Wrestling World remembers ‘Killer’ Kowalski

kowalski1.jpgHere are some quotes from posts all over the internet on ‘Killer’ Kowalski.

‘I was just woken up by a phone call that I have been dreading. My good friend Steve King just called and informed me that our dear friend and trainer Walter “Killer” Kowalski has passed away.

‘Anyone who knows me knows that I have always attributed Walter with all of my success in pro wrestling. He took in a 20 year old kid who had traveled 3,000 miles from southern California, and embraced him like a son. He was kind enough to pass on his extensive, and unique knowledge of this business to me.

‘So much of the best things that have happened to me are a direct result of his mentoring. The people I have met, the relationships I have made, and my success in and out of the ring are a direct result of him. Walter loved angels. We had many conversations about them on our regular trips to church that we both enjoyed on Sundays. To me, and anyone who knew him, Walter was an angel. He was a gentleman, friend, and honestly one of the best people to come into my life. Walter, I love you and I could never sing your praise enough. You set me on a path in this business, and in life, that has been in one word, a dream.

‘Rest in the kingdom of heaven my dear friend, as you are now amongst the angels that you loved.

‘Your student, friend, and brother in Christ.’

– TNA star Frankie Kazarian aka Kaz

‘Kowalski will always be considered one of the businesses greatest antagonists and he was a perennial main eventer around the world for decades. Walter also was an accomplished photographer, writer, and taught many individuals who went on to become some of wrestling’s more prominent names including his best student, HHH.

‘Walter was a staunch disciplinarian when he was actively teaching his students but had a heart of gold and a unique sense of humor. For example, when Walter married at approximately 79 years of age he kidded some of his closest acquaintances that “he had to marry the lady because she was with child.”

‘Kowalski was a vegan who at one time had one of the most freakish physiques of any one in the business and was always considered too nice a guy by many promoters to be a wrestling “bad guy” but nonetheless Killer Kowalski will always be remembered for being one of the wrestling business all time greats.

‘God Bless you Walter….thanks for the kindness and friendship you bestowed upon me and may you rest in eternal peace.’

-Jim Ross

‘They told me of an interview on a national TV show where the host asked Killer Kowalski if it hurt when he stomped his opponent in the face with his size 16 wrestling boot. Killer replied, “No it doesn’t hurt at all. I wear special thick soles and it doesn’t hurt my foot at all.”

‘The value of a professional wrestler to a promotion is his box office appeal. My first match was in Sydney Stadium, only a short walk from our hotel in Kings Cross. Sydney Stadium held 17,000 people and it was packed to the rafters for the main event, Killer Kowalski against Tex McKenzie. That same week Killer Kowalski and Tex McKenzie sold out Melbourne’s Festival Hall, 12,000 fans, Perth Australia’s National Stadium 25,000 people and Brisbane sold out to the tune of 8,000 people. Killer Kowalski was the biggest star in one of the best territories in the world, Australia.

‘We worked five days a week and traveled first class from one end of the country to the other. Killer Kowalski was the top heel for Jim Barnett’s Promotion. First class is the best way to describe Killer Kowalski as a person. It was such a thrill on the end of the tour to have the opportunity to wrestle the person I had been so impressed with as a child.

‘Killer Kowalski was a dear friend of Marti and I.

‘We will miss him.

‘Our condolences to his family.

‘Dory Funk Jr. and Marti Funk’

– Funk’s corner

‘There was not a kinder or more compassionate human being when I first began meeting wrestlers in the mid 1970’s than Killer Kowalski . Being a fan before my dream of getting involved in this company became true, I always was in awe of Killer’s machine-like tenacity inside the squared circle. He was a relentless and always aggressive combatant. I marveled at the battles that he and Bruno Sammartino had in Madison Square Garden. They brought out the best in each other, and without a doubt both men garnered my utmost respect.

