WrestleMania star Paul Orndorff, a.k.a. Mr. Wonderful, dies at 71

Entertainment

EW.com 12 July, 2021 - 11:07pm 11 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

His son Travis Orndorff revealed the news in an Instagram post on Monday, though he did not disclose a cause of death.

Hulk Hogan, who feuded with Orndorff in the ring in the '80s, shared a tribute to his former foe on Instagram, including a photo of the two.

"Just got slammed with the Paul Orndorff news, RIP my brother," Hogan wrote. "love you and thank you for always making me fight for everything in our matches, heaven just got even more Wonderful, love U4Life."

Orndorff was a college football star at the University of Tampa before being drafted by the New Orleans Saints in 1973. But he didn't pass his physical and never played in the league, and instead began his wrestling career three years later. Orndorff signed with the World Wrestling Federation in 1983 and was given the "Mr. Wonderful" nickname.

He appeared in the main event of the first WrestleMania in 1985, with WWF World Heavyweight Champion Hogan and Mr. T facing off against Orndorff and his manager Roddy Piper.

Mr. Wonderful left the WWF for the WCW in 1988, where he went on to win the World Television Championship and the WCW World Tag Team Championship.

He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005 and the National Wrestling Alliance Hall of Fame in 2009. After retiring, he trained other wrestlers. In 2014, he made an appearance at WrestleMania XXX.

Orndorff's son Travis mourned his father's death on social media Monday, writing that while others knew his father for his "physique" and "intensity," he wished they could "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," Orndorff added. "He was an amazing father that showed me more love than I ever deserved. I love you Daddy."

"He was so much more than a wrestler," he captioned more photos of his father.

Days before his father's death, Travis posted a message on Instagram about Orndorff's confusion with his memory, writing that he hoped people realize "the brain damage and the consequences of this lifestyle. 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."

In 2016, the wrestling legend was part of a class-action lawsuit against WWE alleging that wrestlers suffered "long term neurological injuries" and that the company "routinely failed to care" for them and "fraudulently misrepresented and concealed" the nature of injuries. The lawsuit was dismissed in 2018, with the judge ruling that some of the claims listed were frivolous and other claims were filed after the statute of limitations expired.

Travis's wife Amayou Smith has set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds for funeral expenses.

Read more tributes to late wrestler below:

Read full article at EW.com

Paul Orndorff Dies: Wrestling Legend Known As “Mr. Wonderful” Who Fought In 1st WrestleMania Was 71

Yahoo Entertainment 13 July, 2021 - 08:10pm

His son Travis made the announcement Monday on Instagram, where he has documented his father’s recent health struggles.

“It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of my father, Paul Parlette Orndorff Jr,” wrote the younger Orndorff. “He is better known as “Mr. #1derful” Paul Orndorff.”

Orndorff was instantly recognizable in the ring for his impressive build and blond hair, but his son said friends and family loved him for something else.

“Most of you will remember him for his physique,” he wrote. “Many will remember his intensity. But if I could only get you to understand and see his heart.”

Orndorff came up in the Southern wrestling circuit, and signed with the WWE predecessor World Wrestling Federation in late 1983, where “Rowdy” Roddy Piper became his manager. Piper nicknamed Orndorff “Mr. Wonderful,” a moniker that stuck.

He made his WWF debut in 1984 against Salvatore Bellomo in Madison Square Garden and shot straight to the main event less than a month later. He fought Hulk Hogan for the title as the “Hulkamania” wave began to crest. He also fought the Intercontinental Champion Tito Santana. Orndorff and Piper often faced Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka and “The Tonga Kid” in tag team competition.

The first WrestleMania in 1985 saw WWF World Heavyweight Champion Hogan and Mr. T, accompanied by Snuka, face off against the Piper and Orndorff, who were accompanied by Cowboy Bob Orton.

Travis wrote that, while his father often played the villain, he loved wrestling fans, even when they hated him: “As much as many of you hated him as a wrestler, he absolutely loved you for it.”

Mr. Wonderful left the WWF in 1988. He went to the WCW, where he won the World Television Championship and the WCW World Tag Team Championship.

Before wrestling, Orndorff was a running back at the University of Tampa, where he scored 21 career touchdowns and gained more than 2,000 all-purpose yards. The New Orleans Saints picked Orndorff in the 12th round of the 1973 NFL Draft, but he failed to pass the physical with both the Saints and the Kansas City Chiefs. However, he did play for the Jacksonville Sharks of the World Football League in 1975. After one season in the WFL, he began training as a professional wrestler.

