Sad news to report as King Kong Bundy (real name Christopher Pallies) has passed away at the age of 61. Bundy began his career in the early-80s, first gaining recognition in Texas-based World Class Championship Wrestling where he got the ‘King Kong’ name, feuding with the Von Erichs and wrestling Fritz Von Erich in the latter’s ‘Retirement’ match. Bundy moved on to the WWF in 1985 and memorably defeated S.D. Jones in record time a the inaugural WrestleMania (in canon it was 9 seconds, in reality it was closer to 30). He rode this momentum to the main event of WrestleMania 2, coming up short in his pursuit of the WWF Championship against Hulk Hogan in a Steel Cage match.
Bundy left the WWF and toured the independents until returning in 1994 as part of Ted DiBiase‘s Million Dollar Corporation, facing The Undertaker at WrestleMania XI. In addition to pro wrestling Bundy was known for his appearances on Married…With Children as well as other TV shows/films. He retied from in-ring competition in 2007.
Pro Wrestling Update sends its condolences to Bundy’s family and friends.
Date: March 31, 1985
Venue: Madison Square Garden (Manhattan, NY)
Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon & Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura
Every wrestling fan worth their weight in salt (or have watched any WWE Network doc about it) already know the story so I’ll just keep it brief: this event was a make it or break situation for the WWF at the time, with Vince McMahon leveraging his entire business on the success of this show. Luckily he already had a winning formula at the time with then-World Champion Hulk Hogan and their partnership with MTV so even though there was a chance for failure I don’t think it was as big of a deal as they make it out to be. I could be wrong though, I’m one of them there internet nerds writing compendium books. Whatever. Also if you can’t tell I’m stalling for time because oh boy has this show not aged well but I’ll shut up now and get to it.
WWF Champion: Hulk Hogan
WWF Intercontinental Champion: Greg ‘The Hammer’ Valentine
WWF Tag Team Champions: The U.S. Express (Barry Windham & Mike Rotundo)
Tito Santana vs. The Executioner (*3/4)
Special Delivery Jones vs. King Kong Bundy (SQUASH)
Ricky Steamboat vs. Matt Borne (**)
David Sammartino vs. Brutus Beefcake (*)
Greg Valentine [c] vs. The Junkyard Dog for the WWF INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP (*)
The U.S. Express [c] vs. The Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff for the WWF WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (**1/2)
$15,000 Body Slam Challenge:Andre The Giant vs. Big John Studd (DUD)
Leilani Kai [c] vs. Wendi Richter for the WWF WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP (**1/4)
Hulk Hogan & Mr. T vs. Roddy Piper & Paul Orndorff (***)