Former WWE legend King Kong Bundy has died, the wrestling company announced Tuesday. He was 61. The New Jersey native, whose real name is Christopher Pallies, was known for his enormous stature inside the ring.
Pallies became a larger-than-life professional wrestling star and lost to Hulk Hogan in the then-WWF main event at WrestleMania 2 in 1986. The now-WWE offered its condolences on its website Tuesday morning.
After news of Bundy’s death broke, several members of the wrestling community paid their respects on social media.
“Today we lost a Legend and a man I consider family. Rest in Peace Chris. We love you. Thank you for believing in me,” wrote Bundy’s promoter and friend David Herro on Facebook.
Pallies began working for the World Wrestling Federation in 1985 when he feuded extensively with Andre the Giant. They feuded for several months, including a tag-team match where Bundy and Big John Studd faced Andre the Giants and Hogan.
Bundy stopped wrestling with the WWE in the late 1980s but returned for a brief period in the 90s as a member of The Million Dollar Corporation, according to the WWE. Bundy’s cause of death was not immediately known. He was due to appear next month at WrestleCon New York City.