How did Paul Orndorff die? WWE Hall of Famer aka 'Mr Wonderful' dies at 71

Paul Orndorff was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2005

                            How did Paul Orndorff die? WWE Hall of Famer aka 'Mr Wonderful' dies at 71
Known as 'Mr Wonderful', Paul Orndorff was born in Brandon, Florida, on October 29, 1949 (Instagram @travis_orndorff)

WWE Hall of Famer Paul Orndorff died on Monday morning, July 12. He was 71 years old. Orndorff's son Travis confirmed the tragic news of his death on his Instagram handle. 

The cause of Orndorff's death is unclear at the moment. Many great wrestling icons bid farewell recently. 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper, Del Wikes, Jerome Young to name a few. The news of former pro wrestling legend Terry Funk battling dementia also caused a stir among wrestling fans recently. 


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Informing about his father's death, Travis wrote on his Instagram, "It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of my father, Paul Parlette Orndorff Jr. He is better known as “Mr. #1derful” Paul Orndorff. Most of you will remember him for his physique. Many will remember his intensity. But if I could only get you to understand and see his heart. He will always be Pop, Paw Paw, and Daddy at home. And as much as many of you hated him as a wrestler, he absolutely loved you for it. He was an amazing father that showed me more love than I ever deserved. I love you Daddy."


Known as 'Mr Wonderful', Orndorff was born in Brandon, Florida, on October 29, 1949. He made his pro wrestling debut in 1976 in Mid-Southern Wrestling after training under Bob Backlund, Jack Brisco, Eddie Graham and Hiro Matsuda. Orndorff held the WCW World Television Championship once and held tag titles with Jimmy Snuka and Paul Roma. Orndorff was an ally of Roddy Piper and Hulk Hogan throughout the WWF’s 1980s boom period. "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 wrote on Twitter.


Orndorff initially retired due to a neck injury at the 'Fall Brawl' event in 2000, but he managed to wrestle one last match in 2017 at the age of 67. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2005 and also made a few appearances on WWE television in 2014. Paul survived a bout of lymph node cancer during his retirement, but other health problems persisted.

'One of the greatest wrestlers'

As soon as the news of Paul Orndorff's death broke out, fans swarmed to social media to pay their respects to the wrestling legend. One tweet read, "RIP, "Mr Wonderful" Paul Orndorff. Without doubt, one of the greatest wrestlers to never hold a major world championship. An integral part of the strides that made it possible for Hulkamania to run wild and one of the most WrestleMania matches of all time." Another said, "I've watched Paul Orndorff my entire life I've paid to see him wrestle so many times Never saw him have a bad match ever Truly Wonderful #piledriver." One user wrote, "It always affects me whenever someone who brought me such joy as a kid,passes on.i always enjoyed watching Paul Orndorff in the ring."Mr.Wonderful" left me with so many awesome memories as a fan.thanks so much,sir and godspeed.#RIP."

Another tweeted, "#RIPMrWonderful God speed to Paul Orndorff aka Mr Wonderful. One of the key players in the 1st ever Main Event of the inaugural Wrestlemania and one of the greatest heels in this business. Rest In Power Paul and thank you." One comment read, "RIP Paul Orndorff may your Spirit rest and thank you for the entertainment you brought to wrestling. You will be missed by many."