King Kong Bundy, real name Christopher Pallies, a former WWE star known for his five-count demand, died late Monday night. He was 61.
Bundy was a top heel when I started watching pro wrestling in the mid-1980s. Billed as being 6-foot-4 and weighing 458 pounds, with a shaved head and wearing a black outfit, Bundy resembled a bowling ball in the ring and he demolished opponents like they were bowling pins. While most wrestlers defeated their opponents when they pinned their shoulders to the mat and the referee counted three, Bundy would demand the ref count to five, just to show how badly he defeated his foe. The crowd loved to boo him when he did that.
The gimmick was set up to lead to a match with heavyweight champion Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania 2 in the L.A. Sports Arena in 1986. Hogan defeated Bundy in a steel cage and Bundy was then shuffled down the card.
At WrestleMania III, Bundy wrestled in a memorable six-man tag match, teaming with “midget wrestlers” Little Tokyo and Lord Littlebrook against Hillbilly Jim and his “midget wrestler” partners, Haiti Kid and Little Beaver. Bundy delivered a body slam and an elbow drop to Little Beaver, causing Bundy’s own partners to turn against him and run him from the ring.
Bundy left the company in 1988, returning briefly in 2004 as a member of Ted DiBiase’s Million Dollar Corp.
You can watch his WWE debut match here.
The cause of Bundy’s death is unknown, and he had sent a tweet advertising an upcoming autograph appearance just a few hours before word of his death was received and announced on Facebook and several pro wrestling websites.
The people involved in long-running TV sitcom “Married with Children,” which featured a family with the last name Bundy (named in honor of the wrestler) were WWE fans and asked Bundy to make what ended up being a memorable appearance on the show, playing the brother of Peggy Bundy.