The wrestling world mourns this morning as one of the greats King Kong Bundy has passed away.
King Kong Bundy — the 6-foot-4, 458-pound pro-wrestling bad guy who smothered his opponents with his signature “avalanche splash” finisher — has died. He was 61.
Bundy was born Christopher Paillies in Atlantic City, New Jersey and made his World Wrestling Federation debut in 1981.
Bundy defeated S.D. Jones in the first-ever WrestleMania in 1985 and then went on to challenge Hulk Hogan for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 2 the following year.
He drummed up drama for the matchup, saying at the time, “Hogan would rather stand outside of a supermarket and sign autographs for kids. He’d rather go visit an old age home than get in a ring with anyone in my family.”
Hogan won the bout, keeping his coveted belt.
In a stunning show of size in the steel cage dubbed the “Colossal Jostle,” Bundy also tussled with Andre the Giant in 1985 but lost.
Bundy’s death comes two months after the passing of famed ringside interviewer “Mean” Gene Okerlund.
“RIP Mean Gene Okerlund. A true professional in every sense of the word,” Bundy tweeted at the time.