shed light on whether the death of Nancy Argentino was a homicide or an accident, and the case was eventually declared inactive. Jimmy Superfly Snuka was the only ‘person of interest’ tagged in the case till the investigations were called off.
Almost as an afterthought in 2014, 31 years later, the incident came under the scanner again as authorities debated opening the case up to a grand jury. Eerily similar to events in 1983 though, the trail’s gone cold again.
Pat Patterson’s Disgrace
It is conceivable that even many present day viewers know of Pat Patterson for he used to show up in WWE programming as a corporate stooge whose ass we all liked seeing get kicked. There is a bit of wrestling history attached to Patterson though, having been the first ever Intercontinental Champion, along with the ignominy of having a questionable reputation when it comes to conduct. Who am I kidding?
Pat Patterson, as the WWE Universe knew for years before the official announcement came out on WWE Legend’s House, is homosexual. Not only that, he has been alleged to have persuaded young and upcoming superstars into sexual favours under the pretext of giving them a ‘push’ in the company.
Roddy Piper’s admission as much that Patterson coaxed him into sexual favours and that the trying nature of the industry didn’t exactly leave him much option was something that took tremendous courage, as is evident in this interview. That Piper completely reverts his stance in the latter part of the video in a fire and brimstone post-commentary, pretty much smacks of damage control and ironically serves to highlight Patterson’s guilt further.
Pat Patterson happens to be Stephanie McMahon’s godfather, and in lieu with his creative role in WWE programming, its not hard to understand why these rumours have been quashed.
Disclaimer : Pat Patterson is also one of the greatest minds to ever grace the business. Many wrestlers owe the success of their gimmick to him and the WWE universe owes him thanks for the Royal Rumble, amongst other things.
Now the concept of having a non-official court run by senior wrestlers may sound like a corrupt worker’s union, but the Wrestler’s court was established in answer to necessity rather than as an attempt to assimilate clout or power. It’s origins can be traced to the early days in pro-wrestling and to one legend in particular, Dutch Mantell, or better known to the WWE universe now as Zeb Colter.
Mantell, in his early days, had witnessed how real heat between wrestlers often found unhealthy outlets and watched a wrestler, Bruiser Brody, lose his life over such an incident of unchecked backstage heat. Brody, lured into the shower area under the pretext of a conversation, was stabbed by a fellow wrestler named Jose Gonzales and 27 years on from the incident, no one has been convicted and Gonzales walked scott free.
This however did lead to Mantell understanding and realising the need to establish decorum and order amongst the wrestlers and hence came up with ingenius idea of the wrestler’s court. The idea was to talk about problems in front of a wrestler who would be assuming the mantle of the judge, with others playing the part of attorneys, witnesses and/or audience. Now while this added a slight comedic element to proceedings due to the enforced formality of it all, it also unofficially ensured that decorum and hierarchy was maintained within the ranks.
As Randy Savage informs, Vince McMahon did know of the existence of the court but allowed it to remain an open secret for it provided an avenue to nip the bad blood between wrestlers in the bud. Any guesses who served as the judge?The Phenom of course.
The enforcer of the law was JBL.
When the Phenom wasn’t around, Triple H stepped up.
Why was Randy Savage taboo?
Now this is the mother of all scandals as far as the WWE is concerned. It coincided with a hazy period in WWE history when Vince was embroiled in dealing with the steroid trials. Understandably, he was losing his sponsors and financial backing due to the negative publicity that the hearings bore upon the company. Had Terry Bolea(Hulk Hogan) not testified and cleared Vince of distributing steroids to his wrestlers, WWE as we know it today might not have existed.
It was at that time that Randy Savage left the WWE after promising Vince McMahon that he would not join WCW. He went back on his word and joined the rival promotion almost instantaneously, earning the wrath of Vince who felt betrayed. This is one of the reasons that is touted to explain the grudge Vince held against Randy Savage.
Another explanation could involve the popular food item, Slim Jim, whose tie up with Randy Savage left deep-lying implications for McMahon to deal with. When Savage went to WCW, Slim Jim followed suit, leaving Vince McMahon one sponsor short at a time when he needed all the financial backing that he could get.
Or, was it because he learnt of an entanglement between a soon-to-depart Randy Savage and a 17-year old Stephanie McMahon?
Of course the story has never been corroborated but Vince McMahon was noted to have a marked change in demeanour if someone so much as mentioned Randy Savage to him. He once was heard claiming in an uncharacteristic sombre tone, “ I will never do business with that man again.” Having been privy to Vince McMahon’s modus operandi over the years, it’s just a little difficult to accept on face value that Randy Savage after 1994, was never good enough for business to be called back into the WWE. Or at least not until it was too late.