Connect with us
A Mark's Eye View: "Wonderful! Wonderful!"

A Mark's Eye View

A Mark’s Eye View: “Wonderful! Wonderful!”

I thought Paul Orndoff and Hulk Hogan made me a pro wrestling fan for life.

‘A Mark’s Eye View’ is a weekly look at some of the things that made my a huge fan of professional wrestling until one day I realized I just did not care anymore.

My earliest memory of professional wrestling involves Gino Hernandez. He passed away within a week of when I started watching and I was convinced Chris Adams had legitimately murdered him. From there I would watch Mid South Wrestling and the occasional NWA show. I was five years old and it was real and exciting so I would watch it whenever I had the chance.

One night I was spending the night at a friend’s house. It was 1986 and we were watching some show called Saturday Night’s Main Event. It was the the WWF, which I really did not care for — I thought they were all wimps. Most of them looked like they had fake muscles, few of them did much aside from punch and kick, and the matches were too short. On top of that, there was never any blood.

I watched as Hulk Hogan wrestled some guy named the Magnificent Muraco. Over 30 years later, I don’t remember the details of the match, but my friend was really into it. He loved the Hulkster. At the end of the match, King Kong Bundy ran in and attacked Hogan. He squashed the champion in the corner with a series of avalanches and cracked his ribs. My friend was in tears.

A Mark's Eye View: "Wonderful! Wonderful!"

Months later, Hogan was still WWF Champion after disposing of Bundy at WrestleMania 2. Hogan and his best friend “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff were having troubles getting on the same page. Over the weeks, segments played out in which Hogan would constantly turn his back on Orndorff. Hogan would not take Orndorff’s calls and would not so much as interrupt a training session when “Mr. Wonderful” tried to prove to the heels that he and Hogan were buddies. I began to think that this Hulk Hogan guy was pretty mean.

In the summer of 1986, Orndorff finally pulled the trigger and gave a piledriver to Hogan right into the mat. Afterwards, Orndorff went to the bad guys’ locker room. He was surrounded by cheers and chants of his name. This was all he ever wanted. He simply wanted to be accepted.

That afternoon I became a wrestling fan for life. In actuality, there really wasn’t much to it: Orndorff was jealous of Hogan and turned on him. As a kid, I took it as Hogan being a bad friend and Orndorff deciding it was time to move on. What it boiled down to was I simply enjoyed the way story that was told.

A Mark's Eye View: "Wonderful! Wonderful!"

Since then I have romanticized the entire angle. Poor writing made Hogan out to be a jerk, and there probably was no intention of making it seem like Orndorff finally found the friendship he was looking for. But over the years, it turned out the Hulkster was a jerk in real life and when storytelling became more important, it was an easy spin to put on the whole thing. And one thing did not have to be exaggerated at all: at the culmination of that angle, I knew I would be a professional wrestling fan forever.

That Saturday, I knew that I discovered something special. Whether it was the wimps of the WWF, the real wrestlers in the NWA, or the tough guys of Mid South/UWF, I was going to pay close attention to pro wrestling. I did not realize how far that passion would take me.

Next week: A look at Von Erichs, Freebirds and confusing DQ rules.

Join the AIPT Patreon

Want to take our relationship to the next level? Become a patron today to gain access to exclusive perks, such as:

  • ❌ Remove all ads on the website
  • 💬 Join our Discord community, where we chat about the latest news and releases from everything we cover on AIPT
  • 📗 Access to our monthly book club
  • 📦 Get a physical trade paperback shipped to you every month
  • 💥 And more!
Sign up today
Comments

In Case You Missed It

Sick and disturbed: Daniel Hillyard and Doug Wagner unpack new series 'Plush' Sick and disturbed: Daniel Hillyard and Doug Wagner unpack new series 'Plush'

Sick and disturbed: Daniel Hillyard and Doug Wagner unpack new series ‘Plush’

Comic Books

DC Comics Preview: Batman #130 DC Comics Preview: Batman #130

DC Comics Preview: Batman #130

Comic Books

Captain Marvel #43 Captain Marvel #43

‘Captain Marvel’ #43 reunites Carol with the X-Men

Comic Books

DC Preview: The New Golden Age #1 DC Preview: The New Golden Age #1

DC Preview: The New Golden Age #1

Comic Books

Connect
Newsletter Signup