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Paul Orndorff, wrestler known as Mr. Wonderful, dies at 71

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Paul Orndorff at his induction into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005.

mr. Orndorff was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005, in the same class as Mr. hogan.

Monday brought Mr. Hogan paid tribute to Mr. Orndorff on Twitter: “Thank you for always making me fight for everything in our matches, heaven just got even more beautiful.”

Born on October 29, 1949 in Brandon, Florida, Paul Parlette Orndorff Jr. attended the University of Tampa, where he was a running back, and graduated in 1972, according to the University. Orndorff was selected by the New Orleans Saints in the 12th round of the 1973 NFL draft, but later embarked on a career in professional wrestling.

Mr. Orndorff won his first championship, the Mid-Southern Heavyweight title in Memphis territory, in 1977, according to the University of Tampa Hall of Fame, into which he was inducted in 1986.

In a tweet, WWE said Mr. Orndorff brought “a swagger and style to the WWE universe that turned his talent into a prototype for the modern superstar.”

Gary Cassidy, a freelance writer who covers professional wrestling, said in one: tweet that mr. Orndorff “was integral to the steps that allowed Hulkamania to go wild and one of the most WrestleMania matches of all time.”

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