By Paul Stratoti, Contributing Writer & Lifetime Cauliflower Alley Club Member

Happy Birthday, “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff!

The Cauliflower Alley Club and would like to wish Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff a Happy 68th birthday!

Born on October 29, 1949, our 2016 CAC Men’s Wrestling Award recipient began his wrestling career in 1967 after pro football experience (with who?) made him tough enough to cross-train into wrestling. His signature in-ring maneuver was his perfectly executed Piledriver which many in the WWE during his tenure there thought that the maneuver should have been banned for it’s brutality.

Paul Orndorff, about to pounce on Ivan Putski

He showed his egotistical side during his cameo performances in the WWE rock video “Land of 1000 Dances”.

He had incredible power during his prime and nobody could easily get up from receiving one of his Piledrivers. He also was known for losing his temper when at a disadvantage or when firing back at fan taunts.

On May 31, 1983 at the Akron Breakaway Theater in WWE tag team action Tommy Rich & Paul Orndorff defeated Larry Zybyzsco & Killer Brooks.

The next time that I have recorded that Mr. Wonderful visited my area was when as a WWE Superstar he challenged WWE Champion Hulk Hogan for the title, a match that he lost.

On November 6, 1984 at Canton Civic Center I snapped this shot shortly before Paul got himself disqualified against the Tonga Kid

 On March 31, 1985 at New York’s Madison Square Garden WRESTLEMANIA debuted and in the Main Event Hulk Hogan & Mr T (w Jimmy Snuka) defeated Roddy Piper & Paul Orndorff (w Bob Orton).

On May 5, 1985 at Cleveland, Convention Center saw Paul Orndorff defeat Jose Luis Rivera.

On November 3, 1985 at Cleveland Convention Center Paul Orndorff defeated Don Muraco by count out.

On June 4, 1993 at the CSU Convocation Center Ron Simmons defeated Paul.

January 20, 1995 at the CSU Convocation Center Marcus Bagwell & the Patriot defeated Paul & Roma.

Although a freak bicep injury convinced Paul to retire from professional wrestling in 1988, Paul returned to Cleveland on August 10, 1990 at Cleveland Convention Center in NWA action where he defeated Barry Windham who, as shown here, tried to prevent Mr. Wonderful from entering the ring, and was subsequently disqualified for his tactics.

In the following pic, Paul shakes hands with Cauliflower Ear Newsletter boss Royal Duncan during the 2016 CAC reunion and then shortly thereafter accepted his own Award and ended it with an emotionally charged speech with his son in attendance:

Orndorff, with Royal Duncan

The crowd rises in a standing ovation as Mr Wonderful approaches the podium. Very sorry, Wayne, that I failed to get a shot of you at his banquet table as I said I was going to do. I hope you can understand the pressure that I was under being positioned by the WWE tables and all that:


In July 2016, Orndorff was named part of a class action lawsuit filed against WWE which alleged that wrestlers incurred “long term neurological injuries” and that the company “routinely failed to care” for them and “fraudulently misrepresented and concealed” the nature and extent of those injuries. The suit is litigated by attorney Konstantine Kyros, who has been involved in a number of other lawsuits against WWE.

Article and photos by Paul Stratoti

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