Christopher Pallies, better known as King Kong Bundy, has died at the age of 61. The World Wrestling Entertainment legend was scheduled to perform at a Wrestlecon event in April at the New York City Hilton.
Instead, his family, friends and fans are now mourning the unexpected passing of the wrestling legend. Along with his long-term professional wrestling career, Bundy also performed stand-up comedy and appeared in television programs, including “Married with Children.” He also had a role in Richard Pryor’s 1988 film “Moving,” which also starred Stacey Dash and Randy Quaid.
King Kong also took part in WrestleMania 2, where he famously fought Hulk Hogan in a cage match.
Hogan took to his Twitter account to share his heartfelt remorse at Bundy’s passing:
Overwhelmed by King Kong Bundy’s passing, only great memories,R.I.P. big man until we meet again. HH
— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) March 5, 2019
Other WWE wrestlers, including Mick Foley, shared their memories of Bundy on Twitter. Foley recalled how he was welcoming and kind to him when he first started out in the WWE:
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
Wrestler Matt Hardy shared a similar memory of King Kong’s kindness and humility:
Sad new about King Kong Bundy passing away, my thoughts are with his family. KKB was always funny, witty & kind to my brother & I. I’ll never forget how impressed he was with a young #BrotherNero eating his clothesline like this..
Rest In Peace, King Kong Bundy. pic.twitter.com/3TcoXxwq8k
— MATT HARDY (@MATTHARDYBRAND) March 5, 2019
The New Jersey native began his professional wrestling career under the name Chris Cannon in 1981. The wrestler stood 6-foot-4 tall and weighed 458 pounds and was also known as the “Walking Condominium.”
While his family has not announced the cause of death, in 2016, Bundy was part of a class-action lawsuit in which 50 wrestlers sued World Wrestling Entertainment, alleging that the company did not provide adequate care for their athletes. These wrestlers are at great risk of developing chronic traumatic encephalopathy due to the repeated blows they take to the head during the course of their careers.
A judge later dismissed these cases, saying that charges against the WWE were brought too late.
Christopher Pallies’s contributions to the art of professional wrestling will live on, as will the beloved memories of his fans and friends.