The date was October 17th, 1983. The venue was the iconic Madison Square Gardens. It has been the home to some of sports and entertainment’s most prominent and brightest events.
On this particular night, however, what proceeded to take place was nothing short of revolutionary in what could aptly titled The Splash Heard Around The World.
The match pitted the current WWF Intercontinental Champion, ‘The Magnificent Don Muraco, to defend his title against rising Fijian star, ‘Superfly’ Jimmy Snuka.
Splash Heard Around The World
The two would take part in a match that wasn’t legendary, but between one rabid fanbase in attendance and a move captured in time by one of the competitors, the result would be something legends are made of.
It would be on this night in wrestling where one of the most spectacular moments in wrestling history takes place, ‘Superfly’ Jimmy Snuka delivers a stunning Superfly Splash from the top.
Splash Heard Around The World –
Superfly Jimmy Snuka & The Magnificent Muraco
We see ‘Superfly’ Jimmy Snuka approach the ring with Arnold Skaaland and look up to the top of the cage.
As he walked around the ring, he proceeded to shake the cage testing its stretch and stability. The match was relatively early in Snuka’s career. Muraco would then proceed to charge from one end of the cage to the other.
Both men are in the ring, and their intensity is evident. We can see fans passionately involved in this match.
Muraco and Snuka lock up and are tied up against the ropes. Snuka then begins to hit a combination of well-timed strikes taking Muraco down to the mat.
Muraco attempts to make his way out the door, but Snuka stops him. He then takes Muraco and continues throwing chops at the Magnificent one, followed by driving his head into the turnbuckle.
But Muraco manages to recover, hitting Snuka low and slingshots him into the cage, busting him open.
Snuka is wounded and battered in the process. But the battered Snuka then climbs to the top rope, but Muraco stops him along the way. The two battle atop of the ring.
Snuka is then standing on the top turnbuckle, and Muraco recovers and proceeds to go after him. The cage door is open, and as Muraco tries to exit the ring, but Snuka stops him. However, a backkick by Muraco hits Snuka low in the process.
This was the opening Snuka needed. Muraco is then busted open being tossed into the steel cage. Snuka climbs to the second turnbuckle and drives a fist off the middle rope.
Next, as Muraco is on his knees, bloodied and battered, Snuka drives chop after chop after head butt between the eyes of the Magnificient Muraco.
But as Snuka drives a headbutt across the head of Muraco, he then charges across the ropes and hits a second one.
The second one, however, allows Muraco to fall backward into the open doorway, enabling him to fall out and win the match.
As Muraco lay on the floor, the referee would proceed to raise the Intercontinental Championship and come to Muraco and raise his hand in victory.
Everyone was in shock at how the champion was able to retain. This didn’t sit well with Snuka, who came out of the cage and threw Muraco back into the ring.
Snuka then hits a suplex on Muraco, who is lying prone in the middle of the ring. Then Snuka climbs to the top rope.
But after momentarily doing so would proceed to then climb to the top of the cage. What happened next is considered one of wrestling’s most iconic moments.
It was considered so because of what happened, those inspired by it, and the influence it left on generations of wrestlers afterward.
In the stands on this night would be a young Thomas James Laughlin (later known as Tommy Dreamer) and a young Mick Foley. Foley would capture what this moment meant to him and the Superfly’s influence on his career.
“Without Jimmy, there’s no me. There’s a me, there’s a Mick Foley, doing something somewhere, but that feeling being brought out of me, being in the Garden and feeling the emotion.
And then, having this moment in time captured that I remember as clearly today as when it took place over 30 years ago.
And know that I wanted to make people feel that same way, I don’t know if, as much as I loved the [professional] wrestling business or just the wrestling show, I didn’t know it was a business at the time, I don’t know if there’s anything else that would have made me feel that way.”
-Mick Foley on the influence of ‘Superfly’ Jimmy Snuka on his career.
Fans in attendance are in complete shock and awe at what they are witnessing. Snuka is often reported to have been 15 feet high in the air as he stood atop of the cage.
As he stood at the top of the cage, he would procced to hit his famous Superfly Splash as flashbulbs captured the moment, with Snuka lunging onto Muraco in the process.
Snuka went and took the Intercontinental Championship outside of the ring and brought it back inside the ring. Jimmy Snuka stood over the battered champion and laid the title on top of him.
Splash Heard Around The World
When Snuka left the ring, it was clear that history was made this night. The Madison Square Garden faithful had witnessed a man leap atop a cage onto another man. It is often considered the standard bearer of high-risk moves.
To lead atop the top turnbuckle was fairly customary. At the same time,e still risky was fairly common. But when Snuka leaped atop of the cage onto Muraco, it was though it was ushering the dawn in a new era of high-risk maneuvers.
‘Do you ever think it’s going to be immortalized in or live for 30, 40, 50 years as it seems to be? No, I don’t think you imagine that.
You get through that and you’re appeasing and making everybody happy. That’s what they (fans) paid for.
To see him come off the top of the cage. So you check that box, and you make everyone happy. You know you blew the roof off that joint.
So you pick up your tools to go back to work again another time. He (Jimmy) had done that previously in a WWF title match against Bob Backlund.
Jimmy was loved like nobody ever was like that in New York or going green or reaching that brutal Pedro (Morales) or Antonio Rocco status. He was ready for it.
When we went for it, it was peopled who wanted to see and what put him (Snuka) in the memory book of all time.
– Don Muraco recalling this match and this infamous moment against Superfly Jimmy Snuka.
We recall this moment on this day, October 17th, 1983.