by Matthew Terry -
The Podcast -
My apologies for the lateness. Waking up this morning and finding out that King Kong Bundy had passed away trumped what I was prepared to present to you.
In the mid-
One night, eight or nine year old Matthew watched Hulk Hogan defend the WWF Championship against "The Rock" Don Muraco. Hogan won by disqualification when King Kong Bundy interfered. Muraco and Bundy proceeded to attack Hogan. Bundy bringing his 450lbs splashing down time after time. Muraco then holding Hogan's arms while Bundy delivered splash after splash in the corner. After they left, Hogan was laying on the canvas and little me truly believed he couldn't breath. I don't think I cried, but I'm sure I was scared to death as I watched Hogan get taken away on a stretcher. Even when Gene Okerlund reported live from the hospital and informed the public that Hogan had broken ribs, I was still fearful that Hogan would die. I was eight or nine years old, had no idea what broken ribs truly entailed and thought anyone carried out on a stretcher just might die.
Hogan, of course, would go on to meet Bundy in a Cage Match at Wrestlemania II. I probably had no idea what a Cage Match was, having never seen one, I'm sure. But the fact that my hero, who I swore was close to death, was going to wrestle the man that I had watched (I thought) almost kill him, scared the crap out of me. Of course, Hogan would overcome.
Years later, Bundy would arrive back in WWF, now a member of The Million Dollar Team. A hired gun of Ted DiBiase. Even though I was now several years older and "wiser" to wrestling, the sight of King Kong Bundy still impressed me, and frankly, still scared me. The man simply looked like he could tear you apart if you looked at him sideways.
Later in life, I had the opportunity to talk with King Kong Bundy. To describe the experience, I would certainly say that King Kong Bundy was a vast exception to Steve Austin's belief that the best characters in wrestling are simply yourselves turned way up. Bundy could not have been any different than the man who struck fear into me in my childhood. He was a funny, friendly and accomadating man, who could not have been nicer. Trust me on that. I put it to the test.
I told the Walking Condomenium a story about how my parents bought me his eight inch LGN figure. My mother thought the figure was damaged because the face was so distorted. I explained to my mother "No Mom. That's actually what he looks like." Bundy stared at me for three seconds that felt like forever, before he let out a loud and hearty laugh. One last time, King Kong Bundy put the fear into my body.
Rest In Peace, Sir.