74 Facts About Paul Orndorff


Paul Orndorff was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005 and the National Wrestling Alliance Hall of Fame in 2009.


Paul Orndorff played college football at the University of Tampa, where he was a fullback for his first three seasons before he was moved to tight end mid-season in his senior year by coach Earle Bruce.


Paul Orndorff scored 21 career touchdowns and gained over 2,000 all-purpose yards in his playing career with the Spartans.


Paul Orndorff was inducted into the University of Tampa Athletic Hall of Fame in 1986.


Paul Orndorff was selected in the 12th round of the 1973 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints, who drafted him as a fullback, while leaving open the possibility of playing him at tight end.


Paul Orndorff voluntarily quit during training camp, citing "personal problems".


Paul Orndorff was considering giving professional wrestling a try, like his former Tampa teammate Ron Mikolajczyk, who made his wrestling debut that summer.


Paul Orndorff called his father-in-law, who knew someone who knew Florida promoter Eddie Graham, which got his start into the wrestling business.


Paul Orndorff started wrestling in 1976 in Mid-Southern Wrestling where he feuded with a young Jerry Lawler.


Paul Orndorff won his first wrestling title when he pinned Lawler for the NWA Southern Heavyweight Championship on June 7,1977.


Paul Orndorff lost the title back to Lawler before he left the Memphis territory.


Paul Orndorff began working for the NWA Tri-State promotion where he got involved in a feud with Ernie Ladd.


In December 1978, Paul Orndorff teamed with Jimmy Snuka to capture the NWA World Tag Team Championship from Baron von Raschke and Greg Valentine.


Paul Orndorff then teamed with former opponent Austin to win the title in late 1979.


In Mid-South, Paul Orndorff feuded with Ken Mantell over Mantell's propensity for cutting people's hair after a match.


Paul Orndorff got the better of Mantell and won the right to use the Freebird hair removal cream on Mantell.


Paul Orndorff earned a shot at the North American champion The Grappler but on the day of the match he overslept and was incensed when his replacement Jake "The Snake" Roberts beat the Grappler for the title.


Paul Orndorff lost the title to DiBiase on November 1,1981, in a match at the Municipal Auditorium in New Orleans, Louisiana.


Paul Orndorff was unable to wrestle in the rematch due to car trouble, which meant that Paul Orndorff's friend Bob Roop got the title shot and won the match.


Paul Orndorff turned face to feud with Roop but found himself unable to regain the title after which he left the Mid-South Territory.


Paul Orndorff reappeared in Georgia Championship Wrestling in early 1982 immediately launching into a feud with Buzz Sawyer over the NWA National Heavyweight Championship.


Paul Orndorff was unsuccessful in his challenge and soon focused on the title he gave up.


When Paul Orndorff vacated the title, it was put on the line in a tournament that was won by The Super Destroyer.


Paul Orndorff next feuded with The Masked Superstar, with whom he traded the National Heavyweight title back and forth during the fall of 1982.


Paul Orndorff then traded the title back and forth with Super Destroyer.


Paul Orndorff then moved to New Japan Pro Wrestling for several months.


Paul Orndorff wrestled Kengo Kimura, Riki Choshu, and Akira Maeda, as well as teaming up with Ed Leslie against Antonio Inoki and Seiji Sakaguchi.


Paul Orndorff signed with the World Wrestling Federation in late 1983 and made his debut in November of that year on Championship Wrestling.


Paul Orndorff faced Salvatore Bellomo on the night that Hulk Hogan defeated The Iron Sheik for the WWF World Heavyweight Title and "Hulkamania was born".


Paul Orndorff became one of the first people to challenge for the world title, shooting straight to the main event less than a month after his debut.


Hogan disposed of the challenger and moved on while Paul Orndorff fought a variety of opponents including the Intercontinental Champion Tito Santana.


When Piper assaulted Jimmy Snuka on the set of Piper's Pit, Paul Orndorff assisted the Rowdy One in his matches.


Paul Orndorff solidified his babyface status by publicly firing manager Bobby Heenan shortly afterwards.


Paul Orndorff teamed with a variety of opponents in his fights with Piper and Orton, including Andre the Giant.


Adonis kept on irritating Paul Orndorff, going so far as daring Paul Orndorff to prove just how close his relationship with Hogan really was.


The next time that Hogan and Paul Orndorff teamed up, against The Moondogs, Paul Orndorff wrestled most of the match by himself in an attempt to upstage Hogan, scoring the winning pin.


When Studd and Bundy started to double team Hogan, Paul Orndorff did not help out; he looked like he had hurt his eye in the collision.