‘When I met Walter, it was in the summer of 1976 in Worcester, Massachusetts. I was doing something I affectionately call “ring announcing for beginners”. Even though I use January 17, 1977 in the Garden as my benchmark for the start of my ring annoucning career , I guess you can say that I had a few “Off-Broadway “engagements prior to that. It was a standard “hello, nice to meet you” greeting with Kowalski. But just to have his huge hand envelop mine was awesome. He teamed up with an individual who became known as Big John Studd, and they wrestled as the Masked Executioners that evening. After the event was over and I got to the back, Kowalski saw me and said “nice job out there”, and we shook hands again. To get a salutation like that from a man of his esteem meant everything to a then novice like myself at that time.

‘My weekend is somewhat saddened by the passing of Killer Kowalski, but that sorrow is tempered in the knowledge that he will always be remembered as truly one of the greatest performers in the history of our business.’

– Fink

‘REMEMBERING KILLER KOWALSKI

‘ALL I HAVE ARE GREAT MEMORIES OF THIS GREAT GUY. KOWOLSKI WAS A TRUE LEGEND & 1 OF THE GREAST PESONALITIES EVER. I HAD THE PLEASURE OF MEETING HIM AT MANY LIVE EVENTS I ATTENDED & REALLY GETTING A CHANCE TO BE AROUND HIM AT THE CONVENTIONS JOHN AREZZI USED TO RUN, HE’D POSE FOR POLAROIDS, LET YOU TAKE PHOTOS WITH OWN CAMERA, SIGN 8X10’S & TELL YOU STORIES AL GREAT & FUNNY ABOUT LIFE ONTHE ROAD. HE WAS A TOP TALENT & FOUGHT THE BEST LIKE SAMMARTIO & THE CLAW HOLD WAS UNBELIEVABLE, HIS HANDS WERE HUGH. I REMEMBER HIM IN A MASK W/THE GRAND WIZARD & SAID THE MASK IS BECAUSE WE ARE TIRED OF OPPONENTS PULLING HIS HAIR & HIS EARS & HE’S WEARING IT FOR PROTECTION. HE EVEN FEUDED IN FLORIDA CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING AS THE MASKED DESTROER WITH ROSEVELT JONES (THEY FEUDED IN THE WWWF SD JONES/KOWOLSKI). EVEN THOUGH HE WAS A SO-CALLED BAD GUY, HIS HEART WAS AS BIG AS THE GREAT OUTDOORS. HE ALWAYS SIGNED AUTOGRAPHS FOR YOUNG & OLD & NEVER LEFT UNTIL EVERBODY GOT A SIGNATURE A HANDSHAKE OR A HUG, WHAT A CLASS ACT, WHAT A GENTLEMAN & WHAT A WRESTLER. REMEMBERING HIM AS THE MASKED EXECUTION WITH CHUCK O’CONNOR (1 & 2) WHO LATER BECAME BIG JOHN STUDD. THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES MAY GOD GIVE YOU A GREAT PLACE IN THAT BIG RING IN THE SKY. WE LOVE YOU KILLER KOWOLSKI’

– DOMINICK VALENTI

There’s a great tribut article for Walter “Killer” Kowalski at April Hunter’s wrestling site, prowrestlingdigest.com.

walter_tribute.jpg

Services will be held this Wednesday, September 3 at:

Weir Funeral Home
144 Salem Street
Malden, MA 02148
Afternoon Services: 2-4 p.m.
Evening Services: 6-8 p.m.

The Funeral will be on Thursday morning at 9:00 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that wrestling fans send donations to:

Walter “Killer” Kowalski Memorial Fund
c/o Citizens Bank
876 Main Street
Malden, MA 02148

Offical Raw Preview for 09.01.08

shawn-michaels.jpegMOUNTING TENSIONS

Though SummerSlam was just weeks ago, there is only one thing on the mind of WWE Superstars: Unforgiven. With a Championship Scramble set to feature five of Raw’s most powerful and intense competitors, and multiple matches set on Monday night, tensions are running high.

After General Manager Mike Adamle announced that John Cena’s recently sustained herniated disk in his neck would prevent him from competing in the World Heavyweight Championship Scramble, he claimed that he would have a suitable replacement for the Chain Gang Commander. That replacement turned out to be another former World Champion, Rey Mysterio. But Mysterio has been missing from Raw for months, due to a brutal attack by Kane, if the Big Red Monster is to be believed. Will Mysterio be in good enough physical condition to compete at Unforgiven? And what type of mental state will the Ultimate Underdog be in?