Despite his physique, Orndorff’s career was plagued by injury. Specifically, a nagging neck injury that led to arm atrophy and forced him to retire in 2000. He fought and survived cancer in 2011.

Travis Orndoff posted a message two days ago on Instagram relaying his father’s confusion about a phone number with the plea, “I hope the world will start to take notice of the brain damage and the consequences of this lifestyle. 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.”

Frequent foe Hogan took to Twitter on hearing the news of Orndorff’s death and wrote, “thank you for always making me fight for everything in our matches.” He ended with, “heaven just got even more Wonderful.”

In 2014, Orndorff made an appearance at WrestleMania XXX. It was his first WWE television appearance since the 2005 Hall of Fame ceremony. He appeared with others who were a part of the first WrestleMania: Rowdy Roddy Piper, Hulk Hogan, Mr. T, Pat Patterson and announcer “Mean” Gene Okerlund.

Along with the announcement, the younger Orndorff posted a GoFundMe link to help pay for his father’s funeral expanses.

It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of my father, Paul Parlette Orndorff Jr. . He is better known as “Mr. #1derful” Paul Orndorff. 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. He was an amazing father that showed me more love than I ever deserved. I love you Daddy.

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Paul Orndorff, Saints draft pick turned wrestling star, dies at 71

NBC Sports 13 July, 2021 - 08:10pm

Paul Orndorff, a running back who had a short career in the NFL and a much longer career in professional wrestling, has died at the age of 71.

At the University of Tampa, Orndorff scored 21 career touchdowns and gained more than 2,000 all-purpose yards. Although Tampa no longer has a football program, it was a hotbed of talent in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and several of Orndorff’s teammates were drafted. Orndorff himself went to the Saints in the 12th round of the 1973 NFL draft.

But Orndorff never got on the field with the Saints, or with the Chiefs, who also gave him a brief shot in the NFL. He briefly played in the World Football League, but his pro football career never really took off.

After trading the gridiron for the squared circle, however, Orndorff thrived. He had success in the 1970s and early 1980s with Mid-South Wrestling and the National Wrestling Alliance, and in 1983 he signed with the World Wrestling Federation.

In the WWF, Orndorff got the nickname “Mr. Wonderful” and often shared the ring with Hulk Hogan, both as his tag team partner and, after a storyline that saw Orndorff betray Hogan, as his opponent for the WWF heavyweight championship. The first WrestleMania saw Orndorff in the main event, teaming with “Rowdy” Roddy Piper against Hogan and Mr. T. A later steel cage match between Orndorff and Hogan would become one of the WWF’s most-watched matches on television.

Although his football career was short, millions of fans will remember Orndorff for his post-football career.

RIP the original Mr. Wonderful… not that fake on Shark Tank.

One of my favorites growing up in the 80’s. Great strongman type power physique with the signature pile driver.

RIP Mr. Wonderful. Thanks for the memories.

I live in the Mid-South Wrestling area and got to see him wrestle several times.

Saw him wrestle Hogan at the old Aud in Buffalo. I’ve been there with full house crowds for Sabres and Braves play off games but never heard the crowd louder than when Hulk Hogan was introduced. Mr. Wonderful did some very funny interviews with Mean Gene. Good times.

RIP to one of the absolutely WONDERFUL wrestlers! Tell Rowdy we said Hi!

RIP this guy could bring it.

A legend of the squared circle- RIP Mr. Wonderful.

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Paul Orndorff, a wrestling legend known as "Mr.""Wonderful" died at the age of 71

Pennsylvanianewstoday.com 13 July, 2021 - 08:10pm

(NEXSTAR) — WWE died at the age of 71, saying “Mr. Great”.

His son Travis Announcement of father’s death On Monday’s Instagram, he records his father’s recent health problems.

Condemned in the news of Paul Orndorff, thank you for RIPing my brother, loving you and always letting me fight for all of our matches, heaven is even better, love U4LifeHH

— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) July 12, 2021

“It’s very sad to announce the death of my father, Paul Parlet Orndov Jr.,” Travis Orndorf wrote in his post. “He is” Mr. # 1derful “Paul Orndorff.

“Most of you will remember him with his physique. Many remember his strength. But if I can make you understand and see his mind. He will always be pop, popo, and dad at home, and he absolutely loved you for it as many of you hated him as a wrestler. Was a wonderful father who showed me more love than I ever deserved. I love daddy. “

Source link Paul Orndorff, a wrestling legend known as “Mr.””Wonderful” died at the age of 71

Paul Orndorff, wrestling legend known as ‘Mr. Wonderful,’ dies at 71

YourErie 13 July, 2021 - 08:10pm

(NEXSTAR) – WWE wrestling great Paul Orndorff, known as “Mr. Wonderful,” has died at the age of 71.

