Edward Walter Spulnik [1926 - 2008]
A true legend in the world of professional wrestling, Killer Kowalski was born on October 13, 1926, in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. The son of Polish immigrants, Kowalski made his professional wrestling debut in St. Louis in 1947 as Tarzan Kowalski. A formidable presence in the ring with a reputation as a ruthless villain, Kowalski stood 6 feet, 7 inches and weighed approximately 275 pounds. In fact, during a notorious match in 1952, Kowalski accidentally ripped off Yukon Eric's ear. Kowalski's signature moves were known as the "Killer Clutch" and "Iron Claw." Believe it or not, Kowalski was also a strict vegetarian.
Kowalski wrestled as a heel for several organizations during his 30-year career such as the National Wrestling Alliance, American Wrestling Association and World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF), where he embarked on a legendary feud with Bruno Sammartino. In 1963, Kowalski and Gorilla Monsoon won the United States Tag Team Championship. Toward the twilight of his career in 1976, Kowalski, along with Big John Studd, captured the WWWF World Tag Team Championship as "The Executioners." After his retirement in 1977, Kowalski opened the Killer Kowalski Institute of Professional Wrestling in Massachusetts. Alumni of the school include Triple H and Chyna. Kowalski died of a heart attack at the age of 81 on August 30, 2008.
He was a tremendous person whom I knew in his early years as well as his brother Stan We lived n Langlois Ave in Windsor and attended Holy Trnity polish church . As well we attended St Angela's grade school and often walked to school together most ten after lunch. When I attended the Unversity of Detroit there were occasions when I met him on public transit late at night going home .i always wondered why he didn't drive a car at the time or was his size the factor When he found some weights at our local Zale's junk yard he began weight training on his own in the wooden garage located in his back yard and according to his brother Stan, he started to consume large quantities of milk and food to build up his scrawny body . At one stage he was being considered to replace The retiring Tarzan of movies. He sure developed a tremendous physique On one occasion while walking through Lansbery Park at night , we were challenged to fight by some French Canadians.We hesitated but Ed felt we should teach them a lesion. As we approached them from a far distance and they seen his size, they immediately fled.and declined our offer. Next door to where the Spulneks lived was a Polish Hall and next to it was the Hungerian Hall where wrestling matches were held weekly. Not having money to watch we tried to locate a window that was reachable to view. My brothers and I really liked Killer and his family. They were genuine ,honest and a hard working family
Likely the first vegan in pro wrestling
Killer Kowalski is my favorite golden age wrestler.I used to get a "Killer Kowalski" haircut when I was in highschool in the '80's.
There must be something in the water in Windsor Ontario because Killer Kowalski and Abdullah the Butcher both hail from that same area. Both were such mean, vicious men in the ring and such total pussycats away from the arena. All kidding aside, I always admired Killer for his skill and his tremendous work ethic. As mean as he appeared in the ring, he very seldom turned down a request from a fan for an autograph or a picture, which occasionally was an area of concern with promoters of tha era who didn't believe heels, especially "monster" heels like the Killer, should ever be nice to fans.
killer kowalski was my cousin and he was the coolest man ever
he was the mentor of triple h,and the best champen in my book
The greatest athlete of all time.