Paul Orndorff, Wrestler Known as Mr. Wonderful, Dies at 71


The New York Times 13 July, 2021 - 12:17am 10 views

How did Mr Wonderful Paul Orndorff die?

On July 12, 2021, Orndorff died at the age of 71 in Fayetteville, Georgia, shortly after being diagnosed with dementia. wikipedia.orgPaul Orndorff

The wrestler competed in the first WrestleMania, held in 1985 at Madison Square Garden.

Paul Orndorff, the WWE Hall of Famer known to fans as Mr. Wonderful, who fought against Hulk Hogan in the first-ever WrestleMania, died on Monday in Fayetteville, Ga. He was 71.

Mr. Orndorff’s death was announced by his son Travis Orndorff on Instagram. No cause was given.

“Most of you will remember him for his physique,” his son said in the Instagram post. “Many will remember his intensity. But if I could only get you to understand and see his heart.”

Mr. Orndorff joined the World Wrestling Federation, known today as World Wrestling Entertainment, in 1983, and debuted in 1984, according to WWE.

He participated in the first WrestleMania at Madison Square Garden in March 1985 in a fight with Roddy Piper against Hulk Hogan and Mr. T., according to WWE. Mr. Hogan and Mr. T won the fight. The next year, Mr. Orndorff fought against Mr. Hogan in an event that drew more than 60,000 spectators to Canadian National Exhibition Stadium in Toronto, which Mr. Hogan won by disqualification.

Mr. Orndorff was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005, in the same class as Mr. Hogan.

On Monday, Mr. Hogan paid tribute to Mr. Orndorff on Twitter: “Thank you for always making me fight for everything in our matches, heaven just got even more wonderful.”

Born in Brandon, Fla., Paul Parlette Orndorff Jr. attended the University of Tampa, where he was a running back, and graduated in 1972, according to the university. Mr. Orndorff was selected by the New Orleans Saints in the 12th round of the 1973 N.F.L. draft, but later began a career in professional wrestling.

Mr. Orndorff won his first championship, Memphis territory’s Mid-Southern Heavyweight title, in 1977, according to the University of Tampa Hall of Fame, which he was inducted into in 1986.

In a tweet, WWE said Mr. Orndorff “brought a swagger and style to the WWE Universe that turned his talent into a prototype for the modern-day superstar.”

Gary Cassidy, a freelance writer who covers professional wrestling, said in a tweet that Mr. Orndorff was “an integral part of the strides that made it possible for Hulkamania to run wild and one of the most WrestleMania matches of all time.”

He said that Mr. Orndorff was “without doubt, one of the greatest wrestlers to never hold a major world championship.”

In Instagram posts before Mr. Orndorff’s death, his son alluded to concerns about brain damage from wrestling.

Three days before Mr. Orndorff died, his son posted a picture of one of his father’s notebooks on Instagram with a phone number.

“If you can’t read it, it says ‘son, I think.’ I haven’t had that phone number since 2005,” Mr. Orndorff’s son said in the caption. “I hope the world will start to take notice of the brain damage and the consequences of this lifestyle.”

Mr. Orndorff was involved in several cases filed by a group of former wrestlers against WWE. They claimed that they had suffered neurological damage, such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, “as a result of physical trauma they experienced while performing.”

The cases were dismissed because the claims were filed after a statute of limitations expired or because they were “frivolous,” court documents show.

Complete information on survivors was not immediately available on Monday night.

Read full article at The New York Times

WWE's 'Mr. Wonderful' Paul Orndorff passes away at age 71

The Denver Channel 31 December, 1969 - 06:00pm

World Wrestling Entertainment is mourning the loss of one of its own.

Paul Orndorff, who was known as "Mr. Wonderful," passed away on Monday. He was 71.

His son Travis was the first to announce his father's passing on social media, saying, "Many will remember his intensity. But if I could only get you to understand and see his heart," Deadline reported.

WWE also confirmed his passing in a post on Twitter, saying that "WWE extends its condolences to Orndorff's family and friends."

Orndorff played running back while attending the University of Tampa. After a brief stint in the World Football League, he joined the WWE in 1983, where he earned the nickname "Mr. Wonderful" from then-manager "Rowdy" Roddy Piper.

