The news was reported late Monday night that Chris Pallies, who was more recognizable under the moniker “King Kong Bundy” passed away on Monday at the age 61.
He was a product of The Monster Factory in New Jersey and trained by Larry Sharpe, beginning his career in 1981 and working under several ring names, including Chris Canyon and Chris Cannon. He would adopt the “Bundy” surname when he traveled to Texas and worked for World Class Championship Wrestling.
In June 1982, Bundy headlined at Texas Stadium in Fritz Von Erich’s retirement match with Von Erich defeating Bundy in a Falls Count Anywhere match for the NWA American heavyweight title. Von Erich would come out of retirement several times over the next years.
Bundy had stopped in the AWA, Memphis, Mid-Atlantic, Mid-South, Japan and arrived at the World Wrestling Federation in 1985 as a heavily-pushed heel alongside Jimmy Hart. Bundy squashed Special Delivery Jones on the inaugural WrestleMania card in March and had the distinction of being the shortest match in WrestleMania history until 2010.
Over the next year, Bundy began to be managed by Bobby Heenan as they heated Bundy up to challenge Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania 2. A big angle was shot on Saturday Night’s Main Event in February 1986 where Bundy attacked Hogan during a match with Don Muraco. Bundy splashed Hogan and attacked his ribs to injure the champion going into their steel cage match at WrestleMania.
WrestleMania 2 took place from three separate arenas with Hogan and Bundy headlining the Los Angeles portion with Hogan retaining the title. It was the formula the WWWF had utilized under Vince McMahon Sr. where you built up the heel, who would get a run of matches with the babyface champion and then be moved down the card or leave the territory.
During this era, Bundy made a pair of appearances on “Married with Children” with the matching surname. He also appeared in an IBM computer ad in 1987.
Bundy was moved down the card, working a six-man tag at WrestleMania 3 in March 1987 with Lord Littlebrook and Little Tokyo against Hillbilly Jim, the Haiti Kid, and Little Beaver. The match is most-remembered for Bundy dropping an elbow onto Little Beaver.
Bundy rekindled the Hogan program in November 1987, defeating Hogan by countout on Saturday Night’s Main Event in Seattle to set up the rematch. On December 7th, Hogan defeated Bundy on Saturday Night’s Main Event with Andre the Giant in Bundy’s corner with Hogan’s previous two WrestleMania challengers on one side. Bundy left the company in 1988.
Bundy returned for a second run with the World Wrestling Federation in late 1994 as a member of Ted DiBiase’s Million Dollar Corporation. He was The Undertaker’s big heel opponent for WrestleMania 11 in April 1995. The Undertaker won the match as Bundy was moved back down the card and ‘Taker spun off with Kama as his next adversary in the Corporation.
Bundy left the company for the final time in 1995 and continued to work on the independent level for years. In October 1999, he participated in the awful Heroes of Wrestling debacle teaming with Jim Neidhart in the main event against Jake Roberts and Yokozuna, which was a disaster of a match. He kept up his independent schedule until winding down in 2007.
He had also been part of the recent class action lawsuit filed by Konstantine Kyros against the WWE and was thrown out last September by Judge Vanessa Bryant.
We extend our condolences to the family and friends of Chris “King Kong Bundy” Pallies.