First WWE WrestleMania Headliner ‘Mr. Wonderful’ Paul Orndorff Passes Away

Published 07/13/2021, 1:15 AM EDT


The world of professional wrestling lost a huge gem this Sunday in the form on WWE Hall of Famer Paul Orndorff. ‘Mr. Wonderful’ was a mainstay in the pro wrestling world starting in the mid-70s all the way to the start of a new millennium.

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During his 24-year-long career, ‘Mr. Wonderful’ wrestled for many wrestling promotions in the United States, including the likes of NWA, WWE, WCW, and a lot more. He also won several championships and was one of the finest heels of his time. He had a natural ability of drawing heat unlike any other.

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The legacy of WWE Hall of Famer ‘Mr. Wonderful’ Paul Orndorff will live on forever

Last night, Paul Orndorff’s son, Travis Orndorff took to Instagram to share the news of his father’s passing. He wrote a long, heartfelt caption breaking the news.

Travis wrote that many will remember Mr. Wonderful for his physique and unmatched intensity. However, he would’ve loved for the entire world to know how great a man at heart he was. Travis added that Paul Orndorff loved all his fans for hating him so much during his wrestling days (Paul was a heel!)

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The cause of death has not been revealed yet. However, it is no secret ‘Mr. Wonderful’ was suffering from dementia and was at a assisted living facility. A couple of months ago, his son posted a video of his current condition and it definitely brought a tear to everyone’s eye.

Before becoming a pro wrestling, Paul Orndorff played professional football. However, he made a change in his career after failing the physical following the 1973 NFL Draft.

Orndorff made his pro wrestling debut in 1976 at Mid-South Wrestling. From there, Orndorff grew as a top performer and his made way to the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), where he won the NWA World Tag Team Championship with another WWE Hall of Famer, Jimmy ‘Superfly’ Snuka.

Paul Orndorff’s success in the wrestling scene brought him to the WWF (now WWE) where he became a major heel, aligning himself with Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan. He worked major feuds with Hulk Hogan in WWF. In fact, he and ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper faced the Hulkster and Mr. T in the main event of the first-ever WrestleMania in history!

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WWE inducted Paul Orndorff into their Hall of Fame in 2005. Aside from being a terrific wrestling, he was also a real warrior. Orndorff beat Cancer in 2011 and even wrestled in 2017 for Canada Wrestling’s Elite at the age of 67! Yes, you read it right! The best part? He won the match for his team.

All in all, ‘Mr. Wonderful’ was truly wonderful. And his loss to the pro wrestling world is a massive one. May the legend’s soul Rest in Peace. Godspeed Sir.

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Ishan Chavan

759 articles

Ishan Chavan is a WWE and AEW author at EssentiallySports. Being a Journalism graduate, Ishan has over six years of experience in the Media Production Industry, having worked with Viacom 18's streaming platform, Voot. A wrestling fan since childhood, Ishan's favorite wrestlers are Daniel Bryan, AJ Styles, and Chris Jericho as he feels these three have the perfect blend of wrestling and promo skills, especially Jericho.

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