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The Kalmikoffs (Ivan & Karol)

Ivan Kalmikoff

Real Name - Edward Bogucki
Lifespan - 5/21/18 - 6/9/96  
6’ ??? lbs. - Detroit, MI
Athletic background - n/a
Teachers - n/a
Professional background - Detroit(`42), Toronto(`42), Los Angeles(`49-`50),  Houston(`50-`53), Tennessee(`50-`52), Amarillo(`51-`52); Vancouver(`64), AWA(`64-`66), Detroit(`66),
Toronto(`67-`71;`74), NWF(`69), AWA(`70-`71), Detroit(`70-`71)
Aliases - Ed Bogucki, Ed Bruce, Edward Bruce, Wildman of Borneo, Black Panther

Karol Kalmikoff

Real Name - Karol Piwoworczyk
Lifespan - 9/12/12 - 9/12/64
??? - Holyoke, MA
Athletic background - n/a
Teachers - n/a
Professional background - New York(`38-`42), Chicago(`42), Los Angeles(`42-`48), Texas(`46-`48), St. Louis(`49-`53), Tennessee(`50-`53), Texas(`50-`51); Tri-State(`59-`60)
Aliases - Karol Krauser

Professional Background (as a team) - Amarillo(`53), Toronto(`54-`55), Texas(`54), Minneapolis(`57), Stampede(`58), Toronto(`58), Minneapolis(`59), Vancouver(`61), Minneapolis(-`62), AWA(`62-`63)

Peak Years54-`62

Place in HistoryThe Amarillo territory is often remembered for its hardcore style of wrestling and its long road trips, but it maybe should be remembered for its innovative and edgy gimmicks and characters.  There is perhaps no better example of this than the Kalmikoffs who were brought together in West Texas for the first time.  Edward Bog and Karol Krauser were a couple good hands who hit it off and developed an excellent chemistry as a tag team.  Krauser was a multilingual physical specimen who famously did modeling work for Superman comics early in his career, he had also worked in several big markets as an underneath ethnic babyface before settling in Oklahoma.  Bruce was the son of Prussian immigrant who came of age in the Steel Belt of America and developed his Russian persona Ivan Kalmikoff in a few different territories before heading South.  In the height of the Cold War, their careers took off as a pair of Russian brothers.  Their full beards, their Cossack costumes and unforgettable promotional photos, Karol’s ability to speak the language and their collective knack for working as heels in tag made for a perfect package in the 1950s.  As Ivan and Karol Kalmikoff, the two were able to generate main event level heat from the outset and enjoyed a strong run in Texas.  The headed North to Minneapolis and worked all over Canada, where they saw even greater success.  The Kalmikoff Brothers were such strong heels that not only were they able to have classic battles against traditional babyface teams like the Brunettis and the Flying Scotts, but they were able to garner heat when working top heel teams like Kinji Shibuya & Mitsu Arakawa and the Lisowski Brothers as well.  Karol would eventually return to Oklahoma and Ivan took a new partner for time in Nikita (Mulkovitch) Kalmikoff for a stint.  Karol would form his own version with Eric Pomeroy who worked as both Stan and Igor Kalmikoff.  Ivan was only semi-active by the late 1960s, doing shots here and there as Nikita went his own way.  In the last leg of his semi-active career, Ivan helped mentor Mighty Igor for promoter Wally Karbo, working as his tag partner, mouthpiece and assisting him in his feats of strength.  Karol would die from a heart attack, ending the Southern version of the Kalmikoff brothers, in the mid-60s.  The secondary brothers were successful after leaving the team.  Nikita would go on to become a highly acclaimed belt maker in the sport along with Reggie Parks.  Igor/Stan went on to become Stan Vachon teaming with Butcher and Mad Dog Vachon.  The legacy of the Kalmikoff brothers is that of a tremendously innovative and dynamic tag team that found success everywhere they worked.  Two veterans came together and with transformed from midcard talent to main event heels.  It was a formula that worked numerous times for numerous people.