Paul Orndorff, Jr. (born October 29, 1949) is a retired professional wrestler, best known as “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff for his appearances with the World Wrestling Federation and World Championship Wrestling. Paul Orndorff started wrestling in 1976 in Mid-Southern Wrestling where he feuded with a young Jerry Lawler. Orndorff won his first wrestling title when he pinned Lawler for the Mid-Southern Heavyweight Title on June 7, 1977. After working in Japan and several territories, Orndorff signed with the World Wrestling Federation in late 1983. Starting in January 1984, Orndorff took on “Rowdy” Roddy Piper as his manager. Piper nicknamed Paul Orndorff “Mr. Wonderful,” a nickname that he has used ever since. In 1985 Orndorff was part of Wrestlemania’s main event, teaming with “Rowdy” Roddy Piper versus Hulk Hogan and Mr. T. Orndorff and Hogan had a series of high profile matches over the next several years, highlighted by one of the best steel cage matches in WWF history. After leaving the WWF, Orndorff wrestled for WCW and other promotions, and eventually began working as a wrestling trainer. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005. [Courtesy in part of Wikipedia.com]
Relive Paul Orndorff’s great career here!
NWA (Mid America) Southern Heavyweight title defeating Jerry Lawler (May 29, 1977);
NWA (Tri State) North American Heavyweight title defeating Ernie Ladd (May 29, 1978);
NWA (Tri State) North American Heavyweight title defeating Ernie Ladd (June 1978);
NWA (Mid Atlantic) World Tag Team titles w/ Jimmy Snuka defeating Baron Von Raschke and Greg Valentine (December 1978);
NWA Southeastern Tag Team titles w/ Dick Slater defeating Norvell Austin and Jimmy Golden (October 1979);
NWA Southeastern Tag Team titles w/ Norvell Austin defeating Rany Rose and Dennis Condrey (1980);
Mid South North American Heavyweight title defeating Jake Roberts (July 4, 1981);
NWA (Georgia) National Heavyweight title defeating Buzz Sawyer (June 20, 1982);
NWA (Georgia) National Heavyweight title defeating Super Destroyer (October 3, 1982);
NWA (Georgia) National Heavyweight title defeating Masked Superstar (November 17, 1982);
NWA (Georgia) National Heavyweight title defeating Tommy Rich (March 1983);
AWF (American Wrestling Federation) Heavyweight title defeating Stan Lane [Tournament] (December 16, 1991);
UWF (Herb Abrams) Southern States Heavyweight title defeating Bob Orton Jr. (June 22, 1992);
NWL (National Wrestling League) Tag Team titles w/ Brian Blair (1993);
WCW World Television title defeating Erik Watts in a Tournament Final (March 2, 1993);
WCW World Tag Team titles w/ Paul Roma defeating Kevin Sullivan and Cactus Jack (July 17, 1994);
WCW World Tag Team titles w/ Paul Roma defeating The Patriot and Marcus Bagwell (October 23, 1994);
In The Beginning:
Paul Orndorff and Shane Douglas are cousins.
Paul Orndorff was trained by Hiro Matsuda at the same time as Hulk Hogan.
1978: Paul won the North American Championship twice, winning and losing to and from “Big Cat” Ernie Ladd.
1978: Paul competed in the Mid-Atlantic area.
December 1978: Paul teamed with Jimmy Snuka to win NWA World Tag Team Titles from Greg Valentine and Baron Von Raschke.
~~~April 28, 1979: They lost the belts to Baron Von Raschke and Paul Jones.
July 21, 1979: Paul was defeated by Angelo Mosca Sr at a Superdome event.
October 1979: Paul teamed with Dick Slater to win the Southeastern Tag Team Titles.
Summer 1980: Paul began a feud with Ken Mantell in Mid-South.
~~~Mantell had a tradition of cutting opponents’ hair.
~~~Mantell even managed to give Orndorff an unwanted haircut.
~~~Paul defeated Mantell and was awarded the right to use the infamous Freebird Hair-Removal Creme on Mantell’s scalp.
~~~August 1980 – Mid-South Superdome Extravaganza: Paul continued his success by defeating Mantell in a rematch.
November 1980: Ernie Ladd and Leroy Brown injured Paul’s brother Terry Orndorff while winning the Mid-South Tag Team Titles.
~~~Nov/1980 – Mid-South Superdome Extravaganza: Big brother Paul sought revenge, but he lost to Ladd in a “Lights out” match.
