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.
Sad news to report as Pedro Morales, one of the biggest stars for the then-WWWF in the 70s and early-80s, has passed away at the age of 76. Born in Puerto Rico, Morales began wrestling in 1959 and in short order became one of the industry’s biggest stars, unseating Ivan Koloff to win the WWWF World Championship. Morales defended the title against all comers for over two years, selling out the famed Madison Square Garden on multiple occasions, before losing it to Stan Stasiak. Morales would go on to win the Intercontinental Championship two times and the Tag Team Championship with Bob Backlund one time, making him the company’s first-ever Triple Crown Champion. Morales would hang around the now-WWF into the 1980s, putting over new stars, until retiring from the ring in 1987. He transitioned over to color commentary for both the WWF and later WCW’s Spanish announce team and was inducted into the WWF Hall of Fame in 1995. Morales had been battling advanced Parkinson’s Disease in his final years.
Morales was before my time but I’ve always respected his contributions to pro wrestling and his legacy as the first man to win all three championships in the WWWF. Time to hit the Network and see what I’ve been missing. Rest in Peace.