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Killer Kowalski (1926-2008)


Real Name - Wladek "Walter" Kowalski
Lifespan - 10/13/1926 - 8/30/2008
6'6" 280 lbs. - Windsor, ONT

Athletic Background - n/a

Teacher(s) - Strangler Lewis

Professional BackgroundSt. Louis(`55-`58), San Francisco[AWA](`61-`62), St. Louis(`61-`64), AWA(`66-`67), St. Louis(`67-`68), St. Louis(`70-`71),WWWF, Hawaii, Australia, Florida(-`72), Los Angeles(`72), Montreal(`73-), St. Louis(`75)

Peak Years - `50-`62

Place in HistoryOne of the most well-known characters of pro-wrestling's "Golden Age," Killer Kowalski was a top star all over the United States and Canada and after retiring trained a variety of noteworthy wrestlers. Wladek Kowalski grew up in a home of Polish immigrants and worked a blue collar job until getting started in the late 1940s. He was exceptionally large and picked up pro-wrestling very quickly and scored wins over Buddy Rogers and Whipper Watson, both future NWA champions, for regional titles. Kowalski's career took a major turn when he accidently removed part of Yukon Eric's ear with a kneedrop and shortly there after became "Killer." His gimmick became terrorizing the pro-wrestling world by brutalizing men and becoming one of the top heels in the the Northeast United States and Eastern Canada. Kowalski regularly held Montreal's "world" championship feuding with major babyfaces like Verne Gagne, Pat O'Connor and local legends Yvon Robert and Johnny Rougeau, Kowalski also even clashed with hated heels like Rogers, Hard Boiled Haggerty and Gene Kiniski. Kowalski had all the experiences of slashings, ambushings and near lynchings that successful heels had to accept with their good paychecks. He also worked opposite Bruno Sammartino in New York before heading to Hawaii and Australia in the last half of the 60s and did mostly tag team wrestling in territories he'd not worked before in the early 70s. He finished up his career in the mid-70s, concentrating on training and breaking in new wrestlers in New England. After his `77 retirement, he opened a school that turned out people like Mike Shaw (Norman the Lunatic/Makhan Singh), Perry Saturn, Chyna, Frankie Kazarian and his most notable student, Triple H. The school remained open until 2003, when Chaotic Wrestling bought it and continued a close association with the WWE. Killer Kowalski is one of the biggest stars of the 50s and 60s with a name that is recognized by many and contributions that are various and important.