It's not always wise for a wrestler to write a tell-all autobiography, as many have dark skeletons in their closet that are best left being untouched.
The perfect example of this lesson is Superfly: The Jimmy Snuka Story that was released last December. In the book, Snuka discusses both his January 1983 arrest for causing a scene in a Syracuse hotel room where it took eight or nine cops with police dogs to subdue him and the suspicious death of his on the road girlfriend Nancy Argentino that took place a few months later.
Snuka painted himself as an almost completely innocent victim in his arrest. He admitted to being "pretty drunk" and "maybe smoking some pot", but blamed the noise that had caused complaints to the hotel manager on the other wrestlers staying there and that the police picked on the wrong guy in an overly aggressive manner. However, this claim contradicts the news reporting of the time that Snuka had become abusive to Argentino and wouldn't allow her to leave his room when the cops arrived.
Regarding Argentino's death, Snuka stuck to the story he had told the police when he was questioned with Vincent Kennedy McMahon by his side, namely that Nancy had slipped and banged her head when she went to urinate on the side of the road whilst driving to the next show, and not realising how serious her injury was, he left her to sleep it off while he wrestled the next day, but upon his return he found that she could hardly breathe and she died a couple of hours later after calling an ambulance for her.
However, it's hard to believe this version of events given the nature of their abusive relationship, that the coroner immediately suspected foul play upon seeing the body and that Snuka himself gave other people at the time multiple differing accounts that contradicted what he had told the police.
You might be wondering why Snuka would be so willing to dredge up his murky past. Well, like most wrestlers of his era who squandered their small fortune on a sex, drugs and rock n roll lifestyle, he's left with no savings and with his body completely broken down he has limited opportunities to make money to pay for his healthcare bills. Indeed, Dawn Marie's controversial Wrestlers Rescue charity had to step in and raise funds on his behalf to help pay for his recent reconstructive ankle surgery.
One person who was disgusted by Jimmy Snuka retelling all these lies was freelance investigative reporter Irv Muchnick, as he knew the Nancy Argentino death case in great depth having wrote an excellent piece about it for New York's Village Voice in 1992, as part of a bigger cover story about the steroid and ring boy scandals that the WWF was embroiled with at the time.
Upon hearing that two other newspaper reporters were writing stories about Nancy Argentino for the 30th anniversary of her passing, Muchnick decided to work towards publishing an updated ebook on the incident with the help of her family. It came out earlier this week and is now available for $2.99 on Amazon Kindle or a pdf copy is obtainable via the PayPal address of firstname.lastname@example.org for the same price, with all proceeds going to the My Sister’s Place battered women’s shelter in Westchester County, New York.
The ebook consists of the following six parts:
- An introduction discussing why it was written and putting the incident into context.
- The original article Muchnick wrote about the case in 1992.
- "Jimmy Snuka's Pathetic Lies" - a section that breaks down piece by piece Snuka's account of his girlfriend's death in his autobiography and criticises Dave Meltzer for the poor judgement of providing Snuka's ghostwriter with a quote that downplayed the incident.
- "The Short, Interrupted Life Of Nancy Argentino" - a section that gives a biography of Argentino's life, so that people know the real person behind the wrongly stereotyped "groupie" that ended up dying in such strange circumstances.
- "Other Updated Information" - a section that provides lots of interesting tidbits, including the allegation that someone from the WWF once offered the Argentino family $25,000 to shut up about her death.
- An appendix featuring primary document facsimiles.