Killer Kowalski

Interview - Walter Killer Kowalski

Interview: Walter Killer Kowalski, Wrestling Legend & Trainer -
13th November

Greg Tingle interviews one of the greatest wrestlers, promoters and trainers of all time. Kowalski at his best!

Listen to the interview


Killer Kowalski official website

Killer Kowalski interview - 25th March 2004

Legends of Pro Wrestling

Killer Pics: Walter Kowalski - White Boucke Publishing


Walter Killer Kowalski

Profile (credit: Canadian Pro Wrestling Hall Of Fame)

Killer Kowalski
Real name: Wladek Kowalski
From Windsor. One of the all-time great heels. Big and strong -- somewhere around 6'6". Master of the knee drop and claw hold. Probably best known for accidentally ripping off part of Yukon Eric's ear with a kneedrop in a 1952 match in Montreal (Kowalski was already known as "Killer" before this match). Very successful in Montreal, and a headliner everywhere he went.

Often wrestled under a mask in the 70s, even under his own name. Retired from full-time wrestling in 1977. Has run a small promotion and wrestling school in Massachusetts since then. Appeared in the WWF all-star old-timer's battle royal in November 1987 (won by Lou Thesz).

A 6-time world champion in Australia and 7-time International champ in Montreal. Never held the NWA title, but did wrestle as champion on some shows in Texas for promoter Morris Sigel in 1962. Kowalski had defeated the champ, Buddy Rogers, in Montreal when Rogers suffered a broken ankle and couldn't continue after the first fall. Sigel used this match to promote Kowalski as the NWA champion.


"Leading contenders for the box office leadership in 1950 were Verne Gagne and Wladek Kowalski, the Michigan killer. Kowalski, 24, has hung up an amazing string of victories during the year and the 275 pounder is drawing enormous crowds, recently smashing all attendance records in Texas. He claims to have that temper of his under control and he is on good behavior, seeking another shot at Lou Thesz's title. But Lou, ten years older than the killer, doesn't seem anxious for the bout." (From WRESTLING, July 1951)

"He is a devout Catholic, attends mass regularly, is as gentle as a lamb outside the ring and a holy terror inside it. Definitely the roughest hombre in the game." (From WRESTLING, September 1951)

"Kowalski has been coming along like a house afire in the past two years. He is now 26 years old and just coming into his prime. Two years ago he was a strong aggressive boy, but today he is the number one challenger for Thesz' crown. He has earned his way up the ladder by defeating the top men in the wrestling game. He holds wins over Yukon Eric in one of the roughest matches ever witnessed. The mighty Atlas found his super human strength of no avail when he ran into the knee drop and body smash combination the way Kowalski administers it." (From Seattle program, July 29, 1954)


NWA Texas champion, 1950
NWA Texas tag champion (by himself), 1950
NWA Pacific Coast tag champion, 1951
NWA Central States champion, 1951
7-time Montreal International champion, 1952-62
NWA Pacific Coast champion (San Francisco), 1958
Pacific Coast tag champion (Vancouver), 1961, 62
WWWF U.S. tag champion, with Gorilla Monsoon, 1963
6-time IWA World champion (Australia), 1964-67
U.S. champion (Hawaii), 1965
4-time IWA World tag champion (Australia), 1967-71
NWA Americas champion (Los Angeles), 1972
Grand Prix champion (Montreal), 1972
NWA Southern champion (Florida), 1975
WWWF World tag champion, as the Executioners, with John Studd, 1976



Walter Killer Kowalski