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R.I.P. Paul "Mr. Wonderful" Orndorff

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An underrated performer and personal favorite, managed to deliver even in some dire situations (e.g. Abrams UWF, mid-90s WCW).  The height of his drawing power also tends to be overlooked in a lot of modern retrospectives since the Hogan feud was never featured on a PPV and that's all they cover.  The man deserved better, RIP

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I started watching WWF regularly in the summer of 1986, literally a week or two after his heel turn on Hogan (did get to see it shortly after it happened at a friend's house, his brothers taped all the shows). That was basically the first big feud that I followed in real time. Must've watched the SNME cage dozens of times. That was one of the biggest drawing feuds of Hogan's WWF run, if not the biggest. A great asshole heel who could go with the best of them in that 84-87 period

RIP

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Dementia at age 71. What a shame. He was a great blustery heel, the perfect Florida asshole, with an all-time great look, legit athleticism, and of course that incredible jumping piledriver. Not an "all-time classics" machine or a brilliant structure or psych guy, but a good solid hand in the ring, and a truly underrated draw. I ought to watch more of his pre-WWF runs. 

It's hard to imagine he didn't even have the Mr. Wonderful nickname until WWF.

 

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He had been in rough shape for a while due to dementia. His son posted a video of him a month ago where he looked 20 years older than he was and appeared to have no recollection of his wrestling career. At least his suffering is over.

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The house that the Main Event drew in Toronto in 1986 might be even more impressive than WM 3 in Detroit. WM 3 was built for months and was genuinely a once-in-a-lifetime event. Hogan-Orndorff on the other hand was just a normal house show and they were hoping to sell some 15k-20k tickets, and ended up selling 55k cuz Hogan was arguably at his peak and Orndorff was the perfect opponent for him. A seriously underrated run. They destroyed box office records for every kind of house show run right there 

RIP to a legend. The fact that so many old wrestlers are suffering from and dying of dementia is terrifying and probably the scariest part of being a wrestling fan. I lost a close family friend to dementia after she suffered from it for 10 years. That shit is brutal to watch. It's like seeing someone die in front of you every single day. It shatters your heart

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My first exposure to Orndorff is similar to Ricky Jackson’s, tuning in week to week at that time helped lock in my fandom. I remember watching his match vs Hogan at the big event A few years back and thinking it was pretty good. He was always entertaining and did a good job in any role. RIP Mr Wonderful. 

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First gained knowledge of Paul was during his WCW run with the Pretty Wonderful tag team. That theme was so cheesy but entertaining at the same time. Sad he's passed on but the silver lining is there's no more pain for him to endure, R.I.P.

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Who had a better physique than Mr. Wonderful in WWF? Nobody. He was awesome. My favorite memories are the Hogan cage match on SNME. And I loved everything he did in WCW. 

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Paul had a great career . I remember when Eddie Graham  sent Paul to Memphis . Jerry Jarrett gave Paul a major baby face push and he beat Lawler for the Southern belt. Then he was half of the Crockett 's  NWA tag Champs with Jimmy Snuka   , the North America champion in Mid-South , half of Ron Fuller's Southeastern tag champions with Norvell Austin  and the National Champion in Georgia. That is one hell of a resume before New York . Rest In Power Mister Wonderful.

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Yeah, he was one of those guys who you never really think about how great he was. All the pre-WWF stuff, being one of the biggest drawing opponents for Hogan, the great stuff in WCW where he couldn't work like he used to but the comedy chops were golden. Dave mentioned the other day that when he sat down to think about it Paul is pretty much a no doubt HOFer .

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