His son Travis announced his father’s passing Monday on Instagram, where he’s been documenting his father’s recent health struggles.

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

“It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of my father, Paul Parlette Orndorff Jr,” wrote Travis Orndorff in his post. “He is better known as “Mr. #1derful” Paul Orndorff.

“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. He was an amazing father that showed me more love than I ever deserved. I love you Daddy.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Mr. Wonderful dead: WWE legend Paul Orndorff, one of Hulk Hogan’s biggest foes, dies at 71

syracuse.com 13 July, 2021 - 08:10pm

Paul Orndorff, who first made a name for himself as a World Wrestling Federation wrestler in the 1980s and was one of Hulk Hogan’s main foes, has died.

The Brandon, Fla., native, who was famously dubbed, “Mr. Wonderful,’' was 71.

Orndorff’s son, Travis, announced his father’s death on Instagram on Monday. Travis Orndorff said his father suffered from dementia, which was caused by chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The brain ailment is a direct result of receiving too many blows to the head.

“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,” Travis Orndorff said. “And as much as many of you hated him as a wrestler, he absolutely loved you for it.

“He was an amazing father that showed me more love than I ever deserved. I love you Daddy.”

Orndorff, as well as a host of other former wrestlers, filed a class action lawsuit in 2016 against the WWE. The plaintiffs claimed the WWE “fraudulently misrepresented and concealed” wrestlers’ neurological injuries. The lawsuit, however, was dismissed two years later.

WWF wrestlers Hulk Hogan, left, and Paul Orndorff face off in the ring. Orndorff, who wrestled under the name "Mr. Wonderful," passed away at the age of 71. (Staten Island Advance).

Orndorff joined the now-defunct WWF in 1983 and quickly became one of legend Hulk Hogan’s biggest opponents for a good portion of the 1980s. Mr. Wonderful was not only a participant in the first WrestleMania in 1985, but was teamed with the late Rowdy Roddy Piper in the main event — a tag-team match against Hogan and Mr. T. The match was won by the latter duo.

Orndorff temporarily retired because of injuries in 1988, but he returned to the ring for another long run beginning in 1990 and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005.

Hogan was stunned by the news.

“Just got slammed with the Paul Orndorff news,” Hogan said via Twitter. “RIP, my brother. Love you and thank you for always making me fight for everything in our matches. Heaven just got even more Wonderful.”

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Paul ‘Mr. Wonderful' Orndorff, WWE star, dead at 71

Fox News 13 July, 2021 - 08:10pm

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WWE Hall of Famer Paul Orndorff, who was known as "Mr. Wonderful," has died at the age of 71, his son announced on Instagram Monday.

Orndorff was suffering from dementia prior to his death, which Travis Orndorff said was caused by chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a brain condition caused by repeated blows to the head.

"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," Travis Orndorff wrote. "And as much as many of you hated him as a wrestler, he absolutely loved you for it. He was an amazing father that showed me more love than I ever deserved. I love you Daddy."

Paul Orndorff joined a class action lawsuit against the WWE in 2016 that said wrestlers suffered "long term neurological injuries" and the WWE "fraudulently misrepresented and concealed" the injuries, but the lawsuit was dismissed in 2018.

Born in Brandon, Fla., Orndorff played running back at the University of Tampa and was drafted by the Saints in the 12th round of the 1973 NFL Draft. He never played in the NFL.

Orndorff started his wrestling career in 1976 with Mid-Southern Wrestling and joined WWE — known then the WWF — in 1983. He wrestled for WWF until 1988 when he was forced to retire due to injury, but he later returned to the ring, beginning with WCW in 1990.

Known for his strong frame, Orndorff was one of of Hulk Hogan’s biggest foes in the 1980s. He was in main event of the first WrestleMania in 1985 at Madison Square Garden, teaming with Roddy Piper in a losing effort against Hogan and Mr. T. Orndorff inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005.

The wrestling world was devastated by the loss.

"Just got slammed with the Paul Orndorff news," Hogan wrote on Twitter. "RIP, my brother. Love you and thank you for always making me fight for everything in our matches. Heaven just got even more Wonderful."

"So Sorry To Hear Of The Passing Of Paul Orndorff aka Mr. Wonderful aka The Brandon Bull," Ric Flair tweeted out. "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!"

Added former WCW executive Eric Bischoff: "So sorry to hear this news. I always enjoyed working with Paul. He was a good friend to my son Garett and I and we shared some memorable times away from the wrestling business. Rest easy, my friend."

