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Paul Orndorff (1949–2021), pro wrestling’s “Mr. Wonderful”

by Linnea Crowther

Paul Orndorff was a pro wrestler known as “Mr. Wonderful,” known for his WWF feud with Hulk Hogan.

WWE Hall of Famer

Orndorff joined the WWF (now WWE) in 1983, working with “Rowdy” Roddy Piper (1954–2015) as his manager. Taking Mr. Wonderful as his nickname, he challenged Hogan for the world title in 1984, though Orndorff lost. The following year, Orndorff and Piper took on Hogan and Mr. T in a popular match at the first WrestleMania. Orndorff later teamed up with Hogan before beginning another feud with the star. After retiring from the WWF in 1988, Orndorff wrestled with WCW for several years. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005. In 2016, Orndorff was part of a class action suit against the WWE alleging that they failed to care for wrestlers as they suffered “long term neurological injuries” from the sport.

Notable quote

“You have to realize, whatever I do I am a fanatic. I take passion in what I do. If it revolves around sports and things like that, I mean, that is up my ally. God made me to be a sports player. He didn’t make me to be a professor or any of that other crap.” —from a 2009 interview for Wrestling Inc.

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Tributes to Paul Orndorff

Full obituary: Los Angeles Times

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