King Kong Bundy

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King Kong Bundy
Kingkondbundy.jpg
King Kong Bundy in 1995
Birth nameChristopher Alan Pallies[1]
Born(1955-11-07)November 7, 1955
Woodbury, New Jersey, U.S.
DiedMarch 4, 2019(2019-03-04) (aged 63)
Glassboro, New Jersey, U.S.
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Big Daddy Bundy[1]
Boom Boom Bundy[2]
Chris Bundy[3]
Chris Cannon[3]
Chris Canyon[1][3][4]
Crippler Cannon[2]
King Kong Bundy[5]
Man Mountain Cannon, Jr[1]
Billed height6 ft 4 in (193 cm)[5]
Billed weight458 lb (208 kg)[5]
Billed fromAtlantic City, New Jersey[5][6]
Trained byLarry Sharpe[1]
DebutMarch 7, 1981[1]
RetiredMay 2007[1]

Christopher Alan Pallies (November 7, 1955 – March 4, 2019) was an American professional wrestler, better known by his ring name, King Kong Bundy. He is best known for his appearances in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in the mid-1980s and mid-1990s. He wrestled in the main event of WrestleMania 2 in 1986, facing Hulk Hogan in a steel cage match for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship.[1][5][6][7]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Early career (1981–1985)[edit]

Pallies was trained to wrestle by Larry Sharpe at the "Monster Factory" in Bellmawr, New Jersey. He debuted on March 7, 1981, wrestling for the World Wrestling Federation under the ring name "Chris Canyon".[1][4] In the early years of his career, he also used the name "Chris Cannon".[3]

In 1982, Pallies relocated to Texas, where he joined the World Class Wrestling Association.[3] He was developed by the Von Erich family as "Big Daddy Bundy" (after Shirley Crabtree's "Big Daddy" moniker).[8] He wore blue jeans with a rope belt. After a dispute with the Von Erich family, Bundy was recruited by "Playboy" Gary Hart and dramatically reintroduced as "King Kong Bundy", with the "Big Daddy" portion of his moniker replaced by the name of cinematic monster, King Kong, wearing the black singlet for the first time to signify his change. He lost his hair during the feud, adding to his signature look.

Bundy was Fritz Von Erich's opponent for Fritz's 1982 retirement match at the Fritz Von Erich Retirement Show held at the Texas Stadium.[9][10]

He also competed in various territories such as the American Wrestling Association and National Wrestling Alliance. He also had a tendency to demand a five count (as opposed to the usual three count) for pinfalls whenever he dominated his opponent in a squash match, a gimmick he began while wrestling for Mid-South Wrestling. During this time Bundy also wrestled in Memphis often teaming with Rick Rude and Jim Neidhart against opponents such as Jerry Lawler.

World Wrestling Federation (1985–1988)[edit]

WWF Championship pursuit (1985–1986)[edit]

After making a few appearances on New Japan Pro Wrestling/World Wrestling Federation joint shows in early 1985, Bundy officially debuted in the WWF on the March 16, 1985 airing of WWF Championship Wrestling, defeating Mario Mancini.[11] First managed by Jimmy Hart, he was immediately pushed with dominating victories over all of his opponents. Bundy also reprised his gimmick of demanding a five-count from the referee while pinning an opponent, to show how badly he had beaten his hapless opponent.[11] He defeated S.D. "Special Delivery" Jones in what was announced as only nine seconds at the first WrestleMania at Madison Square Garden (it was actually about 17 seconds).[12] This remained the shortest match in WrestleMania history until 2008 when Kane defeated Chavo Guerrero Jr. in a legitimate eight seconds at WrestleMania XXIV.[13]

In September 1985, Hart traded Bundy to manager Bobby Heenan in exchange for Adrian Adonis and The Missing Link.[11] After joining the Heenan Family, Bundy feuded extensively with André the Giant, a feud which started during an angle where Bundy interfered in one of André's matches and delivered several splashes, giving the Giant a kayfabe broken sternum.[11] They feuded for several months, including a pair of tag team matches on Saturday Night's Main Event in late 1985, where Bundy, and André's other nemesis, Big John Studd, first faced André and Tony Atlas and then André and WWF World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan.[14][15] On September 23, 1985, Bundy faced André the Giant at Madison Square Garden in a match billed as "the Colossal Jostle". André dominated the match, with the match ending after Big John Studd came from the locker rooms to Bundy's aid and attacked the Giant, causing a disqualification.[16]