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ©2021 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. Quotes displayed in real-time or delayed by at least 15 minutes. Market data provided by Factset. Powered and implemented by FactSet Digital Solutions. Legal Statement. Mutual Fund and ETF data provided by Refinitiv Lipper.

WWE wrestler nicknamed Mr. Wonderful dies as cause of death revealed as dementia

The US Sun 13 July, 2021 - 08:00pm

News Corp is a network of leading companies in the worlds of diversified media, news, education, and information services.

WWE Hall of Famer Paul Orndorff who fought in Wrestlemania has died at the age of 71 and one of his sons confirmed the sad news to fans.

His son Travis revealed that Mr Wonderful passed away in an Instagram post on Monday.

"It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of my father, Paul Parlette Orndorff Jr," Travis Orndorff wrote.

He explained that his father had been battling with dementia, which he believes was caused by chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

Hulk Hogan led tributes online to the legendary wrestler and said that he was "slammed" by the news of Orndoff's death on Monday.

To the WWE Universe, Orndorff was recognized as Mr Wonderful.

The former WWE superstar also competed for World Championship Wrestling under the same name.

He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005 and the National Wrestling Alliance Hall of Fame in 2009.

Sports announcer Tony Schiavone took to Twitter to express his condolences after Paul Orndorff's death.

"I loved Paul Orndorff. First as a fan in Mid Atlantic Championship Wrestling in the 70s, then working with him in WCW in the 90’s," his message began.

"We have lost a true superstars in Wrestling. He was a tremendous performer & trainer at the WCW Power Plant. Rest In Peace, my friend."

I loved Paul Orndorff. First as a fan in Mid Atlantic Championship Wrestling in the 70s, then working with him in WCW in the 90’s.We have lost a true superstars in Wrestling. He was a tremendous performer & trainer at the WCW Power Plant. Rest In Peace, my friend. pic.twitter.com/WV56MhagIm

Paul Orndorff's son Travis announced the tragic news of his father's death with a heartbreaking Instagram post.

He wrote: "It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of my father, Paul Parlette Orndorff Jr.

"He is better known as 'Mr. #1derful' Paul Orndorff. 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.

"He was an amazing father that showed me more love than I ever deserved. I love you Daddy."

Ronda Maxwell is Paul Orndorff's wife.

They have been together for over 50 years as she was his high school girlfriend.

The pair met at Brandon High School.

Fellow WWE wrestler known by his wrestling name "The Natural" tweeted out in response to Orndorff's death.

"Man, I had so many matches and learned a ton with #PaulOrndorff," he wrote.

Paul Orndorff, 71, suffered an arm and neck injury during a wrestling match with Hulk Hogan. 

The injury was left untreated for too long and the nerve damage caused his right bicep to atrophy.

Orndorff spent time in rehab trying to recuperate his injured arm, but to no avail appeared smaller than the other one.

The injury forced him to retire in 2000.

Orndorff joined WWE back in 1983.

While he was here, he was given the name of Mr Wonderful by his then-manager, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper.

His career highlights included competing alongside the likes of Hulk Hogan and Mr T.

Paul Orndorff was 71 years old when he died.

He had a long, successful wrestling career before his death.

In 1988, he left WWE for WCW, where he captured the WCW World Television Championship and the WCW World Tag Team Championships with Paul Roma.

He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005 and the National Wrestling Alliance Hall of Fame in 2009.

Sadly, injuries caused Mr Wonderful to step away from the ring in 2000.

Renowned commentator Jim Ross paid tribute to the late wrestler Paul Orndorff on Monday.

"Paul Orndorff was a true, man’s man. A stud," he wrote on Twitter.

"Condolences to Paul’s family and friends."

"He was so much more than a wrestler," Paul Orndorff’s son, Travis, captioned an Instagram post.

"Thank you Tommy and Ashley for the memories."

Ric Flair, a retired professional wrestler, took to Twitter after learning of Paul Orndorff's passing.

He tweeted: "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’s death was confirmed by his son, Travis, on Monday.

He shared a photo of himself hugging his dad in announcing the passing of his father.

On July 12, Travis, Orndorff, Mr Wonderful’s son, confirmed his father’s death after battling dementia and head trauma.

“It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of my father, Paul Parlette Orndorff Jr,” Travis wrote.

It is not clear if an autopsy has been done yet on the wrestler.

The wrestler joined WWE back in 1983.

While he was here, he gained his nickname Mr Wonderful by his then-manager Rowdy Roddy Piper.

Adam "Edge" Copeland, a Canadian professional wrestler, tweeted following the news of Orndorff's death.

His tweet read: "Paul Orndorff was the first wrestler I hated & feared as a child. I was at the Big Event in Toronto."