Paul later returned to the Southeast Continental Area where he teamed up with Norvell Austin.
~~~They defeated Dennis Condrey and Randy Rose for the Southeast Continental Tag Team Titles.
Paul came back to Mid-South yet again.
Paul overslept on the day of his title shot against North American Champion The Grappler.
~~~When substitute Jake Roberts took the belt from The Grappler, Orndorff went berzerk.
~~~Paul’s obession with the belt cost him his popularity with the fans.
~~~July 4, 1981 – Superdome: Paul Orndorff defeated Jake Roberts for the Mid-South North American Heavyweight title.
~~~Paul later lost a “lights out” match to The Junkyard Dog that same night.
Paul entered feuds with JYD, Ted DiBiase, Dusty Rhodes and Dick Murdoch while aligned with Bob Roop and Bob Orton Jr.
November 1, 1981: Paul lost his North American Title to Ted DiBiase.
June 20, 1982: Paul beat Buzz Sawyer for the National Title.
Paul vacated it that summer to concentrate on an unsuccessful World Title chase against NWA World Champion Ric Flair.
Paul, acting as a sort of American patriot, feuded with Ivan Koloff.
October 1982: Paul later defeated The Super Destroyer (Scott Irwin) to recapture the National Title.
~~~Paul also traded the National Title with The Masked Superstar (Bill Eadie).
~~~When Larry Zbyszko failed to win the title from Orndorff, he paid Killer Tim Brooks $25,000 to take him out.
~~~Brooks clobbered Orndorff with a chair to win the title but the decision was overturned.
World Wrestling Federation – Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff vs. Hulk Hogan and Mr. T:
Paul Orndorff signed with the WWF and aligned himself with “Rowdy” Roddy Piper as a heel.
January 1984 – Madison Square Garden: Paul Orndorff defeated Salvatore Bellomo with a Piledriver.
Paul Orndorff was granted several title shots at WWF World Champion Hulk Hogan, with no success.
February 1984: Paul Orndorff faced Hulk Hogan in Hogan’s first New York City title defense.
Paul Orndorff and Roddy Piper and David Shultz vs. Ivan Putski and Tony Atlas and Rocky Johnson in a six-man war.
July 23, 1984 – Brawl To Settle It All: Paul Orndorff defeated Chief Jay Strongbow in a dark match.
Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff was also a frequent challenger to Intercontinental Champion, Tito Santana.
Paul Orndorff joined Roddy Piper (w/ Bob Orton) to feud with Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka and The Tonga Kid.
Paul also did Piper a favor by injuring Junk Yard Dog just prior to JYD’s scheduled appearance on Piper’s Pit.
~~~Without JYD around, Piper, Orton, and Orndorff all started to harass Salvadore Bellomo in his place.
~~~However, JYD emerged from the back, along with bloody bandages and a steel chair to fend off the heels.
Paul had a brief rivalry with young David Sammartino, with Roddy Piper and Bruno Sammartino getting involved.
~~~Bruno Sammartino and David Sammartino defeated Paul Orndorff and Rowdy Roddy Piper in a tag team match.
Late 1984: Paul Orndorff was drawn into Rowdy Roddy Piper sudden feud with several Hollywood Celebrities.
~~~Rowdy Roddy Piper went as far as to attack Captain Lou Albano and Cyndi Lauper and ignited a big feud.
February 18, 1985 – War To Settle The Score: “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff defeated “Mr. USA” Tony Atlas.
In the Main Event, Paul interfered on Piper’s behalf causing a DQ, until Mr T hit the ring to make the save!
Wrestlemania 1: Paul Orndorff and Roddy Piper (w/ Bob Orton) were defeated by Hulk Hogan and Mr.T (w/ Jimmy Snuka).
~~~After being the victim of the pinfall, Paul Orndorff was abandoned in the ring by Piper and Cowboy Bob Orton.
World Wrestling Federation – Paul Orndorff and Hulk Hogan:
Saturday Night’s Main Event: Paul Orndorff shook Hulk Hogan’s hand after failing to defeat him in a title match.
Paul Orndorff was a guest on Piper’s Pit and Piper labeled Orndorff as a “loser” and blamed him for the WM loss.
~~~Paul Orndorff was well aware that the verbal insults were all a distraction for something else.
~~~Paul Orndorff caught Bob Orton trying to attack from behind and then refocused on Roddy Piper.