Meanwhile, the World Heavyweight Championship Scramble’s other four competitors competed against one another on Monday night, with World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk proving his mettle against JBL while Batista’s match with Kane ended in a disqualification when the Big Red Monster introduced a steel folding chair into the match. With Punk and JBL nursing a long-time rivalry, and Batista keeping Kane in his sights because of the Big Red Monster’s treatment of Mysterio, emotions are running high amongst the Scramble competitors. With Unforgiven scant weeks away, will these competitors’ intensity even allow them to make it that long without exploding?

Also on Raw, Chris Jericho accepted a challenge from Shawn Michaels to an Unsanctioned Match at Unforgiven. Both men went on to make clear their intent to seriously injure their opponent, as their rivalry has grown intensely personal over the last few months. With the injured HBK looking to extract an “eye for an eye,” will the coming weeks see the two men clash before their Unforgiven match?

On Monday night, Raw’s resident golden couple, Intercontinental Champion Santino Marella and Women’s Champion Beth Phoenix, had a brief lovers’ spat, due to Santino distracting Beth during a match against Kelly Kelly and The Glamazon’s subsequent loss. While “Glamarella” appears to have reconciled, could this signal a rocky period for Santino and Beth?

For the answers to these questions and more, make sure to tune into Monday Night Raw at 9/8 CT, back on its regular channel, only on USA Network.

*Spoilers* Raw Results for 09.01.08

WWE RAWHow often does this happen?

WWE pre-taped Raw for this Coming Monday. Apparently there are a few scheduling conflicts and this is the easiest way to work it out. For the lucky WWE fans watching the show live, they get to watch Raw and Smackdown back-to-back today.

For tomorrow’s Raw results today, just click on more. Read more »

Official iMPACT Preview .09.04.08

christiancage.jpegCHRISTIAN CAGE VS. AJ STYLES, ABYSS RETURNS TO ACTION AND MORE

TNA returns to Spike on Thursday night with two hours of Total Nonstop Action as the road to the September 14 “No Surrender” Pay-Per-View event continues!

The following is a preview of what is scheduled for Thursday’s broadcast:

– In the “Four Ways To Glory” qualifying, it will be “The Instant Classic” Christian Cage Cage facing “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles this Thursday night to determine who advances to the main event World Title match at No Surrender! Cage and Styles have a long and storied past in TNA – and now they seem to be on the same page once again. However, what will happen this Thursday night when they face off? Will Kurt Angle and Booker T be watching? Tune in and find out!

– What will be the fallout between TNA World Heavyweight Champion Samoa Joe and “Big Sexy” Kevin Nash after their confrontation this past Thursday that cost Nash his chance to qualify for the No Surrender main event? Tune in and find out!

– In addition, the icon Sting will once again speak out to the wrestling world regarding his controversial comments this past Thursday regarding the younger superstars! We all saw what happened between Sting and AJ Styles this past week – and rumor has it Samoa Joe is still out for revenge on the icon! What will happen this Thursday night? What will Sting say?

– The number-one contender to the TNA X Division Championship will be determined on Thursday night as it will be Consequences Creed facing Sheik Abdul Bashir, with the winner facing “Maple Leaf Muscle” Petey Williams at No Surrender on September 24!

– Abyss will make his TNA in-ring wrestling return as he will compete for the first time in months! Abyss has put out an open challenge for anyone to battle him! The question is, who will step up and take on the barbaric monster?

– In Knockouts Division action, it will be ODB taking on Raisha Saeed, the manager of Awesome Kong! After the melee between Kong and ODB this past week, will Kong be looking to annihilate ODB this Thursday once and for all?

– All this and much more this Thursday night on Spike at 9pm, plus more matches will be announced for the No Surrender Pay-Per-View!

Ring Of Honor events in September 08

rohlogo1.jpgRing Of Honor will start September by replaying “Respect is Earned II” PPV on iN DEMAND in the first week of September. ROH will then go to Tokyo for two shows September 13/14. The next ROH PPV will be taped September 19 in Massachesetts. “Glory By Honor VII” will be produced the next day in Philadelphia. “New Horizons”- taped July 26- will premiere on iN DEMAND September 26.