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. pic.twitter.com/h7crlyHme6

"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."

Ronda Maxwell is Paul Orndorff's wife and now his widow.

They were together for over 50 years as she was his high school girlfriend.

The pair met at Brandon High School.

Orndorff’s family created a GoFundMe page in order to raise money for the icon’s funeral.

On the page, Travis’s wife, Amayou Smith, wrote: “Hi my name is Amayou, my husband is Travis Orndorff.

“As some of you may know we are preparing for Paul ‘Mr Wonderful’ Orndorff’s final farewell.

“Travis wants to give everyone, including fans, the opportunity to Donate to Paul’s final expenses. All donations and love gifts are appreciated.”

The page has raised a total of $8,765 out of its $15,000 goal so far.

I loved Paul Orndorff. First as a fan in Mid Atlantic Championship Wrestling in the 70s, then working with him in WCW in the 90’s.We have lost a true superstars in Wrestling. He was a tremendous performer & trainer at the WCW Power Plant. Rest In Peace, my friend. pic.twitter.com/WV56MhagIm

"In memory of WWE Hall of Famer "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff," WWE shared on Twitter.

In memory of WWE Hall of Famer "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff. #WWERaw pic.twitter.com/AsSTuPZ5Ym

Fellow legendary wrestler Hulk Hogan took to Twitter after learning about Paul Orndorff's death.

He wrote: "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."

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

His son announced the sad news in an Instagram post.

Travis wrote: "It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of my father, Paul Parlette Orndorff Jr. He is better known as ‘Mr. #1derful’ Paul Orndorff."

"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. He was an amazing father that showed me more love than I ever deserved. I love you Daddy."

Ronda Maxwell and Paul Orndorff shared two kids together.

They had two grown sons, Paul III and Travis.

His son Travis announced the news of his father's death with a heartbreaking Instagram post.

He wrote: "It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of my father, Paul Parlette Orndorff Jr."

"He is better known as 'Mr. #1derful' Paul Orndorff. 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."

The wrestling legend married his high school sweetheart.

He and Ronda Maxwell Orndorff got married back in 1971 and have been together ever since, according to Distractify.

Shortly after news broke that the wrestling great had died, WWE published an article commemorating Orndorff.

“WWE is saddened to learn that WWE Hall of Famer Paul Orndorff, known to fans as 'Mr. Wonderful,' passed away at the age of 71,” they wrote.

At the end of the article, which included photographs of Orndorff during his career, they extended condolences to his family and friends.

The former WWE superstar also wrestled for World Championship Wrestling as Mr Wonderful.

Orndorff exploded on the WWE scene in the 1980s, paired with manager Bobby Heenan.

Throughout the 80s, Orndorff became a star, often going head-to-head with the Immortal Hulk Hogan in the main event of the first Wrestlemania and Survivors Series

'Mr. Wonderful' Paul Orndorff dies at 71

KCCI Des Moines 13 July, 2021 - 07:59am

The latest breaking updates, delivered straight to your email inbox.

WWE Hall of Famer Paul Orndorff, known to many as "Mr. Wonderful," has died at the age of 71.

Before Orndorff participated in WWE, he was a running back at the University of Tampa. He joined Mid-Southern Wrestling after a short amount of time in the World Football League.

Orndorff joined WWE in 1983 and made his debut Jan. 23, 1984.

Years later, he would go up against Hulk Hogan and Mr. T in the main event of WrestleMania I.

After his time in the WWE, he became a trainer for WCW's Power Plant.

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Paul Orndorff, wrestling's Mr. Wonderful and former Saints draft pick, dead at 71

crescentcitysports.com 12 July, 2021 - 04:45pm

Paul Orndorff, who was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the 12th round of the 1973 NFL Draft out of Tampa, has passed away in Fayetteville, Georgia. Orndorff was 71.

While Orndorff never played a down in the regular season for the Saints after failing his physical, he went on to make his name in professional wrestling as a physical force, starting with Mid-South Wrestling in 1976 where he won a national title before becoming a World Wrestling Federation star after spending a brief time in the World Football League with the Jacksonville Sharks.

Orndorff was both the good guy and the villain in wrestling and was affectionately known as “Mr. Wonderful,” a nickname given to him by his manager “Rowdy” Roddy Piper.

Orndorff went on to the World Wrestling Federation where he became a champion.

After retiring, Orndorff remained in the sport by training younger wrestlers. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005 and the National Wrestling Alliance Hall of Fame in 2009.

Orndorff, who reportedly suffered from dementia in recent times, was a native of Brandon, Florida.

Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…

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