In 2015, Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka was charged with the 1983 murder of his then girlfriend Nancy Argentino, after discrepancies between his statement to police and his version of events in his autobiography came to light. Snuka was suffering from advanced stomach cancer and he was deemed unfit to stand trial back in December. He passed away on January 15 of this year, and was honored with a video package on Raw the following night, which you can see above.
Many expressed unease with this decision to show Snuka in such a positive light, considering the charges that hung over his head so soon before he died.
WWE Hall of Fame Commentator Jim Ross was a recent guest on The Straight Shooters Podcast and made these comments:
"I had no issues with [the tribute]," JR said. "I was glad they recognized it and recognized his passing. For wrestling fans, for many of them, he meant a lot to a generation of fans. I'm glad that they acknowledged it.
"It's the wrong form, in my view, to continue to wear out a topic of a trial that never happened and a court case that's been dismissed. I don't know what happened and all this other stuff regarding Jimmy and the lady that was murdered. But golly, there's a time and place to discuss those issues. And one would think that we'd have enough intelligence to let the family – he had a lot of kids, man. They have friends and they have cousins and I think to just let the family grieve before we go back on this Oliver Stone quest of proving Jimmy Snuka posthumously was a murderer. It's ridiculous. It's embarrassing."
These comments were met with outrage on the internet, as it seemed that Ross was dismissing legitimate murder charges as mere conspiracy theories.
JR apologized for his remarks on his blog, writing:
First things first, I have apparently upset some folks with my remarks about WWE recognizing the memory of the late Jimmy Snuka on their broadcasts and, more specifically, my inadvertently flippant remarks about the 'Oliver Stone" types who chose to seemingly disregard the opportunity of the children and grandchildren of Jimmy Snuka to grieve for the loss of their family patriarch.
In no way did i mean to disrespect the Argentino family for their loss of their daughter/sister Nancy in 1983. That was certainly not my intent. My thoughts were strictly on the children and grandchildren of Snuka which in hindsight was not equitable considering the extraordinary circumstances of this matter.
My apologies to anyone affected by my remarks especially the family of the late, Nancy Argentino.
I hope that anyone who knows me realizes that me intentionally hurting others is simply not my style, however, my comments made on the Ross Report were mine and I take ownership and responsibility for them in their entirety. Again, I regret how my remarks were taken especially as it relates to the feelings of the Argentino family.
Snuka's profile was removed from the Hall of Fame section of WWE.com when he was charged with murder, and has not been re-added after his death.