Orndorff: extraordinary run or deception?

Reading your last SNME review, Scott, made me wonder about the highs and lows of Mr Wonderful Paul Orndorff in the WWF. I don’t think anyone ever drew more heat and money, yet ended up being a deception.

A deception? The guy main evented the first ever Wrestlemania! Although I submit the show was more about Hogan and T. 

Orndorff then got in a big feud with the number one heel of the company (Piper) but it never got to a satisfying ending, nor the big win he should have scored. At Wrestlemania II, he was reduced to opening act duty when he fought Muraco to a double countout in a 4 minutes nothing match.

He later turned on Hogan. An act that traumatized millions of fans, to the point it’s still called The Great Betrayal. They sold out arenas and stadiums, drew insane ratings. But Wonderful got injured and wasn’t even part of Wrestlemania III.

Orndorff eventually came back, became again a popular face, but lost a feud to Ravishing Rick Rude and was quickly eliminated in Hogan’s team during the first Survivor Series (in which – your words – he played fourth fiddle to Hogan).

Orndorff’s WWF run was extraordinary. Yet, it feels like he didn’t fulfill its potential or could have been so much more.

Or could he? Did he make the best with the cards he was handed?

I think he got as high as his talent and position warranted, honestly.  He wasn't gonna be the top guy, but he got a top run with Hogan and made his money, and then got hurt and was limited by that moving forward.  So I don't think he has any regrets.