WWE's 'Mr. Wonderful' Paul Orndorff passes away at age 71

World Wrestling Entertainment
Posted at 2:26 PM, Jul 12, 2021

World Wrestling Entertainment is mourning the loss of one of its own.

Paul Orndorff, who was known as "Mr. Wonderful," passed away on Monday. He was 71.

His son Travis was the first to announce his father's passing on social media, saying, "Many will remember his intensity. But if I could only get you to understand and see his heart," Deadline reported.

WWE also confirmed his passing in a post on Twitter, saying that "WWE extends its condolences to Orndorff's family and friends."

Orndorff played running back while attending the University of Tampa. After a brief stint in the World Football League, he joined the WWE in 1983, where he earned the nickname "Mr. Wonderful" from then-manager "Rowdy" Roddy Piper.

Orndorff made his mark in the wrestling world by 1984, when he challenged Hulk Hogan, who had just won the World Heavyweight Championship.

Their feud would go on for years, even fighting in the first-ever WrestleMania, with a tag-team match that featured Piper and actor Mr. T.

Orndorff captured his first-ever major championship when he defeated Erik Watts in 1993.

He was also a two-time World Championship Wrestling champion in tag-team with Paul Roma in 1994.

After retiring, Orndorff became a trainer and helped mold the careers of Mark Jindrak, Stacy Keibler, and Goldberg.