Since we learned about his death at age 71 earlier today (July 12), wrestling companies and wrestlers who worked with Paul Orndorff have been saying goodbye to the WWE Hall of Famer.
Those who learned from watching him and were inspired to follow in his footsteps are remembering the star of the ‘80s and ‘90s as well.
Here’s a sampling, starting with WWE’s obituary:
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.
Orndorff was a standout running back at the University of Tampa and joined Mid-Southern Wrestling after a brief stint in the World Football League. Early rivalries with Jerry Lawler, Ted Dibiase and Jake “The Snake” Roberts gave way to NWA North American Heavyweight and National Heavyweight Championship reigns.
Orndorff joined WWE in 1983 and was tabbed with the “Mr. Wonderful” nickname by his then-manager “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. With his awe-insipring in-ring style and umatched swagger, “Mr. Wonderful” turned his talent into a prototype for the modern-day Superstar. He made a memorable debut on January 23, 1984, with a win over Salvatore Bellomo at Madison Square Garden and launched right into the main event picture with matches against World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan. Mr. Wonderful achieved sports-entertainment immortality by competing alongside Piper to face Hogan and Mr. T in the main event of WrestleMania I.
In the early 1990s, Mr. Wonderful began competing for WCW. It was here that Orndorff captured his first major championship when he defeated Erik Watts in a tournament final on March 2, 1993, to become Television Champion. Orndorff’s championship reigns did not stop there, however, as he was also a two-time WCW Tag Team Champion with Paul Roma in 1994.
When Orndorff’s in-ring days came to an end, the former master of the piledriver became a trainer for WCW’s Power Plant. As a trainer, Orndorff molded a generation of promising stars, including Mark Jindrak, Stacy Keibler and Goldberg.
WWE extends its condolences to Orndorff’s family and friends.
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— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) July 12, 2021
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— The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) July 12, 2021
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! pic.twitter.com/5dFDmqZh2N— Ric Flair® (@RicFlairNatrBoy) July 12, 2021
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.— Ted DiBiase (@MDMTedDiBiase) July 12, 2021
Rest In Peace my friend. pic.twitter.com/wmmAxtNpA5
AEW joins the wrestling world in mourning the passing of a true legend, “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff. Our thoughts are with his family, his friends and his fans. pic.twitter.com/3GpYkRpWfS— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) July 12, 2021
Paul Orndorff was a true, man’s man. A stud.— Jim Ross (@JRsBBQ) July 12, 2021
Condolences to Paul’s family and friends. https://t.co/e1wDZVGEcO
Rest in Peace Mr Wonderful.. pic.twitter.com/TqeezPbQtH— CauliflowerAlleyClub (@CACReunion) July 12, 2021
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 pic.twitter.com/0YgngeUX2P— Mick Foley (@RealMickFoley) July 12, 2021
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— Adam (Edge) Copeland (@EdgeRatedR) July 12, 2021
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.— player/coach (@CMPunk) July 12, 2021
RIp Mr Wonderful Paul Orndorff. One of the first “bad guys” I gravitated towards as a very young fan. Godspeed sir.— Frankie Kazarian (@FrankieKazarian) July 12, 2021
We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of pro wrestling legend "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff. We offer our sincere condolences to his friends and family.— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) July 12, 2021