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Killer Karl Kox (1931 - 2011)

Real NameHerbert Alan Gerwig
Lifespan4/26/1931 - 11/10/2011
6’1” 260 lbs. - Baltimore, MD

Athletic BackgroundFootball, Baseball, Hockey

Teacher(s) - Gentleman Fred Bozik

Professional BackgroundMidwest(`56-), Upstate New York, Ontario, Kansas, Detroit(`60), Indianapolis(`61), San Francisco(`61), Omaha(`61-`62), Amarillo(`62-`66), Florida(`63), Houston(`64-`67), JWA(`66-`72), Detroit(`66-`69), Los Angeles(`66-`67), Australia(`67-`74), Hawaii(`68), Amarillo(`68-`75), Houston(`70), New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, JWA(`72), All Japan(`73-`76), Mid-Atlantic(`73), Tri-State(`75-`77), Florida(`77-`79), All Japan(`78), Georgia(`79), Kansas City(`79-`80), All Japan(`81), Mid-South(`82), St. Louis(`83)

Groups - Mercenary Soldiers, Heenan Family

AliasesHerb Gerwig, Don Gerhig, Gaucho, Killer Carl Cox, The Masked Spirit, Masked Menace

Peak Years`66-`73

Place in HistoryKiller Karl Kox is one of those one-of-a-kind characters that can only be born out of pro-wrestling.  A veteran of Korea who had some athletic prowess, Herb Gerwig spent a long time on the undercards learning his craft.  Watching people like Doc and Mike Gallagher who blended violence and comedy, Gerwig was ready to take off once given a break as a heel.  In Omaha, he was named “Killer Carl Cox” and showed excellent promise.  He moved onto West Texas, where he achieved his greatest success in the United States.  The territory, run by Dory Funk Sr., was known for its bloody brawls, crazy gimmickry and infusion of humor.  Men like Terry Funk, Dick Murdoch, Stan Hansen and Dusty Rhodes all came up on that style and all became renowned for their over-the-top personalities and talent for having wild fights full of gore and gimmicks.  Kox was perhaps the king of this style as he was able to maintain a top heel spot there for years.  Once he established himself, Killer Kox became a hot property and he was brought into many hot territories for short runs and big shows.  He had some of his most memorable battles in Detroit and Dallas, but his greatest run came when Jim Barnett brought him to Australia.  While Killer Kowalski was the heel that they used to establish their top faces, Kox was the regular top heel for years that feuded with everyone from Spiros Arion to Cowboy Bob Ellis.  He also found great success in Japan in the late 1960s battling Giant Baba and establishing a legacy there that carried him into the early 1980s.  His runs in those two nations truly established him as an all-time legend, but his success in the US is not to be ignored.  Kox proved to be both an edgy heel who used his “KKK” initials to evoke anger and a rough veteran babyface who was a proud patriot and a tough customer for any heel.  While Killer Karl Kox is not the best remembered star of yesterday, his influence over some top caliber talent, his skill in mixing comedy into his heel act and his ability to get so much out of so little make him one of the greatest and most under-recognized talents of the last fifty years.