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Thread: RIP Mr. Wonderful

  1. #1
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    RIP Mr. Wonderful

    Paul Orndorff died the other day. Gets my vote for greatest pro wrestler never to win a major world championship. He was a legit. Great article on him that goes into Tangerine Bowl-winning days at the University of Tampa and some of his legendary tough guy credentials (including beating up a whole pile of cops): https://www.theringer.com/2021/7/14/...f-wwf-obituary.
    Look, we're doing sustainability.


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  3. #2
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    Re: RIP Mr. Wonderful

    Times Obit

    Paul Orndorff, Wrestler Known as Mr. Wonderful, Dies at 71
    By
    Jesus Jiménez
    The New York Times
    3 min
    View Original

    The wrestler competed in the first WrestleMania, held in 1985 at Madison Square Garden.
    The wrestler Paul Orndorff, a.k.a. Mr. Wonderful, getting the best of Dustin Rhodes in a 1995 match.Credit...John Barrett/PHOTOlink, via Alamy

    By and

    Paul Orndorff, a bronzed, brawny star of professional wrestling during its boom period of the 1980s and ’90s who became known for athleticism in the ring and arrogant charisma in interviews, died on Monday at his son Travis’s home in Fayetteville, Ga. He was 71.

    The cause was dementia, his wife, Ronda, said.

    Mr. Orndorff, who went by the nickname Mr. Wonderful, projected a brand of jock supremacy. He had been a gym rat since around age 13, he had a jawline as sharp as a mountain ridge, and his hair retained a bowl-cut coif even in the midst of battle. His signature trunks bore “Mr. #1derful” on their posterior.

    “Every time that I look at the cameras,” he once declared, “another woman leaves her husband for Mr. Wonderful.”

    In 1985, he joined Mr. T, Roddy Piper and Hulk Hogan in the main event of WrestleMania I, an event that kicked off an enduring franchise for the World Wrestling Federation, known today as World Wrestling Entertainment. (Muhammad Ali served as a referee, and Liberace rang the opening bell.)

    During the era of Mr. Hogan’s superstardom, or “Hulkamania” as it was known, Mr. Orndorff frequently fought either alongside or against Mr. Hogan, showing himself to be a rare figure able to match the epic braggadocio associated with wrestling’s main attraction. A steel cage brawl of theirs was described as “a clash of superegos.”

    An announcer at WrestleMania I compared Mr. Orndorff’s physique to that of “a Greek god,” and he proved himself one of wrestling’s most capable acrobats. In a 1985 bout with Mr. Piper, he found himself pinned, with Mr. Piper’s full weight bearing down on his chest. Muscles tensed, Mr. Orndorff lifted himself almost upright, flipped Mr. Piper onto his back and drove him down to the mat in a single continuous motion.

    A heel who relished provoking crowds, Mr. Orndorff had to cope with fans who tried to overturn the cab he was riding in, slashed his car tires and hurled a whiskey bottle at him while he was in the ring, giving him 27 stitches around the lip.

    “The people went cuckoo,” he recalled in a 2018 video interview with the wrestling historian Matthew Merz. “But — you know it — the more they did it, the more money I made.”
    Mr. Orndorff at his induction into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005.Credit...Chris Farina/Corbis, via Getty Images

    Paul Parlette Orndorff Jr. was born on Oct. 29, 1949, in Brandon, Fla. He grew up in a trailer that he estimated was 22 feet long with his father, a butcher. His mother, Eileen (Speak) Orndorff, left the family when Paul was young.

    As a boy, he started going to a Tampa Bay gym run by a man named Harry Smith. Paul marveled at Mr. Smith’s arms, which were about 20 inches thick. “He was Mr. America,” he recalled in the 2018 interview. “When I saw him, I went, ‘I want to be like that.’”

    He played running back at the University of Tampa, and graduated in 1972. He was selected by the New Orleans Saints in the 12th round of the 1973 N.F.L. draft, but pursued a career in professional wrestling instead. He had already participated in street fights for money during his youth.

    Mr. Orndorff won his first championship, the Memphis territory’s Mid-Southern Heavyweight title, in 1977, according to the University of Tampa Hall of Fame, which inducted him in 1986. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005, in the same class as Mr. Hogan.

    In Instagram posts before Mr. Orndorff’s death, his son Travis alluded to concerns about brain damage he had suffered from wrestling.

    Three days before Mr. Orndorff died, Travis posted a picture of one of his father’s notebooks on Instagram with a phone number.

    “If you can’t read it, it says ‘son, I think.’ I haven’t had that phone number since 2005,” Travis Orndorff wrote. “I hope the world will start to take notice of the brain damage and the consequences of this lifestyle.”

    Mr. Orndorff was involved in several cases filed by a group of former wrestlers against World Wrestling Entertainment. The former wrestlers claimed that they had suffered neurological damage, including chronic traumatic encephalopathy, “as a result of physical trauma they experienced while performing.”

    The cases were dismissed because the claims were filed after a statute of limitations expired or because they were “frivolous,” court documents show.

    Mr. Orndorff married Ronda Maxwell in 1968. In addition to her and his son Travis, he is survived by another son, Paul III; a sister, Patricia Orndorff; a brother, Terry; eight grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren.

    In spite of his concerns about brain damage, Mr. Orndorff expressed pride in the 2018 interview about his rough years of sports and violence. “I’ve had concussions and stuff, broke my neck and stuff,” he said, “and I regret none of that.”
    © 2021 The New York Times Company.

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    Re: RIP Mr. Wonderful

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    Gets my vote for greatest pro wrestler never to win a major world championship. .
    Roddy ?

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    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: RIP Mr. Wonderful

    Quote Originally Posted by Mutaman View Post
    Roddy ?
    Roddy would be my second pick, but Orndorff could really go in the ring. I got to see him live a few times and he was a different level - seamless, precise, explosive.
    Look, we're doing sustainability.

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  7. #5
    Knowledge Is Good Big Klu's Avatar
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    Re: RIP Mr. Wonderful

    Piper and Orndorff never won a championship because they didn't have to win a title to get over with the crowd. They could generate huge heat when they were heels, and big pops when they were faces. They didn't need a gold strap to get an audience reaction.
    Eric Stratton, Rush Chairman. Damn glad to meet ya.

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    M2 (07-15-2021),Mutaman (07-15-2021)

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    Member JaxRed's Avatar
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    Re: RIP Mr. Wonderful

    I thought Kevin O'Leary died.
    Bud Selig: "I'm the worst commissioner ever"
    Rob Manfred: "Hold my beer"

    https://redsintelligence.com/smforum/index.php

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    Re: RIP Mr. Wonderful

    Sad news.

  11. #8
    Member adkindo's Avatar
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    Re: RIP Mr. Wonderful

    The match I will always remember is the Saturday Night Main Event cage match against Hogan in '87. At the time in the WWF, the winner was whoever could climb out of the cage first and they basically got out at the same time....but of course Hogan was announced the winner. Me and my friends argued about that for weeks.

    Also, loved Ventura claiming Hogan wore an "illegal headband" into the ring.

    https://www.wwe.com/videos/hulk-hoga...january-3-1987
    “The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”
    ― Marcus Aurelius

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    M2 (07-15-2021),UKFlounder (07-15-2021)


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