Did Mr Wonderful die?
(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. KLAS - 8 News NowPaul Orndorff, wrestling legend known as ‘Mr. Wonderful,’ dies at 71
His death was confirmed via Instagram on Monday by his son Travis, who 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’s son had previously said his father was suffering from dementia that may have been the result of the progressive brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.
Recognizable to World Wrestling Federation fans for his impressive build and blond hair, Orndorff famously faced off against Hulk Hogan during the “Hulkamania” heyday.
Nicknamed and managed by “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, the Brandon, Fla., native joined the WWE in 1983 after being a standout running back at the University of Tampa. After a brief stint in the World Football League, he joined Mid-Southern Wrestling.
Orndorff’s professional rivalries with Jerry Lawler, Ted Dibiase and Jake “The Snake” Roberts led to NWA North American Heavyweight and National Heavyweight Championship reigns.
He achieved immortality by competing alongside Piper to battle Hogan and Mr. T in the main event of WrestleMania I in 1985.
“With his awe-inspiring in-ring style and umatched swagger, “Mr. Wonderful” turned his talent into a prototype for the modern-day Superstar,” the WWE said with the announcement of his death.
Orndorff, who retired from pro wrestling in 2000, suffered from arm and neck injuries that caused his right arm muscle cells to degenerate and led to the end of his in-ring career.
In 2005, he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
He overcame cancer several years ago after being diagnosed in 2011. After suffering physical and financial setbacks, Orndorff was the subject of a social media movement that helped save his home through the crowdsourcing site GoFundMe in 2019.
Medical costs associated with treating Stage 4 lymph node cancer had reportedly depleted his savings years before leading to failure to pay property taxes of his home in Fayetteville, Ga., home.
His dementia was first revealed in June, when it was reported he’d been placed in a medical facility.
Orndorff was part of a class action lawsuit against WWE in 2016 that alleged wrestlers suffered “long term neurological injuries” and that WWE “fraudulently misrepresented and concealed” the nature of the injuries. The suit was dismissed in 2018.
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31 December, 1969 - 06:00pm
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The Varsity Blonds are All Elite.
Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison are officially signed with AEW. The tag team duo has officially signed to All Elite Wrestling after being a huge part of the promotion through the pandemic. Pillman had shared the news earlier on Instagram.
Pillman, prior to AEW was signed to Major League Wrestling, where he was paired with Teddy Hart and Davey Boy Smith. Fightful Select reported that Pillman was simply waiting for his MLW deal to expire before putting pen to paper for AEW.
Fightful reported this past weekend that Brian Pillman would be full-time with AEW after his MLW deal had ended, but he's not the only one. AEW sources have confirmed that Griff Garrison has also signed a full-time contract with All Elite Wrestling. The move was expected by most within the company, but one person high up in AEW told us they wanted to do their best to match up the full-time deals as far as dates go. Both Pillman and Garrison were on tiered deals prior, but it was considered a foregone conclusion they'd both get full-time contracts
Garrison had previously stated he had signed a deal and now, it's official.
Blonds might have more fun, but it’s no more fun and games for the Blonds! We’ve got ONE THING on our minds and that is maintaining a spot as the top ranked tag team in the company and ultimately challenging, yet again, for the AEW TAG TEAM TITLES!!! -------------- https://t.co/KL57cbDtLH
This report first appeared on our premium Fightful Select service. Subscribe to support our exclusive and independent coverage of professional wrestling. You'll get access to exclusive news, and dozens of additional podcasts.
You can see contract info from all corners of the pro wrestling globe in Fightful’s resources section.
12 July, 2021 - 05:48pm
Mr. Wonderful Remembered as Hulk Hogan and the Wrestling World Pay Tribute to Paul Orndorff
Hulk Hogan, Edge, Kane, and the Iron Sheik are among the many wrestlers paying tribute to Paul Orndorff after the WWE Hall of Famer's death.
One man who was quick to pay tribute online is Hulk Hogan. Previously, Hogan and Paul Orndorff had been foes in the 1980s. They even wrestled in the main event of the first WrestleMania with Hogan teaming with Mr. T to take on Orndorff and Roddy Piper. Acknowledging the news of Orndorff's passing, Hogan posted a heartfelt message on Twitter.
"Just got slammed with the Paul Orndorff news," Hulk Hogan tweeted. "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 U4Life HH."
