Christopher Pallies, better known as pro wrestling legend King Kong Bundy, died Monday (Mar 4) at the age of 61, World Wrestling Entertainment announced.
The cause of death was not immediately known.
Bundy, who also earned the moniker “walking condominium” due to his 1.9m, 207kg frame, made his professional debut in 1981 under the name Chris Canyon before changing his name.
Bundy was best known for his steel-cage match against Hulk Hogan in WrestleMania 2 in 1986, won by Hogan. He also eschewed the three-count pin, demanding referees count to five to show off his dominance over a fallen foe.
Hogan, among others, took to Twitter on Tuesday to express his condolences.
“Overwhelmed by King Kong Bundy’s passing, only great memories. RIP big man, until we meet again.”
Bundy debuted with the WWF and competed in the first ever WrestleMania at Madison Square Garden in 1985.
Bundy wrestled with or against wrestling’s biggest stars, including Andre The Giant, The Undertaker, “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan.
Bundy semi-retired from wrestling in 1988 before returning to the WWF in 1994 as part of The Million Dollar Corporation. Bundy left the WWF in 1995 and wrestled independently until 2007.
Bundy was also a stand-up comedian and actor. He appeared on the hit TV show Married ... With Children as well as Boy Meets World and starred in commercials. He also appeared in the movie Moving with Richard Pryor in 1988.
Bundy was part of a class-action lawsuit filed against the WWE in 2016 over claims that the company failed to take care of wrestlers suffering from head injuries. The suit was dismissed in 2018.
He was scheduled to appear at WrestleCon next month in New York. Pallies was born in Atlantic City, N.J., in 1957.