Bundy also began targeting Hogan and the WWF World Championship in late 1985. At Saturday Night's Main Event V, Hogan was dominating challenger the Magnificent Muraco when Bundy (with Heenan in tow) ran to ambush Hogan. With Muraco's help, Bundy repeatedly gave Hogan avalanches and big splashes, which caused Hogan to severely bruise his ribs (kayfabe). Bundy demanded a match and claimed Hogan was afraid of him, setting up their feud.[17] Hogan demanded revenge and agreed to a steel cage match for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship as the main event of WrestleMania 2 in the Los Angeles portion of the event, which Hogan won.[18]

Various feuds (1986–1988)[edit]

Later in 1986, Bundy reformed his tag-team partnership with Studd and began a feud with The Machines, Bill Eadie and Blackjack Mulligan wrestling under masks (as the Super Machine and Big Machine, respectively) and often joined by Andre the Giant (as the Giant Machine). The storyline was that Bundy and Studd, along with Heenan, claimed that the Giant Machine was a masked Andre the Giant, and was competing under the mask and alias to circumvent an earlier suspension (due to no-showing for an event), but none of them ever proved that Andre and the Giant Machine were one and the same. Eventually, Bundy and Studd began teaming up with Heenan in a series of six-man tag team matches against the Machines (usually, Big and Super; as Andre's health was starting to deteriorate at this time, the Giant Machine made occasional appearances, but more often than not, it was either Captain Lou Albano or a number of popular faces—often, Hogan, Roddy Piper and others—who teamed with the other Machines). Bundy and Studd were regularly beaten, but won their last match over the Super-Big version of the Machines at Madison Square Garden. Also in the latter half of 1986, Bundy and Studd received shots at the WWF Tag Team Championship against The British Bulldogs, but were unsuccessful, often losing by disqualification. Studd left the WWF shortly after their last match with the Machines, and Bundy went back to singles competition.

At WrestleMania III, Bundy was involved in a mixed six-man tag team match, teaming up with midget wrestlers Little Tokyo and Lord Littlebrook against Hillbilly Jim, the Haiti Kid and Little Beaver. During the match, after being pestered by Beaver, Bundy body slammed him and delivered a big elbow, causing his team's disqualification and his own tag partners to turn against him.[19][20] At the 1987 King of the Ring on September 4, Bundy made it to the finals of the King of the Ring tournament, where he was defeated by Randy Savage. In November 1987, Bundy defeated Hulk Hogan via count-out on an episode of Saturday Night's Main Event,[21] but lost to Hogan in a rematch on the next episode of the series;[22] the match was best known for the referee becoming legitimately injured when he was accidentally caught between Hogan and a charging Bundy, and Andre the Giant's post-match attack of Hogan shortly after Bundy left ringside. Although no longer appearing on the WWF's syndicated TV shows, Bundy continued to wrestle house shows in early 1988 (often losing to Bam Bam Bigelow); his last match during his initial WWF run was a televised match at Madison Square Garden in February 1988, teaming up with One Man Gang in a loss to Don Muraco and The Ultimate Warrior.

Semi-retirement (1988–1994)[edit]

After leaving the WWF in 1988, Bundy went into semi-retirement, wrestling only a handful of matches. In 1993, he wrestled in the main event of Eastern Championship Wrestling's inaugural November to Remember supercard, appearing as the mystery tag team partner of Terry Funk in a losing effort against Road Warrior Hawk and Sabu.

World Wrestling Federation (1994–1995)[edit]

Bundy returned to the WWF in the fall of 1994 as a member of Ted DiBiase's stable, The Million Dollar Corporation.[23][24] He had a successful pay-per-view return at the Survivor Series, when he and fellow "Million Dollar Team" member Bam Bam Bigelow survived a match against Lex Luger's "Guts and Glory" team.[23] Bundy was then billed as a favorite in the 1995 Royal Rumble, but lasted only three minutes before being eliminated by another big man, Mabel.[25] Bundy made his return to WrestleMania at WrestleMania XI, where he was defeated by the Undertaker,[23][26] Bundy was later pushed down the card before being released in October 1995 after participating in a 20-man battle royal on Monday Night Raw.

