Professional wrestler Walter "Killer" Kowalski dies at age 81

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Canadian former professional wrestler Killer Kowalski died in the early morning hours of August 30 at the age of 81. Kowalski suffered a major heart attack on August 8 and remained in critical condition at a local hospital in Everett, Massachusetts until August 18 when his family took him off of life support.

Kowalski trained wrestlers such as Triple H
Image: Jjron.

During a career that spanned for 30 years, Kowalski wrestled for several organizations including the National Wrestling Alliance and the American Wrestling Association. In the 1960s and 70's Kowalski wrestled for the World Wide Wrestling Federation. In 1976 he won the WWWF World Tag Team Championship with Big John Studd.

In 1952 Kowalski was involved in an incident with wrestler Yukon Eric. During the match while performing his signature diving knee drop he ripped part of Eric's ear off. When Kowalski visited him in the hospital the pair laughed with each other, the following day the newspaper stated that Kowalski showed up at the hospital and laughed at his victim rather than with him, furthering Kowalski's image as a heel.

After retiring Kowalski opened up a wrestling school. During his time teaching he taught some superstars such as Triple H, Perry Saturn and Chyna. He has also trained Chris Nowinski, A-Train, Frankie Kazarian, Kenny Dykstra as well as others.

Kowalski was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame and Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame in 1996, the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2003 and the National Polish-American Hall of Fame in 2007.

Former student of Kowalski, Triple H said "It's a huge loss. Walter was one of the biggest name performers of his time. His legacy will live on forever."