The classic Bundy pose with manager Bobby Heenan.
When WrestleMania comes around, inevitably the conversation turns to the most memorable moments in the
supercard's history. For many, one such moment is the sight of a 400-plus man dropping a mammoth elbow on the
helpless midget Little Beaver at WrestleMania
The behemoth in question is the legendary King Kong Bundy, who recently sat down with SLAM! Wrestling to share
his thoughts on his career, including his WrestleMania memories.
Bundy, real name Chris Pallies, was one of the biggest names in wrestling in the mid-'80s. A huge man, his
wrestling arsenal consisted mainly of big impact moves like the Avalanche and giant splash, after which he would
pin his hapless opponent for the infamous "Five!", since, as Bundy often said, when you were pinned by King Kong
Bundy, a three-count wasn't good enough... he wanted you to know you had just been beaten by a better man.
That formula ultimately took Bundy to the very top of the WWF, an unlikely destination for someone who virtually
fell into the wrestling business by mistake.
"How I got into wrestling was by a fluke," Bundy explains. "My brother was an elementary phys ed. teacher, and
one of his students was the daughter of Dick Worley, who was a WWF referee. So my brother asked her if her father
could get him some tickets to wrestling. Well somehow Dick got the message that my brother wanted to be a
wrestler, picked up the phone book, and called me instead by mistake. I was around 23, just kind of drifting
aimlessly at the time, and figured why not give it a shot."
Hogan and Bundy square off at WrestleMania II.
Early on in his career, Bundy worked for some time in the Pennsylvania regional scene, where he was used
primarily to elevate other stars. "I used to get beat three times a night," he remembers. "Everyone wanted to
wrestle me so they could beat a big young guy on TV." The exposure he received there, and in a few southern
territories, eventually got him noticed by the WWF.
He joined the company in 1984 and immediately made an impact. His first historic moment came at the inaugural
WrestleMania , where he defeated perennial jobber S.D. Jones in only nine seconds. Slipping into character, as
Pallies often does for interviews, he is quick to defend his speedy pinfall as a record. "Never mind Uncle Elmer
(who once pinned an opponent in six seconds)! That wasn't a WrestleMania match! I've still got the WrestleMania
record, and that's what matters!"
Over the next year, "the walking condominium" rose quickly up the ranks, soon finding himself in the main event
scene against the legendary Andre the Giant. For
many fans, the moment which catapulted Bundy right to the top of the mountain was his infamous run-in during a
match pitting Andre against Big John Studd. Bundy and Studd double-teamed the Giant, breaking his sternum after a
series of big splashes. "Ah, you've got it wrong," Bundy protests. "I was just coming down to ringside to make
sure Andre didn't cheat against Studd, by calling in Hulk Hogan to interfere! We never cheated!" On a more
serious note, Pallies credits Andre for helping him be seen as a credible opponent against then-champ Hulk Hogan.
"Andre was a very generous guy in the ring. He was a good man, may he rest in peace."
Soon thereafter, Bundy achieved one of his career highlights, facing Hulk Hogan in the main event of WrestleMania
II. "It was exciting, being in the main event with Hogan. It was a good match, a lot of fun," he recalls, before
jumping back into character. "But if you check the tape, you'll see that my feet hit the floor first - I never
lost! I should have been the champion!"
After WM2, Bundy remained a major player, continuing his feud with Hogan and Andre over the course of the year.
But when it came time for WrestleMania III, the writers had no plans for the big man. Instead, he was on the
card's novelty match, paired with midget wrestlers Little Tokyo and Lord Littlebrook in a six-man tag against fan
favourite Hillbilly Jim and his mini partners Little Beaver and Haiti Kid.
"That was a ridiculous match," Bundy laughs. "It's funny, though. That match got me on more TV sports shows,
probably more than anyone else at any WrestleMania . Yeah, it was on the 'Hall of Shame' feature, but so what?"
What earned that level of infamy were Bundy's actions during the match. Rather than picking on someone his own
size, Bundy bodyslammed one of his smaller opponents, and followed that up with a huge elbow smash. "That little
guy, he cheated you know! I wasn't going to do anything, but he
Pallies is quick to dismiss people who suggest that the comedic nature of his match was evidence of his star
falling within the company. "That's nonsense," he insists. "I was still working main events all across the
country. They didn't have a program for me at the time, what's the big deal. (People who would suggest something
beyond that) are boneheads, I can't worry about them."
Not much later, Pallies took a break from wrestling. "I (planned on taking) just a year and a half off. Then I
got divorced, and had some personal problems, and ended up taking much longer. I didn't work the independent
scene, I didn't do anything until I went back to the WWF."
Upon Bundy's return, he was put in 'The Million Dollar Corporation', a stable of wrestlers being managed by Ted Dibiase. Bundy, the "crown jewel" of the
corporation, fought and lost to the Undertaker in what many people called a throwaway match at WrestleMania XI.
Bundy himself was not pleased with his return, remembering those times as the lowest point of his WWF career.
"Wrestling's always been a business for me," he explains. "I was never a big wrestling fan, I was in it for the
money. And that was the problem with the WWF in 1994/95, there was no money. And I wasn't given any opportunity
for myself to make any money, or put in a position to draw any. That's what I found irritating." He left the
company shortly thereafter, and has since become a mainstay on the independent scene.
Though it's a far cry from the superstardom he enjoyed while in the WWF, Bundy doesn't seem to mind the direction
his career has taken. A little older, a little wiser, Bundy looks back on his life with fond memories. "I had a
lot of fun. I saw the world; I met all sorts of interesting people - Muhammad Ali, Ronald Reagan. I was on TV and
in the movies. What's to regret? I'm King Kong Bundy; I'm still going strong. Onward and upward, baby... onward
King Kong Bundy story archive
Email Bob Kapur at email@example.com
2004 Wrestling Headlines
2003 Wrestling Headlines
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