Independent circuit (1995–2007)[edit]

After leaving the WWF in late 1995,[23] Bundy wrestled for several independent promotions in the United States. In April 1997, he resurfaced in magazines when he joined a faction managed by Kenny Casanova called "Camp Casanova" along with "Danger" Dave DeJohn and the Masked Maniac at times in USWF, NBW, and USA Power Pro Wrestling. In a match against "the Seven Foot Tall" Primo Canera III, Bundy knee-dropped his opponent and then "Bundy-splashed" him. The impact actually broke the ring, leaving the two grapplers in a pit in the center of the squared circle. This independent footage was picked up by Pro Wrestling Illustrated.

His feuds against "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka, Doink the Clown, and Tom Brandi are among many main events in the northeast independent circuit. In 1999, at the Kolf Arena in Oshkosh, Wisconsin he won the AWA Superstars of Wrestling Heavyweight Championship from Jonnie Stewart. Later that same year, Bundy the reigning AWA heavyweight champion wrestled again headlining an AWA "Super Event" at the Dee Events Center in Ogden, Utah. That night ended differently for Bundy, losing a "bodyslam match" to Koszmar Polski who was managed by Ken Patera. Bundy still wrestled across the country, primarily in the Southern and Eastern United States. He continued to be a headliner and a crowd favorite at all events he attended. King Kong Bundy's last match is thought to have been at the Legends of Wrestling Show at the Pulaski County Fair in Somerset, Kentucky in 2007. Bundy lost to "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan in the main event.

Acting career[edit]

In 1986, Bundy appeared in television commercials and print advertisements for the Vendex HeadStart personal computer.[27]

Bundy had two guest spots and one bit part on Married... with Children, as the creators had named the lead characters "Bundy" as an homage to him.[28] In 1987, he played Uncle Irwin, the brother of Peggy Bundy. In 1995, he appeared again as the King Kong Bundy character, teaching Bud how to wrestle.

In 1988, he appeared in the Richard Pryor film Moving as Gorgo,[29] part of a trio of ex-cons who are insolent and careless movers. In 1996, he appeared on an episode of Weird Science as himself. He had also appeared on sitcom Boy Meets World. He is on the cover of Belgian band Belgian Asociality's 2009 album Kabaal. Bundy had also tried a career in stand-up comedy.[30] On April 24, 2008, he was on a Norwegian TV show called Golden GOAL!. Bundy also starred as Otto Belmar in the 2011 independent film Fight the Panda Syndicate.

Personal life[edit]

Born in Woodbury, New Jersey on November 7, 1955,[1][31] Pallies attended Washington Township High School in Sewell, New Jersey, graduating in 1973.[1][32]

In July 2016, Pallies joined a class action lawsuit filed against WWE which alleged that wrestlers incurred "long term neurological injuries" and that the company "routinely failed to care" for them and "fraudulently misrepresented and concealed" the nature and extent of those injuries. The suit was litigated by attorney Konstantine Kyros, who has been involved in a number of other lawsuits against WWE.[33] The case was dismissed by US District Judge Vanessa Lynne Bryant in September 2018.[34]

Pallies was fond of cats, and had “about 10” as pets at the time of his death.[35] Their names included Stewie, Paige, Gio, and Pat.[35]

Death[edit]

