Former WWE star ‘King Kong Bundy’ dead at 61

Former WWE star King Kong Bundy passed away at age 61, the company announced Tuesday morning. (Photo courtesy of WWE)
Former WWE star King Kong Bundy passed away at age 61, the company announced Tuesday morning. (Photo courtesy of WWE)

Former WWE star ‘King Kong Bundy’ died at age 61, the company announced on Tuesday morning.

Bundy’s friend David Herro initially revealed the heartbreaking news on Twitter early Tuesday. No cause of death or further details were immediately available.

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Bundy, whose real name was Christopher Paillies, debuted in WWE in the 1980s, gaining notoriety for his massive size and overwhelming strength. Bundy’s character often played the heel -- or villain -- role during his time with the company.

The 6-foot-4, 458-pound behemoth’s biggest moment came in WrestleMania 2 in 1986, where he faced off against Hulk Hogan in a main-event, steel-cage match for the World Wrestling Federation’s heavyweight championship.

Bundy’s rise in popularity led to several acting roles for the Atlantic City, N.J., native. Bundy made cameo appearances on two episodes of “Married With Children,” as well as “Boy Meets World” and a small role in Richard Pryor’s 1988 film, “Moving.”

Bundy would step away from professional wrestling for a period in the late 1980s and early 1990s before returning to WWE in 1994. Bundy wrestled against The Undertaker at WrestleMania XI in 1995 before being released by the company later that year.

In the years that followed, Bundy would make appearances on the independent wrestling circuit.

After news of Bundy’s death broke, tributes from around the wrestling community came pouring in.

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