Jimmy Snuka and Don Muraco – The Infamous Moment Remembered

Fans witnessing the Jimmy Snuka and Don Muraco match in Madison Square Garden never experienced anything like it. And in the many years since, fans haven’t forgotten.

A shot from the infamous Jimmy Snuka vs. Don Muraco steel cage match at Madison Square Garden, October 17th, 1983
A shot from the infamous Jimmy Snuka vs. Don Muraco steel cage match at Madison Square Garden, October 17th, 1983. [Photo: WWE Network]

Jimmy Snuka and Don Muraco – Nothing Touched It

The legendary Jimmy Snuka and Don Muraco steel cage match at Madison Square Garden on October 17th, 1983, will forever live on in infamy for me. It culminated in the then at his peak Snuka, climbing to the top of the cage, leaping UP, before perfectly landing on a prone Muraco in what many consider one of the greatest moments in the history of pro wrestling. I was there, and I want to walk you through this experience.

What Jimmy Snuka and Don Muraco pulled off wasn’t an everyday occurrence although I’m told Snuka had been doing this in the territories prior.

You see, this was the pre-YouTube days, and for us fans present in Madison Square Garden were not expecting it one bit.

As Snuka climbed to the top of that cage, I was sitting with best buddy Scott Bernstein, and we were actually saying out loud, "No! He’s not…" Only he DID.

It was electric.

In those pre-cellphone days, when flashcubes were still in vogue, a zillion flashes went off simultaneously as Jimmy made his leap, and Madison Square Garden literally shook.

I had been there for the glorious championship ’69 and ’73 Knicks as well as the Bruno and Superstar Billy Graham bloodbaths.

Still, when I tell you I never experienced anything like THIS, the sheer excitement of that MOMENT, forever frozen in time, that was THE wrestling moment. Nothing touched it, and I don’t believe anything has since.

THE Wrestling Moment

I’ve been attending live wrestling since 1974, and these two giants Jimmy Snuka and Don Muraco, are squarely locked in my top 20 of all time. Not only for their own feud but their other great rivalries, too.

The Jimmy Snuka and Roddy Piper feud live was as electric as anything I’ve EVER seen.

In his prime, heel Muraco, particularly as Intercontinental Champion, was as great a villain that ever set foot in the ring. Month after month, he’d defend that belt against such luminaries as former world champ Pedro Morales, and he’d even face Bob Backlund repeatedly for the world belt.

Unfortunately, by the late ’80s, both warriors were past their prime, but from the early to mid-’80s, few ever have or ever will touch these guys. And I doubt there was ever a more accurate ring name than "Magnificent Muraco" because he most certainly was just that.

Watch the Infamous Leap off the Cage From the Jimmy Snuka and Don Muraco Steel Cage Match at Madison Square Garden:

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Evan Ginzburg
Evan Ginzburg is a contributor for Pro Wrestling Stories. He was an Associate Producer on the movie "The Wrestler" and "350 Days" starring Bret Hart and Superstar Billy Graham. He is a nearly 30-year film, radio, and TV veteran, as well as co-host of the weekly Wrestling & Everything- Coast to Coast radio show with Buddy Sotello. He can be reached on Twitter @evan_ginzburg or by e-mail at evan_ginzburg@yahoo.com.