Former WWE wrestler King Kong Bundy has died at 61, The Associated Press reported Tuesday.
Wrestling promoter David Herro announced Bundy's death one day prior, writing on Facebook, "Today we lost a legend and a man I consider family." No cause of death was released.
Born in New Jersey in 1957, Bundy, whose real name was Christopher Alan Pallies, began wrestling for World Wrestling Federation in the 1980s. He competed at the first-ever WrestleMania in 1985, defeating Special Delivery Jones in just 23 seconds. This held as the record for shortest WrestleMania match of all time until 2008, when Kane surpassed it with an 11-second win. Bundy also famously faced Hulk Hogan in a steel cage match WrestleMania 2, which Hogan won to retain the WWF World Heavyweight Championship.
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Professional wrestlers and fans alike paid tribute to Bundy on Tuesday, with Hogan tweeting he is "overwhelmed by King Kong Bundy's passing, only great memories." Kevin Owens shared a story about meeting Bundy backstage in 1999. "I'll always remember him being really funny and just such a great guy," Owens wrote. "I wish I had been lucky enough to cross paths with him again."
In a statement, WWE said that it "extends its condolences to Bundy's family, friends and fans."
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