Former professional wrestler King Kong Bundy, a WrestleMania star in the 1980s, died Monday, promoter and longtime friend David Herro said in a Facebook post overnight.
Bundy, whose real name was Christopher Alan Pallies, was 61.
Herro wrote, in part, on Facebook: "Today we lost a Legend and a man I consider family. … Thank you for believing in me."
The cause of death wasn't immediately clear.
WWE tweeted a statement Tuesday morning saying it was "saddened to learn that King Kong Bundy has passed away."
WWE is saddened to learn that King Kong Bundy has passed away.https://t.co/SNrSunQYeQ— WWE (@WWE) March 5, 2019
Listed at 6-4, 458 pounds and jokingly known as "the walking condominium," he made his WWF debut in 1981, wrestling under the name Chris Canyon.
He was best known, after changing his ring name to King Kong Bundy, for an iconic steel cage match he lost to Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania 2 in 1986.
It was during that era Bundy wrestled with or against opponents who were a who's who of one of the sport's golden eras, including Hogan, Andre the Giant, Bobby "The Brain" Heenan and The Undertaker.
Hogan tweeted Monday: "Overwhelmed by King Kong Bundy's passing, only great memories. RIP big man until we meet again."
Overwhelmed by King Kong Bundy’s passing, only great memories,R.I.P. big man until we meet again. HH— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) March 5, 2019
Another semi-retired WWF wrestler, Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake referred to Bundy as "a kind soul."
Although he had been semi-retired since 1995, he was planning to appear next month at WrestleCon in New York City, according to The Associated Press.