~~~Paul Orndorff attempted his piledriver on Roddy Piper but was decked from behind by Orton’s cast.
~~~Before a two-on-one beat-down could go down, Mr T rushed to rescue Paul Orndorff for a second time.
Hulk Hogan and “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Ordorff then feuded with Rowdy Roddy Piper and Cowboy Bob Orton.
July 8, 1985 – King of the Ring: Paul Orndorff vs. Bob Orton in a 1st round match ended in a Double DQ.
July 1985 – MSG: Paul Orndorff defeated Roddy Piper in the “Match Of Honor” by DQ when Orton interfered.
~~~Roddy Piper and Bob Orton beat up Paul Orndorff until The British Bulldogs ran in and made the save.
October 5, 1985 – Saturday Night’s Main Event: Paul Orndorff vs. Roddy Piper ended in a Double Countout.
August 13, 1985 – Ohio State Fair: “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff defeated The Iron Sheik.
Madison Square Garden: Paul Orndorff and Andre The Giant defeated Rowdy Roddy Piper and Bob Orton.
Late 1985: Bobby “The Brain” Heenan placed a $50,000 bounty on the head of Paul “Mr. Wonderful” Orndorff.
November 7, 1985 – Wrestling Classic: Paul Orndorff defeated Bob Orton by DQ in the 1st Round of the Tournament.
~~~”Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff vs. Tito Santana ended in a Double Countout in the 2nd round of the Tournament.
April 7, 1986 – WrestleMania 2: Paul Orndorff vs. Magnificent Don Muraco w/ Mr Fuji ended in a Double Countout.
Paul Orndorff was mocked by Adorable Adrian Adonis, who claimed Orndorff was merely Hulk Hogan’s sidekick.
May 3, 1986 – Saturday Night’s Main Event: “Adorable” Adrian Adonis defeated Paul “Mr. Wonderful” Orndorff by DQ.
World Wrestling Federation – Paul Orndorff betrays Hulk Hogan:
“Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff then started a feud with Bobby “The Brain” Heenan and Big John Studd.
Paul Orndorff and Hulk Hogan reunited in a tag match against The Moondogs, but there was obvious tension.
~~~Paul Orndorff nearly wrestled the entire match by himself, in an attempt to upstage his partner.
June 24, 1986: Paul Orndorff and Hulk Hogan defeated Studd and Bundy by DQ when Ordorff turned on Hulk Hogan.
~~~Paul Orndorff nailed Hogan with a devastating piledriver, then mocked Hogan by cupping his hands to his ear.
~~~Paul Orndorff embraced Heenan, Bundy, Studd and even Adrian Adonis, who kept repeating “You were WONDERFUL!”
World Wrestling Federation – The Heenan Family:
Paul Ordorff stole Hulk Hogan’s “Real American” entrance music to get under the skin of the World Champion.
August 28, 1986 – The Big Event: Hulk Hogan defeated Paul Ordorff w/ Bobby Heenan by DQ to retain the WWF title.
~~~Paul Orndorff covered Hulk Hogan and the referee tapped (Orndorff’s shoulder) three times to signify a DQ.
~~~Paul Orndorff celebrated with the championship belt anyway, thinking he had won the prized World title.
~~~The referee informed everybody that Hogan had won the match upon a DQ, therefor the title didn’t change.
October 4, 1986 – SNME: Hulk Hogan defeated Paul Orndorff by DQ to retain the WWF World title.
November 24, 1986: Rowdy Roddy Piper and Hulk Hogan defeated Paul Orndorff and Harley Race w/ Bobby Heenan.
~~~Piper pinned Race and stormed out of the ring, leaving Hogan to battle off Heenan, Race, and Orndorff.
January 3, 1987 – SNME: Hulk Hogan defeated Paul Orndorff in one of the greatest steel cage matches of all time.
~~~With two different referees focused on each man, the competitors dropped to the floor at the same time!
~~~Joey Morella declared Hogan the winner, while Danny Davis tried to give the match and title to Orndorff.
~~~Hulk Hogan rushed to attack Paul Orndorff again, and he wiped out Referee Danny Davis in the process.
~~~Joey Marella decided that, in all fairness, the match must be restarted and both reentered the cage.
~~~This time, Hulk Hogan endured all of Orndorff’s offense and delivered his legdrop and go on to win.
Madison Square Garden: “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff defeated George “The Animal” Steele.
June 1987: “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff defeated Junk Yard Dog.