Orndorff made his mark in the wrestling world by 1984, when he challenged Hulk Hogan, who had just won the World Heavyweight Championship.

Their feud would go on for years, even fighting in the first-ever WrestleMania, with a tag-team match that featured Piper and actor Mr. T.

Orndorff captured his first-ever major championship when he defeated Erik Watts in 1993.

He was also a two-time World Championship Wrestling champion in tag-team with Paul Roma in 1994.

After retiring, Orndorff became a trainer and helped mold the careers of Mark Jindrak, Stacy Keibler, and Goldberg.

WWE Stars, Fans Mourn Loss Of 1980s Wrestling Icon 'Mr. Wonderful' Paul Orndorff

HuffPost 13 July, 2021 - 09:43am

Former pro wrestling superstar Paul Orndorff, best known to fans as “Mr. Wonderful,” died Monday at the age of 71, his family announced. 

His cause of death was not immediately known, but he had recently been diagnosed with dementia. 

Orndorff was largely a “heel” or villain, and part of his act revolved around his own effusive praise of himself. He often performed with “Mr. #1derful” written across the rear of his trunks as the WWE ― then called the WWF ― shot to popularity in the 1980s. 

He performed in the main event of the first WrestleMania in 1985, where he and “Rowdy”  Roddy Piper fought Mr. T and Hulk Hogan in a tag-team match, with Muhammad Ali acting as one of the referees. 

He and Hogan often fought both with and against each other, including a 1986 steel cage grudge match: 

His son, Travis Orndorff, announced the death in an Instagram post, writing in part:  

“Most of you will remember him for his physique. Many will remember his intensity. But if I could only get you to understand and see his heart. He will always be Pop, Paw Paw, and Daddy at home. And as much as many of you hated him as a wrestler, he absolutely loved you for it.” 

WWE shared the video from his 2005 Hall of Fame induction in tribute: 

"Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff, inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005, brought a swagger and style to the WWE Universe that turned his talent into a prototype for the modern-day Superstar.

Orndorff was diagnosed with dementia this year after years of struggling with memory loss, which his family has blamed on brain injuries suffered during his wrestling career. 

“I hope the world will start to take notice of the brain damage and the consequences of this lifestyle,” his son wrote on Instagram. “I do not blame the WWE or Vince McMahon as you might think. No one knew this would happen. But we can do something now.”

Orndorff was among a number of wrestlers who took part in a 2016 lawsuit against WWE over long-term neurological problems they said were a result of their work for the company. 

Orndorff said in the suit that he had been suffering from headaches, dizziness and memory loss. 

That lawsuit was dismissed, and the Supreme Court this year declined to hear an appeal

His family has been raising money for his funeral expenses on GoFundMe.

Wrestling stars and fans alike paid tribute on social media: 


I’m so sorry to learn of the passing of Paul Orndorff. As a fan, I loved watching him. As a wrestler, I loved working with him. He brought intensity and believability to every match and promo. Truly one of the all-time greats. #RIPPaulOrndorff

Damn. Orndorff. I went to a wcw house show at the uic pavilion once. Maybe 95ish. Him and Sherri were the best on that show with working the crowd. Think I have his autograph on a patriot mask somewhere. Rest in power Mr. Wonderful.

A #WrestleMania main eventer, @WWE Hall of Famer, and one of the industry’s best bad guys. Our thoughts and sympathy are with his family at this difficult time.

Just got slammed with the Paul Orndorff news,RIP my brother,love you and thank you for always making me fight for everything in our matches,heaven just got even more Wonderful,love U4LifeHH

Paul Orndorff was the first wrestler I hated & feared as a child. I was at the Big Event in Toronto. Changed my life. Years later the morning before WrestleMania 21, I trained with him and Hulk. I was a little kid again. One of my fondest memories. Thank you for all of them Paul.

Paul Orndorff, one of the all-time greats, has passed away. RIP, Mr. Wonderful.

So Sorry To Hear Of The Passing Of Paul Orndorff aka Mr. Wonderful aka The Brandon Bull. Great Guy, Legit Tough! He Was Another Amazing Athlete That I Had The Pleasure Of Wrestling An Hour For The NWA Championship On Many Occasions! Rest In Peace! 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

Paul Orndorff Mr. Wonderful

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