Photo Credit: WWE
“Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff passed away at age 71 and the wrestling world is mourning his loss, sharing their memories of the WWE Hall Of Famer.
WWE issued the following statement on his passing:
WWE is saddened to learn that WWE Hall of Famer Paul Orndorff, known to fans as “Mr. Wonderful,” passed away at the age of 71.
Orndorff was a standout running back at the University of Tampa and joined Mid-Southern Wrestling after a brief stint in the World Football League. Early rivalries with Jerry Lawler, Ted Dibiase and Jake “The Snake” Roberts gave way to NWA North American Heavyweight and National Heavyweight Championship reigns.
Orndorff joined WWE in 1983 and was tabbed with the “Mr. Wonderful” nickname by his then-manager “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. With his awe-inspiring in-ring style and unmatched swagger, “Mr. Wonderful” turned his talent into a prototype for the modern-day Superstar. He made a memorable debut on January 23, 1984, with a win over Salvatore Bellomo at Madison Square Garden and launched right into the main event picture with matches against World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan. Mr. Wonderful achieved sports-entertainment immortality by competing alongside Piper to face Hogan and Mr. T in the main event of WrestleMania I.
In the early 1990s, Mr. Wonderful began competing for WCW. It was here that Orndorff captured his first major championship when he defeated Erik Watts in a tournament final on March 2, 1993, to become Television Champion. Orndorff’s championship reigns did not stop there, however, as he was also a two-time WCW Tag Team Champion with Paul Roma in 1994.
When Orndorff’s in-ring days came to an end, the former master of the piledriver became a trainer for WCW’s Power Plant. As a trainer, Orndorff molded a generation of promising stars, including Mark Jindrak, Stacy Keibler and Goldberg.
WWE extends its condolences to Orndorff’s family and friends.
From colleagues that worked with him in WWE and WCW, to those who grew up watching him, we’ve also gathered some of the responses to the unfortunate news of his death:
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
— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) July 12, 2021
PAUL ORNDORFF. MY BROTHER. YOU WERE THE TOUGHEST. WE TRAIN TOGETHER. WE RIDE TOGETHER. YOU WERE EXCELLENT BUBBA. I AM SO SAD I LOVE YOU FOREVER REST IN PEACE pic.twitter.com/RXovORjxVp
— The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) July 12, 2021
My heart and my prayers go out to the family of my friend and colleague, Mr. Wonderful, Paul Orndorff. Great wrestler and many great memories.
Rest In Peace my friend. pic.twitter.com/wmmAxtNpA5
— Ted DiBiase (@MDMTedDiBiase) July 12, 2021
Paul Orndorff was a true, man’s man. A stud.
Condolences to Paul’s family and friends. https://t.co/e1wDZVGEcO
— Jim Ross (@JRsBBQ) July 12, 2021
So sorry to hear the news that "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff has passed. He entertained me in my youth and helped to guide me in the wrestling business. RIP!
— David Penzer (@davidpenzer) July 12, 2021
Paul Orndorff. Man the compliments I got from this dude were abundant. He always helped me w/ my body always helped me grow as a talent always spoke to me about the business. One of the toughest guys I’ve ever met. Really sad to see this. I love you Paul. https://t.co/gfYALmbNHK pic.twitter.com/PyxhfW9VQn
— Virgil (@TheRealVirgil) July 12, 2021
— Triple H (@TripleH) July 12, 2021
Thank you giving me my start in professional wrestling. You were hard on me but taught me well and accepted nothing less than my best every time.
Rest In Peace to my first trainer and one of greatest wrestlers to lace up a pair of boots:
Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff. pic.twitter.com/S0WKKP5F27
— (@RichardsWesley) July 12, 2021
We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of pro wrestling legend "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff. We offer our sincere condolences to his friends and family.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) July 12, 2021
Damn. Orndorff. I went to a wcw house show at the uic pavilion once. Maybe 95ish. Him and Sherri were the best on that show with working the crowd. Think I have his autograph on a patriot mask somewhere. Rest in power Mr. Wonderful.
— player/coach (@CMPunk) July 12, 2021
So sorry to hear this news. I always enjoyed working with Paul. He was a good friend to my son Garett and I and we shared some memorable times away from the wrestling business. Rest easy my friend. pic.twitter.com/GMuZuIMuUY
— Eric Bischoff (@EBischoff) July 12, 2021
Paul Orndorff was a wrestler's wrestler. His abilities spoke for themselves and there won't be another like him.
Our condolences to his family pic.twitter.com/gG0g6LWPMk
— World League Wrestling & The Harley Race Academy (@worldleaguewlw) July 12, 2021
Wow so sad to hear about the passing of Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff. Part of my childhood. RIP
— Gail Kim-Irvine (@gailkimITSME) July 12, 2021
Words are not enough to tell you what a awesome person Mr. Wonderful, Paul Ornodoff was a fantastic friend that would think of you first. A young man who came in the body shop after a workout on the mat to tell my brother and I what he had learned RIPPAUL.
— Gerald BRISCO (@Fgbrisco) July 12, 2021
Paul Orndorff, one of the all-time greats, has passed away. RIP, Mr. Wonderful.
— Kane (@KaneWWE) July 12, 2021
RIP Mr. Wonderful https://t.co/wm5tIyFK8p
— Charlotte Flair (@MsCharlotteWWE) July 12, 2021
The post The Wrestling World Reacts To The Death Of ‘Mr. Wonderful’ Paul Orndorff appeared first on Wrestlezone.