RIP Mr. Wonderful

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MMAPlaywright

First 100
First 100
Jan 18, 2015
4,858
9,008
Paul Orndorff, Saints draft pick turned wrestling star, dies at 71


Paul Orndorff, a running back who had a short career in the NFL and a much longer career in professional wrestling, has died at the age of 71.


At the University of Tampa, Orndorff scored 21 career touchdowns and gained more than 2,000 all-purpose yards. Although Tampa no longer has a football program, it was a hotbed of talent in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and several of Orndorff’s teammates were drafted. Orndorff himself went to the Saints in the 12th round of the 1973 NFL draft.


But Orndorff never got on the field with the Saints, or with the Chiefs, who also gave him a brief shot in the NFL. He briefly played in the World Football League, but his pro football career never really took off.


After trading the gridiron for the squared circle, however, Orndorff thrived. He had success in the 1970s and early 1980s with Mid-South Wrestling and the National Wrestling Alliance, and in 1983 he signed with the World Wrestling Federation.


In the WWF, Orndorff got the nickname “Mr. Wonderful” and often shared the ring with Hulk Hogan, both as his tag team partner and, after a storyline that saw Orndorff betray Hogan, as his opponent for the WWF heavyweight championship. The first WrestleMania saw Orndorff in the main event, teaming with “Rowdy” Roddy Piper against Hogan and Mr. T. A later steel cage match between Orndorff and Hogan would become one of the WWF’s most-watched matches on television.


Although his football career was short, millions of fans will remember Orndorff for his post-football career.
 

Dick Niaz

"Be available for life to happen" - Bill Murray
Jan 14, 2018
9,246
18,955
Crazy, I was going to go with Mr. Wonderful for my avatar pic a couple weeks back but didn’t think anyone would remember him. Crazy to see he has passed. I used to love him as a kid and I still remember playing with his bendable WWF action figure.
RIP
 

JakePaulsBeard

The Most Consistent Motherfucker You Know
Jul 22, 2015
49,902
47,031
Crazy, I was going to go with Mr. Wonderful for my avatar pic a couple weeks back but didn’t think anyone would remember him. Crazy to see he has passed. I used to love him as a kid and I still remember playing with his bendable WWF action figure.
RIP
Rememeber "The Heenan Family"? With his passing, they're all gone.
 

Tuc Ouiner

Posting Machine
May 19, 2016
1,315
1,140
Don't think it's sad. The man made his mark in the WWF. He had enough cockiness to be a heel and a smirk that Mean Gene used to play off of. I remember him deadlifting 500+ for reps like it was nothing. Rest well Mr. Wonderful