In 1995, two huge stars got into a backstage fight that changed wrestling forever – Vader and Paul Orndorff.
Both men were legends in the business. Vader has travelled all over the world, and had become one of the most famous monsters in Japan.
When he beat Antonio Inoki on his debut, the crowd rioted and he feared for his life. His career took off from there, winning multiple world championships and becoming an all-time great.
Meanwhile, Orndorff was a star during the Hulkamania era of wrestling. He main-evented the first ever WrestleMania event, teaming with Roddy Piper to take on the duo of Hulk Hogan and Mr T.
By 1995, Orndorff was at the tail-end of his career, but was still a respected member of the WCW roster. Meanwhile, Vader was known as a hot-headed, often dangerous worker in the ring, and the pair soon came to a head, one night in 1995.
Paul Orndorff’s Fight With Vader
In 1995, Vader had a backstage fight with Paul Orndorff at a WCW show. This has entered legend, with the details of the fight not being made totally available to the public.
This was due to the nature of the business at the time, as the wrestlers weren’t too keen on letting the fans know the in-and-outs of the pro-wrestling business.
However, some recent interviews have shed the light of the Paul Orndorff vs Vader fight.
Paul Orndorff gave his version of events, during a shoot interview some years ago. In his story, he was tasked with convincing Vader to do some interviews, but got sucker punched by the former WCW Champion.
He then took the fight to him, eventually sending Vader to the hospital.
“I know that they asked him, uh, I know I was doing something and, uh, I think Dave Pinder went and asked Vader to do some interviews, and he said no. And then somebody else went and asked him, and he said no. And finally, somebody said, ‘Uh, Kevin Sullivan said, Paul, we get, would you go ask Tim? Maybe he’ll listen to you if… Please ask him to see if he’ll come and do their interview because it’s like six o’clock.’
“The people are film people, the union, so they go on, they go on a lunch or whatever. So, you know, we started about seven something, so we only had about 15 minutes, and it was a very important interview. And I just, like, I’m talking here to you and say, ‘Leon, do you mind, uh, doing this interview?’ And, you know, he said some nasty words, and, you know, it was kind of like this, ‘What do you, what you do, you know? I ain’t gonna let nobody talk to me that way.’
“You know, he, I mean, he was… he taught really, and I don’t know what… That’s the sad thing, I don’t know why. And one thing led to another, and it got hotter and hotter and hotter, and then he sucker-punched me because, you know, I was with the officer, and if I would have ever thrown the first punch, I’ve been fired, right? And then that quick, and, uh, man, I got up and, um, if the right one don’t get you, the left one will.“
“And, uh, I mean, I defended myself, and I don’t know if you’ve ever seen somebody knocked out on their feet. Have you ever seen them, like, stumble around and finally go down? That’s how it went. And I kicked him in the face about five, six times.“
“And then, if I could have got a hold of a club or something else, I’m glad I didn’t, but that would have killed it. Don’t do that. That was wrong. He was wrong. He had costumed cost him a lot of money. I could have sued him. And that’s how it happened.“
“Then we got into it again, and I took a couple shots, but I worked that night. He was the… He had to go to hospitals.”
Both Paul Orndorff and Vader have since passed away, and it is unknown if they reconciled before they died.
Nick Patrick on the fight
Former WCW Referee Nick Patrick recently commented on the fight between Paul Orndorff and Vader, paining a clear picture on who won the bout.
Speaking on this week’s “Monday Mailbag” podcast for AdFreeShows,
“I saw that start to finish, both rounds, it was a little two-rounder. I was the one who once Paul stopped kicking [Vader] – I kinda’ grabbed him like ‘Paul he’s not moving, let’s get out of here,’ and I ran with Paul.”