By Chris Brown on April 20, 2017.
Former professional wrestler Paul Orndorff made a career out of playing the bad guy inside the squared circle. In real life, though, the man known and “Mr. Wonderful” is pretty much that.
Locals can learn for themselves on April 26 at the Canadian Wrestling’s Elite event at the Medicine Hat Exhibition & Stampede’s Wildrose Room. The man who co-headlined the first WrestleMania at Madison Square Garden in 1985 will do a meet and greet before the event and will sign autographs all night long if that’s what it takes.
“I’m looking forward to coming to you and I hope the fans will be there because I’ll sign every autograph and everything until they’re all done. I won’t walk away in an hour, I’ll stay there and sign ’em,” the gravel-voiced Florida native said last week.
Orndorff’s in-ring career spanned the early 1970s to the mid-’90s, hitting its highest heights with the then World Wrestling Federation in the mid-’80s when he turned heel and began a feud with Hulk Hogan that culminated in the main event at WrestleMania I. Prior to that, Orndorff and Hogan fought in front of more than 60,000 people in Toronto, one of the events that keeps Canada in such high regard for Orndorff.
“Canada, it was good wrestling place to be because those people knew what was happening, they were on track with everything,” he said. “The fans (across Canada) were really good. It’s kind of like a payback for me. Looking forward to it. I hope the people will come and forget about when I was a bad guy and they didn’t like me. That was just a way of making extra money.”
Orndorff, who in the early-’90s won championship titles with World Championship Wrestling before retirement in 1995, is these days under contract with Vince McMahon and World Wrestling Entertainment. Orndorff thinks his experience and knowledge of how
to work a crowd could prove valuable for younger wrestlers. He says being able to get the crowd either with you or against you is a lost art.
The Medicine Hat stop with CWE is part of a 16-city run this spring for Orndorff. It’s the first time in a long time he’s toured like this and says it’s probably the last time and is hoping for huge crowds.
“I’m looking forward to seeing some of the people that were children back then and now are grownups,” he said. “I am ready to do it, I’m pumped up about it and I hope the fans feel the way that I do about it. They can be assured that I’ll sign every autograph that is there.”
Tickets for the meet and greet ($22) and the matches are available in advance ($17) at The Garage Pub & Eatery and online at http://www.cwetickets.com or at the door ($22).
The meet and greet is at 6 p.m., doors open at 6:30 and the bell rings at 7.
Kyle Sebastian versus “Hotshot” Danny Duggan is one of the top matches on the card.
For more information: http://www.cwecanada.net
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