Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Pays Tribute to WWE Wrestler Jimmy Snuka, Who Died at 73

Dwayne Johns, Jimmy Snuka
Jimmy 'Superfly' Snuka visits 'The Opie & Anthony Show' at SiriusXM studios on January 9, 2013 in New York City; Dwayne Johnson attends AFI FEST 2016 Presented By Audi - Premiere of Disney's 'Moana' at the El Capitan Theatre on November 14, 2016 in Hollywood, California.  Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images; Barry King/WireImage

He's paying his respects. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson paid tribute to WWE legend Jimmy Snuka in a touching post to Twitter on Sunday, January 15, after the former wrestler died at age 73.

“Our family @TaminaSnuka asked me to share the sad news that her dad Jimmy Snuka has just passed away,” the 44-year-old Baywatch star wrote. “Alofa atu i le aiga atoa. #RIPSuperfly.” (“Alofa atu i le aiga atoa” roughly translates to “love the whole family” in English.)

According to TMZ Sports, Snuka was diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer in December and given just six months to live. His daughter, wrestler Tamina Snuka, shared a sweet image to Instagram following her father’s passing.

I LOVE YOU DAD #FOREVERMYDAD #RestWell #FamiliesAreForever #BestDad #SnukaLegacy

A post shared by SaronaSnuka (@saronasnukawwe) on

“I LOVE YOU DAD #FOREVERMYDAD #RestWell #FamiliesAreForever #BestDad #SnukaLegacy,” she captioned an image of their two hands clasping one another over what looks to be a hospital blanket. She shared the same message on Twitter.

Earlier this month, Snuka was deemed incompetent to stand trial in the 1983 death of his former girlfriend, Nancy Argentino, a case that caused much controversy at the time. The Morning Call reported that Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, Judge Kelly Banach dismissed homicide charges against Snuka after ruling that “it would be unjust to resume the prosecution.”

Snuka (né James Reiher) began wrestling in the early 1970s and joined the WWE in 1982, where he made a name for himself with his signature move, the “Superfly Splash,” which involved him climbing to the top rope and pausing to flash a hand signal with his thumb, index finger and pinkie out before leaping through the air to land chest-to-chest with his opponent, who was lying on his back on the mat.

The WWE posted a statement to its website on Sunday. “WWE is saddened to learn that WWE Hall of Famer Jimmy ’Superfly’ Snuka has passed away,” the statement reads. “Snuka is regarded by many as the pioneer of high-flying offense because of his Superfly Splash from the top turnbuckle. His dive off the top of the steel cage onto Don Muraco at Madison Square Garden as hundreds of flashbulbs went off will forever live as one of the most memorable moments in WWE history. WWE extends its condolences to Snuka’s family, friends and fans.”

Snuka leaves behind a family, including his daughters, Sarona (Tamina is her stage name), Ata and Liana, and son Deuce.

Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!

Want stories like these delivered straight to your phone? Download the Us Weekly iPhone app now!

Close popup

Welcome to In Motion

Bring photos to life with Us Weekly's exciting new mobile experience!

What's In Motion? Tell me more

What's In Motion?

Go back

How to Use In Motion

What's In Motion? Tell me more