Respect is earned replay on iN DEMAND, First week of September
It is not too late to watch one of the best wrestling PPVs of the year. If you have iN DEMAND catch “Respect Is Earned II” on: Sept. 1st @5:30pm and 7:00pm; Sept. 2nd @3:30pm; Sept. 3rd @6pm; Sept. 4th @7:00pm; Sept. 5th @5pm; Sept. 6th @8am and Sept. 7th @6pm.

Saturday, September 13, 2008
Tokyo, Japan- September 13th Ring of Honor returns to Tokyo at Differ Ariake for the first of two shows.

Sunday, September 14, 2008
Tokyo, Japan- September 14th Ring of Honor in Tokyo at Differ Ariake for the second of two shows.

Friday, September 19, 2008
Boston, MA- ”PPV Taping” September 19th Ring of Honor in Massachusetts at Boston University.

Saturday, September 20, 2008
Philadelphia, PA- ”Glory By Honor VII” September 20th Ring of Honor at the New Alhambra Arena (former ECW Arena) in Philadelphia.

Saturday, September 26, 2008
Detroit, MICH- “New Horizons”‘ September 26th Ring of Honor at the Michigan State Fairgrounds and Expo Center in Detroit, Michigan.

Wondering What else is going on in ROH (Ring of Honor)? Click on the link for more articles on Ring of Honor!

ROH Card for 09.13.08 in Tokyo

mcguiness1.jpegDiffer Ariake
September 13, 2008- 6:00pm belltime
1-3-25 Ariake, Koto-Ku
Tokyo, Japan 135-0063
Ph: 03-5500-3731

ROH World Tag Team Title Match
Jimmy Jacobs & Tyler Black defend vs. Jay & Mark Briscoe

ROH’s #1 Rivalry Comes To Japan (Non-Title)
ROH World Champion Nigel McGuinness vs. Bryan Danielson

ROH Grudge Match
Roderick Strong vs. Davey Richards with Larry Sweeney

Dragon Gate Rules Six Man Match
Naruki Doi, Masato Yoshino & BxB Hulk vs. El Generico, Dragon Kid & ???

ROH vs. Dragon Gate
Austin Aries vs. Ryo Saito

ROH vs. Dragon Gate
Eddie Edwards vs. Yamato

ROH Card for 09.14.08 in Tokyo

jimmyjacobs.jpgDiffer Ariake
September 14, 2008- 4:00pm bell time
1-3-25 Ariake, Koto-Ku
Tokyo, Japan 135-0063
Ph: 03-5500-3731

ROH World Title Match (if McGuinness is still Champion)
Nigel McGuinness defends vs. Jimmy Jacobs

GHC Jr. Heavyweight Title Match
Yoshinobu Kanemaru defends vs. Bryan Danielson

Dream Tag Team Match
Naomichi Marufuji & Katsuhiko Nakajima vs. KENTA & Kota Ibushi

Kensuke Office vs. ROH
Kensuke Sasaki vs. Roderick Strong

ROH Grudge Match
Austin Aries vs. Tyler Black

Special Attraction Tag Team Match
Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. Takeshi Morishima & Davey Richards

NOAH vs. ROH
Taiji Ishimori vs. El Generico

Bonus Match
Eddie Edwards vs. Kazushi Miyamoto

Go Shiozake becomes FIP World Heavyweight Champion

go-shiozaki.jpgOn August 23, 2008 at the FIP Heatstroke 2008, Go Shiozake defeated Erick Stevens in Crystal River, Fl to win the FIP World Heavyweight Title in an epic match of the year candidate. Shiozaki’s first major title victory has apparently generated considerable coverage in Japan and ‘Sweet & Sour’ agent Larry Sweeney took full advantage of the hype to demand to ROH officials to have FIP Title defenses in ROH.

Pro Wrestling NOAH star Go Shiozaki not only took a title, the following Monday he had a tryout dark match with WWE before RAW. Go Shiozaki defeated Carlito in less than three minutes. The wrestling observer newsletter reports that WWE is passing on Shiozaki after watching him work the match, with Vince McMahon apparently stating that Shiozaki is “Too Asian”.

