WWE Hall of Famer, and WrestleMania I main eventer, Paul Orndorff has died at age 71. His son Travis shared the sad news on Instagram earlier today (July 12).
Orndorff was an ally of Roddy Piper and a thorn in the side of Hulk Hogan throughout the then-WWF’s 1980s boom period. “Mr. Wonderful”, as he was known, teamed with Hot Rod against Hogan & Mr. T in the match & feud the event that changed the business, Mar. 31, 1985’s WrestleMania in Madison Square Garden, was built around.
That is probably many’s indelible memory of Orndorff, but he was a fixture atop the card for Vince McMahon in the ‘80s, often working with Bobby Heenan and against Hogan.
He came to WWF from the NWA, and would go on to work for WCW in the ‘90s. There he won the Television and Tag titles (with Paul Roma), but a nagging neck injury eventually caused one of his arms to atrophy. He retired in 2000.
In retirement, he survived a bout of lymph node cancer, but health problems persisted. Orndorff was part of the dismissed class action lawsuits against WWE which claimed the company hadn’t properly handled CTE and concussion-issues in the past.
Please join the entire Cageside Seats community in sending our condolences to Travis Orndorff, and all of his father’s family & friends. If you’d like to contribute to Mr. Wonderful’s funeral expenses, Travis has a fundraising page set-up here.