See Hulk Hogan’s Touching Tribute to WWE’s Legendary Mr. Wonderful, Paul Orndorff, Who Dies at 71

Hulk Hogan and Paul Orndorff
Jerod Harris/Getty Images;WWE

Tributes are pouring in from across the wrestling world for “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff, who died on Monday at the age of 71.

“It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of my father, Paul Parlette Orndorff Jr. He is better known as ‘Mr. #1derful’ Paul Orndorff,” Orndorff’s son Travis wrote on Instagram. “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.”

Travis had previously said that his father was suffering from dementia. “As much as many of you hated him as a wrestler, he absolutely loved you for it,” Travis continued. “He was an amazing father that showed me more love than I ever deserved. I love you Daddy.”

 

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Orndorff was one of the biggest wrestling stars of the 1980s, competing in WWE (then WWF) and later WCW. During his time with WWE, he was managed by the legendary Bobby “The Brain” Heenan and squared off in several bouts against Hulk Hogan, including the main event of the first-ever WrestleMania, where he teamed Roddy Piper against Hogan and The A-Team star Mr. T.

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The star hasn't appeared on WWE since losing to Drew McIntyre at WrestleMania in April 2020.

Following the news of Orndorff’s passing, Hogan and many others paid their respects to the iconic grappler. “Just got slammed with the Paul Orndorff news,” Hogan wrote on Twitter. “RIP my brother, love you and thank you for always making me fight for everything in our matches, heaven just got even more Wonderful.” He also shared a photo of them together during a tour of Japan.

Orndorff, who had been wrestling professionally since 1976, ended his run as a full-time performer in 1995 and retired fully from in-ring competition in 2000 due to arm atrophy. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005 and the National Wrestling Alliance Hall of Fame in 2009. He also survived a battle with cancer in 2011.

Check out more tributes from other wrestlers and stars of the wrestling industry below.