Nothing comes easy for 26 year old Shiozaki, out of Japan. Shiozaki has been building a career on valiant efforts and perseverance, so don’t think WWE first impression of Shiozaki is the end of the line.

Go Shiozaki entered the NOAH dojo in 2003 and became a protégé of legend Kena Kobashi. The two teamed together to great success, the biggest match the two had was winning against Kensuke Sasaki and his protégé Katsuhiko Nakajima, a match that received critical acclaim. In 2006 Shiozaki fractured his jaw against KENTA and began to lose in a series of valiant efforts against the biggest names of the company. Go Shiozaki’s break to upper midcard talent came after pinning Ricky Marvin.

Shiozaki premiered with NOAH’s sister promotion, Ring of Honor during ROH’s August 2006 tour of England. Since coming over to ROH, Shiozaki made a series of unsuccessful bids for titles- against ROH World Champion Nigel McGuinness, one bit for the World Tag Team championship in a one night tournament and a second unsuccessful bid against McGuinness.

Shiozaki joined Larry Sweeney’s Sweet N’ Sour Inc. faction on June 28, 2008.

(thanks wikipedia)

ROH Card for 09.19.08 ”PPV Taping” in Boston, MA

mcguiness.jpgBoston, MA- ”PPV Taping” September 19th
Ring of Honor
September 19th, 2008- 8:00pm belltime
Boston University (Case Gym)
285 Babcock Street
Boston, MA 02215

Tickets are available at www.rohwrestling.com or by calling (215) 781-2500.

ROH World Title Match
McGuinness/Jacobs 9/14 Winner defends vs. Roderick Strong

World Tag Team Title Match
Briscoes/Age of the Fall 9/13 Winner defends vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico

Three Way Elimination Match
Bryan Danielson vs. Claudio Castagnoli vs. FIP World Heavyweight Champion Go Shiozaki

Also scheduled to appear: ROH World Champion Nigel McGuinness; ROH World Tag Team Champions Jimmy Jacobs & Tyler Black; Erick Stevens; NWA World Heavyweight Champion Brent Albright; Austin Aries; Jerry Lynn; Sweet & Sour Inc. of Chris Hero, Adam Pearce, Sara Del Rey, Shane Hagadorn, Eddie Edwards, Bobby Dempsey with Larry Sweeney; Jay & Mark Briscoe; The Necro Butcher; Delirious; Daizee Haze; plus more will be added!!!

“Stone Cold” WWE Hall Of Famer (maybe), Raw 09.01.08 not live, JR on Gail Kim, Paul Heyman on John Cena

stonecold.jpegThe Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports “Stone Cold” Steve Austin has been offered to be inducted into the WWE hall of fame- with a catch. The offer to be inducted is on the table if Steve Austin decides to wrestle once again at Wrestlemania next year in Houston, TX. If The Rattlesnake goes for it, he will be inducted the night before Wrestlemania. Considering Steve Austin’s track record, it would make more sense to induct him the day after he appears on Wrestlemania (but don’t tell him we said that).

Apparently Raw won’t air live on Monday night as they are doing a double taping on Sunday in St. Louis, MO for both Raw on 9/1 and Smackdown on 9/5 due to touring.

‘Lots of talk on the Internet this week about Gail Kim leaving TNA and allegedly coming back to the WWE. I was never quite sure why Gail was released in the first place but if she is coming back to the WWE I think it will be a positive move. Gail has a ton of ability and has evolved nicely as not only an in ring performer but behind the mic as well since leaving the WWE. Some websites really made a huge deal out of this matter which confounds me somewhat.’

– JR, jrsbarbq.com

‘John Cena underwent what was labelled “emergency surgery” on Tuesday in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as world-renowned neurosurgeon Dr Joseph Maroon removed a large piece of disc material that was pressing into his spinal column.

‘Later that same day, Cena went to watch the Smackdown and ECW tapings taking place in the same city.

‘And you wonder why World Wrestling Entertainment Chairman Vince McMahon is so solidly behind the billion-dollar WWE machine promoting, marketing, and branding John Cena?’

– Paul Heyman, www.thesun.co.uk

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