James Reiher

      • 73
      • 1943-05-18 in Suva - Fiji
      • 2017-01-15

      James William Reiher, better known by the ring name Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, is a semi-retired Fijian professional wrestler and actor. He is signed with WWE, working in their Legends program. Originally from the Fiji Islands, Snuka wrestled for several promotions in the 1970s and 1980s. Snuka was the first ECW Heavyweight Champion and held the title on two occasions. He is best known for his time in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in the early to mid-1980s and is credited with introducing the high-flyer style of wrestling to the WWF. His children, former WWE Superstar Jimmy Reiher, Jr. and current WWE Diva Sarona Reiher, are also wrestlers. n August 2015, Snuka's wife, Carole, announced that he was diagnosed with stomach cancer. As a result, he had surgery to remove his lymph nodes, part of his stomach and all apparent cancer. She said they both expected he would fully recover after "a long road ahead". Following his arrest, his attorney, William E. Moore, told reporters Snuka has dementia, stemming from wrestling-related injuries, to the point of being unfit for trial, and a judge ultimately agreed. In July 2016, Snuka, represented by his wife Carole, joined a class action lawsuit filed against WWE which alleged that wrestlers incurred "long term neurological injuries" and that the company "routinely failed to care" for them and "fraudulently misrepresented and concealed" the nature and extent of those injuries. The suit is litigated by attorney Konstantine Kyros, who has been involved in a number of other lawsuits against WWE. According to a court document filed by Kyros in November 2016, Snuka was diagnosed with "chronic traumatic encephalopathy or a similar disease". WWE challenged the filing, stating that "no medical report was included" in it. Since the September 2007 autopsy on Chris Benoit that detected he had CTE, the diagnosis has become a major talking point in the industry, as over 60 wrestlers or estates of deceased wrestlers have entered into litigation against the WWE, according to Kyros. The lawsuit was dismissed by US District Judge Vanessa Lynne Bryant in September 2018. The decision is currently being appealed by Konstantine Kyros of Kyros Law Offices, PC, which is currently representing the wrestlers and their estates, including Carole Snuka. On December 2, 2016, it was announced that Snuka was in hospice and had six months left to live, due to a terminal illness.He died on January 15, 2017, at age 73 in Pompano Beach, Florida.