Deadline.com has just reported that one of the greats from the World Wrestling Federation’s heyday in the 1980s, “Mr. Wonderful,” Paul Orndorff, has died.
Travis, his son, made the news on Instagram on Monday, where he has been documenting his father’s recent health problems.
“It is with tremendous sorrow that I announce the death of my father, Paul Parlette Orndorff Jr,” the younger Orndorff wrote. “Mr. #1derful” Paul Orndorff is his stage name.”
Orndorff was immediately identifiable in the ring because to his remarkable size and blond hair, but his son claims that friends and family adored him for another reason.
Orndorff came up in the southern wrestling circuit, and signed with the World Wrestling Federation in late 1983, where “Rowdy” Roddy Piper as 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 after that bout. He fought Hulk Hogan for the title as the Hulkamania wave began to break. He also fought the Intercontinental Champion Tito Santana. Orndorff and Piper often faced Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka and “The Tonga Kid” in tag team competition.
Pauls’s son Travis Orndorff posted a very emotional post on his Instagram. See below.