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The wrestling world is mourning the tragic death of WWE Hall of Famer Paul Orndorff, better known as 'Mr Wonderful'.
Orndorff's son announced the devastating news on Tuesday. He was 71.
'DEVASTATED': Boxing legend announces tragic death of son
"It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of my father, Paul Parlette Orndorff Jr," Travis Orndorff wrote alongside a photo of him and his fatherr.
"Most of you will remember him for his physique. Many will remember his intensity. But if I could only get you to understand and see his heart.
"He will always be Pop, Paw Paw, and Daddy at home. And as much as many of you hated him as a wrestler, he absolutely loved you for it.
"He was an amazing father that showed me more love than I ever deserved. I love you Daddy."
His cause of death is not yet known, but he has battled numerous health issues in recent years and had been living in an assisted living facility while suffering from dementia.
Orndorff started out as a running back at Tampa University, and was drafted in the 12th round by the New Orleans Saints in 1973.
He never played with the Saints and instead launched his wrestling career three years later.
WWE rocked by tragic death of Mr Wonderful
Orndorff joined WWE in 1983, and quickly started an incredible rivalry with former heavyweight champion Hulk Hogan.
Orndorff also competed in the very first WrestleMania in 1985 with “Rowdy” Roddy Piper in a match against Hogan and Mr. T at Madison Square Garden.
He suffered numerous injuries throughout his career, and was part of a class action lawsuit against WWE claiming it failed to protect them from repeated head trauma and concussions.
That suit was dismissed in 2018.
Orndorff left WWE in 1988 and eventually retired from pro wrestling in 2000.
He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005.
Hogan was among hundreds of wrestlers and fans to pay tribute to Orndorff on social media.
"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," he wrote.
Commentator Jim Ross wrote: "Paul Orndorff was a true, man’s man. A stud. Condolences to Paul’s family and friends."
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