Pro wrestler King Kong Bundy, the 458-pounder who played the heel to superstar Hulk Hogan in the 1980s, has died at age 61.
“Today we lost a Legend,” Bundy’s friend David Herro announced on Facebook Monday.
“Very sad news,” wrestling star Brutus Beefcake wrote. “He was a kind soul.”
Bundy, whose real name was Christopher Alan Pallies, famously faced Hogan for the WWF heavyweight championship in 1986′s WrestleMania 2, the event that became a staple for the industry. Bundy, often cast as the heel, or villain, lost that staged cage match.
He also wrestled in the inaugural WrestleMania, defeating Special Delivery Jones in nine seconds, WWE (formerly the WWF) noted on its website.
In another prominent match, Bundy fought Andre the Giant at Madison Square Garden. The 1985 match was billed “the Colossal Jostle” because of the combatants’ size. Bundy, who tipped the scales at nearly a quarter-ton for much of his career, was disqualified after Big John Studd attacked the Giant to help Bundy.
Bundy, from Atlantic City, New Jersey, left the WWF in the late ’80s and returned in 1994. He exited again after losing to the Undertaker in 1995′s WrestleMania XI, according to WWE.
He appeared on the sitcom “Married With Children” for the second time in 1995, wrestling Bud Bundy in an episode titled “Flight of the Bumblebee.”
WWE’s bio says Bundy “will always be remembered as one of the most unique and devastating individuals to ever set foot in the ring.”
Tributes poured in.