'Great sadness': WWE rocked by tragic death of 'Mr Wonderful'

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·Sports Editor
·4-min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
'Mr Wonderful' Paul Orndorff, pictured here in the WWE.
'Mr Wonderful' Paul Orndorff died at age 71. Image: Getty/WWE

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.

BRUTAL: Rival's wife caught in shock act after McGregor injury

'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.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

"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.

Paul Orndorff, pictured here at the Chiller Theatre Expo Fall in New Jersey in 2018.
Paul Orndorff at the Chiller Theatre Expo Fall in New Jersey in 2018. (Photo by Bobby Bank/Getty Images)

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."

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.
This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.
This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.
This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.
This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.
This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.
This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.
This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

with Yahoo Sports US

Watch 'Mind Games', the new series from Yahoo Sport Australia exploring the often brutal mental toil elite athletes go through in pursuit of greatness:

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting