Remembering “Mr. Wonderful” and His Ties to Louisiana
Wrestling legend Paul Orndorff has sadly passed away. Let's look at his ties with the state of Louisiana.
His name was Paul Orndorff, but many wrestling fans around the world will remember him as "Mr. Wonderful". His immense wrestling career took off back in the 1970's and spanned across generations. Orndorff retired as an in-ring performer in 2000 following a neck injury sustained during the WCW pay-per-view Fall Brawl.
Despite being retired as a performer, Mr. Wonderful stayed very much involved in the world of wrestling. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005, and last appeared on WWE television in 2014.
At the age of 67, just four years before his untimely death, Orndorff came out of retirement to compete in a special six-man tag match with Canadian Wrestling's Elite, which he and his team won.
Throughout his historic career he shared the stage with the biggest stars in industry history. Battling it out with the likes of Ric Flair, Steve Austin, Randy Savage, Sting, and Hulk Hogan, to name a few.
Today, June 12th, 2021, Paul Orndorff passed away shortly after being diagnosed with dementia.
After learning of the news, I wanted to dive a little deeper into his career and look for ties with the state of Louisiana, and more specifically, Shreveport, Louisiana. I was expecting to find wrestling news and information, and was shocked to read about Orndorff's impressive football resume.
In college, he was a stud to say the very least. He was a running back at the now-defunct University of Tampa. There, he gained the attention of the NFL scoring more than twenty touchdowns, and gaining more than 2,000 all-purpose yards.
Soon after, his name was called during the 1973 NFL Draft. Who picked him, you ask? The New Orleans Saints selected Orndorff in the 12th round. Unfortunately, we never got to see Mr. Wonderful on the field in that black and gold, but it was nice to know that at the very least, we got close.
Deeper than that, Orndorff spent nearly a decade competing in Mid-South Wrestling. Obviously, in those days, Mid-South Wrestling was a HUGE deal in Shreveport, Louisiana and the Hirsch Coliseum. So after a little bit of digging, I uncovered a Mid-South Wrestling broadcast that was taped at the Hirsch Coliseum back in 1981 which features Paul Orndorff. You can watch that broadcast below, with Mr. Wonderful appearing at around the 19-minute mark. I'm sure Mr. Wonderful spent many nights in Shreveport back in those days.
Rest in peace to a true legend.
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