The wrestling giant King Kong Bundy passed away on March 4, 2019,
He was also a standup comedian.
Literal wrestling giant King Kong Bundy passed away on March 4, 2019, in his home at age 63. He went by many names throughout his wrestling career, but his real name was Christopher Alan Pallies.
Other wrestlers took to social media to pay their respects to the Goliath, who wrestled from the early 1980s to 2007, though he semi-retired from 1988-1994.
So how did King Kong Bundy die? The details of his death are still unknown, but this is what we know about his life.
1. He was from New Jersey.
Bundy was born in Woodbury, N.J., and grew up in Washington Township.
He clearly had close ties to his home state, as it was reported he passed away in his Glassboro home. It was where he learned to wrestle: he was trained in Bellmawr at the “Monster Factory” by Larry Sharpe.
2. He really lived up to his name in terms of size.
Bundy was a mammoth in the ring. According to the WWE, his billed height was 6 feet, 4 inches. His billed weight was a whopping 458 pounds.
Before he was King Kong Bundy, he went through many other monikers. The first name he used in the World Wrestling Federation was “Chris Canyon.” He also used “Chris Cannon.” As his career continued, he was taken under the wing of the Von Reich family, and his name changed to “Big Daddy Bundy.” Then the two parted ways, and King Kong landed on his famous name with “Playboy” Gary Hart.
Hate to hear about the passing of King Kong Bundy. He was so cool to me when I walked in that @WWE dressing room as an absolute nobody in 1986.
— Mick Foley (@RealMickFoley) March 5, 2019
Yes this my favorite Kong photo,Bundy laughed his head off when I first found out it was his favorite photo for his signings/appearances love u my brother HH pic.twitter.com/E8NSmQFEks
— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) March 5, 2019
Fellow wrestler Gorilla Monsoon called Bundy a “walking condominium.”
The New York Times’ obituary for the wrestler spoke of his style: “Bundy brought his bulk and surprising agility to bear in his matches. He relied on moves like the avalanche, which involved launching his chest at a standing opponent’s face, and the splash, which involved belly-flopping onto an opponent on the mat.” His signature move was called the Avalanche Splash.
The WWE also said King Kong “was so dominant that he demanded referees count to five when he pinned his opponents to show that there was no way they were getting up.”
3. He never won a WWE championship, but he got close.
King Kong Bundy hit his stride in the mid-to-late 1980s when the organization was known as the World Wrestling Federation. He debuted in the WWF on Mar. 16, 1985, in which he defeated Mario Mancini at WWF Championship Wrestling.
The closest he got to winning a championship was at WrestleMania 2 in 1986. King Kong had started a feud with Hulk Hogan in 1985 at Saturday Night’s Main Event V. Hogan demanded revenge after Bundy ambushed the match. The two fought in a steel cage match as the main event of WrestleMania 2. Hogan won the event.
King Kong is best known, however, for his match against S.D. “Special Delivery” Jones at the first WrestleMania at Madison Square Garden. He won the match in 17 seconds, though it was announced as only nine. It was the shortest match in WrestleMania history until 2008.
4. He had an acting career and tried his hand in stand-up comedy.
Aside from wrestling, Bundy was in commercials, television shows, and movies. Most notably, he had two guest spots and a one bit part on Married… with Children. He also came back to the show in 1995 as King Kong Bundy. He was also in Moving, a Richard Pryor film, as well as on Boy Meets World.
Bundy did stand-up shows in the 2000s. He took stand-up classes with Steve Trevelise of New Jersey 101.5 and Jimmy Graham in 2006. Trevelise described him as “a big man with an even bigger heart.”
Bundy was a regular caller to Trevelise’s show on NJ 101.5.
5. He filed a lawsuit against WWE in 2016.
In 2016, dozens of pro wrestlers filed a class-action lawsuit against the WWE. They sued over alleged “long term neurological injuries” from their careers with the WWE. They specifically cited CTE, which has also lead to professional players filing class-action lawsuits against the NFL and NHL.
The lawsuit stated, “Instead of upholding its duty to its employees, WWE placed corporate gain over its wrestlers’ health, safety, and financial security, choosing to leave the Plaintiffs severely injured and with no recourse to treat their damaged minds and bodies.”
Other wrestlers included in the lawsuit were Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, Joseph “Road Warrior Animal” Laurinaitis, Paul “Mr. Wonderful” Orndorff, Salvador “Chavo” Guerrero IV, and Terry “Sabu Brunk.”
In 2018, U.S. District Judge Vanessa Bryant threw out the lawsuit. She said many of the claims were frivolous, or that they were filed after the statute of limitations expired.
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