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
Many other pro wrestling legends are also paying tribute to their fallen friend. Ted DiBiase, whom many wrestling fans remember as The Million Dollar Man, said in a tweet: "My heart and my prayers go out to the family of my friend and colleague, Mr. Wonderful, Paul Orndorff. Great wrestler and many great memories. Rest In Peace my friend."
Another tweet by The Iron Sheik reads: "PAUL ORNDORFF. MY BROTHER. YOU WERE THE TOUGHEST. WE TRAIN TOGETHER. WE RIDE TOGETHER. YOU WERE EXCELLENT BUBBA. I AM SO SAD I LOVE YOU FOREVER REST IN PEACE."
PAUL ORNDORFF. MY BROTHER. YOU WERE THE TOUGHEST. WE TRAIN TOGETHER. WE RIDE TOGETHER. YOU WERE EXCELLENT BUBBA. I AM SO SAD I LOVE YOU FOREVER REST IN PEACE pic.twitter.com/RXovORjxVp
WWE main eventer Edge, who was inspired by Orndorff as a kid, said on Twitter, "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 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
"Paul Orndorff was a true, man's man. A stud," tweeted WWE Hall of Famer and current AEW commentator Jim Ross. "Condolences to Paul's family and friends."
"Paul Orndorff, one of the all-time greats, has passed away. RIP, Mr. Wonderful," tweeted WWE Hall of Famer Kane, aka Glenn Jacobs.
Paul Orndorff, one of the all-time greats, has passed away. RIP, Mr. Wonderful.
Michael PS Hayes, aka Doc Hendrix, said in another tweet: "I am extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Paul Orndorff. I am proud to say that I shared the ring with him a number of times. My prayers and sympathies go out to his family, friends and fans."
Tommy Dreamer tweeted, "I've watched Paul Orndorff my entire life I've paid to see him wrestle so many times Never saw him have a bad match ever Truly Wonderful."
And MLW wrestler Richards Wesley added, "Thank you giving me my start in professional wrestling. You were hard on me but taught me well and accepted nothing less than my best every time. Rest In Peace to my first trainer and one of greatest wrestlers to lace up a pair of boots: Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff."
Many, many fans are also honoring Mr. Wonderful on social media. As one of the most memorable wrestlers of his time, he will certainly never be forgotten. Rest in peace, Paul Orndorff. You can check out some additional tribute posts to the WWE Hall of Famer below.
#RIP "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff
One of my favorites as a kid, I got to work with him as an adult and I loved him. One of the greatest to ever step in the ring. RIP Mr Wonderful Paul Orndorff. pic.twitter.com/LnEGRnzwTh
Our thoughts and condolences go out to the family and friends of the Legendary Paul Orndorff pic.twitter.com/OxZmWsYj19
Such a bummer to hear of Paul Orndorff’s passing. I never got to meet him, but was lucky enough that my brother met him a few years ago and got him to sign my card of him. Definitely something to treasure. One of the all-time greats ???? pic.twitter.com/UiaKxgARW4
One of my first favorite wrestlers. Rest easy, Paul Orndorff. I hope you’re up there somewhere giving some jabroni the best piledriver in the business. pic.twitter.com/Dfq7CTOq7M
12 July, 2021 - 02:48pm
“Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff, one of professional wrestling’s biggest stars of the 1980s, has died. He was 71.
Orndorff’s death was announced by his son Travis in an Instagram post on Monday.
“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,” Travis wrote.
“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.”
Orndorff’s son had previously said that his father was suffering from dementia, which Travis believed was the result of the brain disease CTE.
In 1985, Orndorff was part of one of the most pivotal moments in pro wrestling history, teaming with Roddy Piper in a tag team match against Hulk Hogan and actor Mr. T at the first WrestleMania.
Orndorff, who was managed by Bobby Heenan in the WWF, was one of Hogan’s most memorable opponents and their feud was among the most financially successful live event programs in WWE history. Hogan and Orndorff headlined WWF’s The Big Event at Toronto’s Exhibition Stadium in 1986 and later faced off in a steel cage match on an episode of Saturday Night’s Main Event that aired on NBC in 1987.
Orndorff was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005.
Orndorff was part of a class action lawsuit that was filed against WWE in 2016 by a group of wrestlers claiming the company failed to protect them from concussions. The suit was dismissed in 2018.
Before his time as a pro wrestler, Orndorff played college football as a running back for the University of Tampa. He was drafted by the Saints in the 12th round of the 1973 NFL draft and went on to play one season in the World Football League.