Paul Orndorff then helped Hogan to his feet and raised his hand in the air, only to give Hogan a clothesline followed by a piledriver.


Paul Orndorff soon reunited with manager Heenan and again feuded with Hogan, and began using Hogan's theme music, "Real American", as his own entrance theme.


Paul Orndorff returned to the ring on June 2,1987, in Buffalo, New York during a WWF Superstars taping.


Paul Orndorff received a babyface response from the crowd during his return, leading the WWF to change his character.


Paul Orndorff fired Heenan two months later and began a feud with Rude.


Paul Orndorff took Oliver Humperdink as his manager in his fight with Rude and Heenan.


Paul Orndorff retired in early 1988 due to his arm injury and focused on running his bowling alley in Fayetteville.


In 1990 Paul Orndorff returned to the squared circle, wrestling a series of matches against Kerry Von Erich on the independent circuit.


Paul Orndorff quickly became affiliated with a group called the "Dudes with Attitudes" consisting of himself, Sting, Lex Luger, Junkyard Dog, and The Steiner Brothers.


At Clash of the Champions XI Paul Orndorff defeated Anderson and at the 1990 Great American Bash, Paul Orndorff teamed up with the Junkyard Dog and El Gigante to defeat Arn Anderson, Barry Windham, and Sid Vicious by disqualification.


Paul Orndorff defeated "Mean" Mark Callous in multiple house show encounters.


Mr Wonderful more or less immediately started feuding with "Dr Death" Steve Williams, who attacked Paul Orndorff to kickstart the feud.


On June 9,1991, Paul Orndorff competed on the UWF's only PPV Beach Brawl, defeating Colonel DeBeers in a Strap match.


Paul Orndorff left the UWF sometime in early 1993, vacating the Southern States title.


When Paul Orndorff left the AWF in February 1992, he vacated the title.


Paul Orndorff was only listed as a "wild card" who had to win a match in order to enter the tournament.


Paul Orndorff was fired from the SMW after piledriving a referee in frustration.


Paul Orndorff was pinned by Cactus Jack in a subsequent Thunderdome match; the two had an intense feud including a Falls Count Anywhere match at SuperBrawl III, which Cactus Jack won.


Paul Orndorff defeated Bagwell controversially, using the second rope for leverage during the pinfall.


Paul Orndorff returned to singles competition with his most notable match at the time being an unsuccessful shot at the IWGP Heavyweight Championship when he faced champion the Great Muta at Slamboree.


Paul Orndorff defeated Brian Pillman in a tournament to earn the shot at the champion.


Paul Orndorff lost to WCW newcomer The Renegade at Bash at the Beach.


Paul Orndorff was unable to beat the rookie in subsequent matches and began to lose confidence in his abilities.


Spivey convinced Paul Orndorff to believe in himself and that he shouldn't forget that he was "Mr Wonderful".


WCW later explained that Paul Orndorff had been seriously hurt in the attack and that his career was over.


On December 13,1999 Paul Orndorff wrestled against the Harris Twins in a handicap match by a losing effort on Monday Night Nitro.


Paul Orndorff had a brief onscreen role during this time in the Old Age Outlaws with Terry Funk, Arn Anderson, and Larry Zbyszko to feud with the last WCW version of the nWo.


On February 3,2005, Paul Orndorff was announced as one of the inductees for the Class of 2005 into the WWE Hall of Fame.


In 2009, Paul Orndorff was elected by a committee of his peers to the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame, then located in Amsterdam, New York, now located in Wichita Falls, Texas.


Paul Orndorff appeared in a segment with his WrestleMania I teammate Roddy Piper and their opponents from the event, Hulk Hogan and Mr T, as well as the referee for the match, Pat Patterson, interrupting Hogan's interview with Gene Okerlund.


On May 3,2017, aged 67, Paul Orndorff had his final match, and first since 2000, winning a six-man tag at a Canadian Wrestling's Elite show in Brandon, Manitoba.


Paul Orndorff married his high school girlfriend Ronda Maxwell Orndorff.


Paul has one sister Patricia Orndorff and has two brothers named Mickey Ronald Cain and Terry Orndorff, with whom he wrestled briefly as a tag team in the early 1980s.


On January 5,2011, Paul Orndorff told the Busted Open Sirius Satellite Radio show that he had recently been diagnosed with throat cancer.


Paul Orndorff was reportedly in critical condition and was on a feeding tube with a few days to live.


Paul Orndorff believed that his father's dementia was a result of chronic traumatic encephalopathy.


On July 12,2021, Paul Orndorff died of his dementia at the age of 71 in Atlanta, Georgia.