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Adrian Adonis.jpg

Adrian Adonis appeared in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in 1981. Adonis was a frequent challenger to WWF Champion Bob Backlund and Intercontinental Champion Pedro Morales throughout the first half of 1982.

Adonis formed a tag team with the Texan Dick Murdoch known as the North-South Connection, with their first appearance together in the WWF in late 1983. Around this time, Adonis, who had previously been a beefy but generally conditioned performer began to gain a large amount of weight. On April 17, 1984, Adonis and Murdoch defeated Tony Atlas and Rocky Johnson to win the WWF World Tag Team Championship. They held the titles until January 21, 1985, when they were defeated by Barry Windham and Mike Rotundo. The team split shortly after the loss

In late 1985, after an uneventful summer in which he was briefly managed by Bobby "The Brain" Heenan and took to using the DDT as a finisher months before the WWF debut of Jake Roberts, Adonis began altering his gimmick, firstly adopting Jimmy Hart as his manager. Paired with Hart, he defeated Corporal Kirchner to advance in the Wrestling Classic pay-per-view tournament in November, though he lost to the Dynamite Kid in the quarterfinals. In early 1986, Adonis started carrying a briefcase which said "Relax with Trudi" on the outside of it and carried a spray called "Fragrance"; 3 years later, Rick Martel would lift the gimmick, calling his perfume "Arrogance", an apparent ode to Adonis. During an edition of Piper's Pit, Adonis gave his signature leather jacket to host Roddy Piper (who would continue wearing it for years afterward). Adonis' new character was the effeminate "Adorable" Adrian Adonis. The gimmick change saw him bleach his hair blond and begin wearing pink ring attire, as well as scarves, leg warmers, dresses, women's hats, and clownish amounts of eye shadow and rougue. In the same time period, Adonis' weight ballooned, peaking at well over 300 lb (140 kg; 21 st). Although Adonis' physique was startlingly unsightly, he was deceptively spry for someone of such portentous dimensions, he defeated Uncle Elmer in quick fashion at Wrestlemania 2 and feuded extensively with the Junkyard Dog and George Steele while also unsuccessfully challenging Hulk Hogan for the WWF Championship on multiple occasions.

In May 1986, Adonis (with Hart) debuted his own talk segment, The Flower Shop, during Piper's five-month hiatus from the WWF. These segments were the primary backdrop for Paul Orndorff's slow-building heel turn against his friend Hogan, with Adonis relentlessly needling Orndorff about living in Hogan's shadow. In August, shortly before Piper's return, Adonis obtained the services of Piper's bodyguard, "Cowboy" Bob Orton, who took to wearing a pink cowboy hat. The feud with Piper came to a head when Adonis, Orton, and Don Muraco attacked Piper during a "duel" between the two talk segments, injuring Piper's leg, covering him in lipstick, and damaging the Pit set. A week later, Piper destroyed the set of The Flower Shop with a baseball bat. On the October 4th edition of Saturday Night's Main Event, Piper struck Adonis with a crutch, leading to Adonis not appearing on TV for two months with what was described as a separated shoulder. After Adonis returned in November to attack Piper on the Pit, the two eventually agreed to face one another in a hair vs. hair match at Wrestlemania III. Piper won the bout with assistance from Brutus Beefcake, who cut off the majority of Adonis' hair afterward.

He died on July 4, 1988.