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King Kong Bundy (1957-2019)

Sporting a simple black singlet that covered over 400 pounds of pure intimidation, the man known as King Kong Bundy was the stuff of professional wrestling legend. Billed at 6'4" and at 458 pounds, "The Walking Condominium" pretty much fit the bill for his moniker: a ruthless beast and psychopath, built and trained to dwarf and destroy whoever was pit against him in the ring.

In a career that spanned 30 years, with rivalries that run a respectable list of legends and Hall of Famers, Bundy was one of the most feared, most dominating figures in professional wrestling. Bundy's beginnings included being billed as a fan favorite alongside the Von Erichs in the World Class Wrestling Association. From being a well-liked blue-collar face, his career took a sharp turn to a long career as a full-fledged heel alongside "Playboy" Gary Hart. As King Kong Bundy, he held the distinction of being Fritz Von Erich's final opponent. It was during this time, too, that Bundy began a quirk that many pro wrestling fans associate with Big E's NXT days: the five-count, instead of the usual 3-count.

By the time he moved to the WWF, Bundy took his brand of aggression and domination with him; beating Special Delivery Jones in nine seconds at the very first WrestleMania. Not long after, Bundy's services were recruited by Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, in what was to kick off his career in the main event. Bundy was engaged in high-profile feud with Andre the Giant—a story that had him breaking the legend's ribs with his signature splash—and Hulk Hogan not long after. Bundy's rib-breaking, body-bruising persona carried him through his opportunities at Hulk Hogan's WWF Championship at the time, culminating in a title match with Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania 2.




After going into semi-retirement a couple of years later, Bundy's career wound down, with a re-emergence with the Million Dollar Corporation in the mid-90s. But this wasn't after a reputable hitlist of feuds and rivalries that any wrestler at the time would dream of: everyone from Sgt. Slaughter, Ultimate Warrior, Don Muraco. Bundy even dropped his name in the hat of The Undertaker's Streak at WrestleMania XI.


As a wrestler, Bundy epitomized a wrestling psychology that still stands true to this day: a no-nonsense, beat-up-everything-that-moves style. While eschewing feats of athleticism for pure brutality was typical for the big men of the 1980s to the 1990s, Bundy took it up a notch in emotion and storytelling. At the time, few wrestlers could stand up to the mass and sheer size of Bundy from the other side of the ring: both in terms of physicality and psychology. While this did not necessarily translate to championship success, being the brutal, body-crushing force that helped define an entire era of pro wrestling was more than enough to cement his status as a legend.

Few could go toe-to-toe with King Kong Bundy on sheer size, but even fewer can match up to him in terms of sheer presence. For a man dubbed as "The Walking Condominium," the wrestling ring was a house collapsing beneath his massive persona, and woe to the wrestler about to be crushed beneath.

Just today, King Kong Bundy died at the age of 61, leaving behind a sure-fire Hall of Fame career, and a legacy for big men that is still felt to this day.

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