On March 4, 2019, Pallies died in Glassboro, New Jersey. He was 63 years old.[31]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k John Grasso (2014). Historical Dictionary of Wrestling. Scarecrow Press. pp. 55–56. ISBN 978-0-8108-7926-3.
  2. ^ a b "King Kong Bundy profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved July 7, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d e Dave Meltzer (1986). The Wrestling Observer's Who's who in Pro Wrestling. Wrestling Observer. p. 28.
  4. ^ a b Robert Myers (1999). The Professional Wrestling Trivia Book. Branden Books. pp. 4, 49. ISBN 0-8283-2045-4.
  5. ^ a b c d e "King Kong Bundy". WWE. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  6. ^ a b Brian Shields (2010). Main Event: WWE in the Raging 80s. Simon & Schuster. pp. 80–81. ISBN 978-1-4516-0467-2.
  7. ^ Tim Hornbaker (2017). Legends of Pro Wrestling: 150 Years of Headlocks, Body Slams, and Piledrivers. Skyhorse Publishing. pp. 956–957. ISBN 978-1-61321-875-4.
  8. ^ "The 50 greatest ring names ever". WWE. October 7, 2013. Retrieved October 7, 2013.
  9. ^ "Texas Stadium 1982 Fritz Von Erich Retirement Show". Pro Wrestling History. June 4, 1982. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  10. ^ "Historical Cards: Fritz Von Erich Retirement Show (June 4, 1982. Irving, Texas)". PWI Presents: 2007 Wrestling Almanak and book of facts. Kappa Publications. p. 172. 2007 Edition.
  11. ^ a b c d Cawthon, Graham (2013). the History of Professional Wrestling Vol 1: WWF 1963 - 1989. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 1492825972.
  12. ^ Clapp, John (April 3, 2012). "10 Show of Show Shorties: Return to sender". WWE. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
  13. ^ Plummer, Dale (March 30, 2008). "Mayweather, Orton survive Mania; Edge, Flair don't". SLAM! Sports. Retrieved April 8, 2008.
  14. ^ "Saturday Night's Main Event #2 results". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved April 3, 2012.
  15. ^ "Saturday Night's Main Event #3 results". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved April 3, 2012.
  16. ^ Cawthon, Graham (November 26, 2014). "1980s". In Sawyer, Grant (ed.). Holy Ground: 50 Years of WWE at Madison Square Garden (The History of Professional Wrestling). CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. pp. 130–246. ISBN 1-5052292-6-X.
  17. ^ "Saturday Night Main Event - Mar. 1, 1986". History of WWE. Retrieved May 17, 2015.
  18. ^ Powell, John. "WrestleMania 2: Caged Heat". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved November 8, 2009.
  19. ^ "WrestleMania III Results". WWE. Retrieved February 14, 2008.
  20. ^ Shields, Brian (2006). Main Event: WWE in the Raging 80s. Simon and Schuster. p. 81. ISBN 1-4165-3257-9.
  21. ^ "Saturday Night's Main Event #13 results". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved April 3, 2012.
  22. ^ "Saturday Night's Main Event #14 results". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved April 3, 2012.
  23. ^ a b c d Cawthon, Graham (2013). the History of Professional Wrestling Vol 2: WWF 1990 - 1999. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ASIN B00RWUNSRS.
  24. ^ "Million Dollar Corporation profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved July 7, 2011.
  25. ^ "Royal Rumble 1995 Elimination Info". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved April 6, 2012.
  26. ^ Powell, John. "No worse WrestleMania than 11". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved November 8, 2009.
  27. ^ "KAYFABE THEATER: King Kong Bundy – Vendex Computer Commercial — The Gorilla Position". Classic Wrestling Association. February 2, 2018. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  28. ^ Farrell, Paul (March 05, 2019). "King Kong Bundy on 'Married… With Children' in 1987 & 1995". Heavy.com. Retrieved March 05, 2019.
  29. ^ Internet Movie Database
  30. ^ "King Kong Bundy puts comedy on the mat tonight at the Colosseum". Delaware Online. January 18, 2007. Archived from the original on February 23, 2007.
  31. ^ a b Slotnik, Daniel E. (March 5, 2019). "King Kong Bundy, Gargantuan Professional Wrestler, Dies at 63". The New York Times. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
  32. ^ Jessica Beym (January 28, 2010). "Former professional wrestling star to visit Washington Township to promote hoagie sale". NJ.com. Advance Publications. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  33. ^ Bieler, Des (July 19, 2016). "Dozens of wrestlers sue WWE over CTE, effects of traumatic brain injuries". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
  34. ^ Collins, Dave (September 19, 2018). "Judge throws out lawsuit against WWE by ex-pro wrestlers over concussions". The Denver Post. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
  35. ^ a b Romalino, Carly Q. “Wrestler King Kong Bundy's cats need new homes”, The Cherry Hill Courier-Post, March 22, 2019.
  36. ^ a b Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  37. ^ "Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) 500 for 1995". Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved March 10, 2019.

External links[edit]