Walter “Killer” Kowalski reportedly has passed away.
I received an email this morning from long time wrestling fan Diane Devine who was informed that Killer Kowalski passed away early Saturday morning around 2:15 a.m. Killer has been in a coma for quite some time after suffering a heart attack and other ailments that severely affected his brain function. Until mid week, amazingly Walter’s vital signs were strong even though the doctor’s had discovered the severe brain damage.
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.
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Walter “Killer” Kowalski. He passed away last night with his wife by his side.
Information on funeral arrangements, memorials and tributes will be updated as we have them on Killerkowalskis.com and USWFwrestling.com
We ask that all wrestling fans respect the privacy of Walter and his family at this time.
Walter “Killer” Kowalski 08/30/08
It is with heavy hearts that we report the passing of Wladek (Walter) “Killer” Kowalski, a life member of the Cauliflower Alley Club and a Director Emeritus. Kowalski, aged 82, was one of the top villains of professional wrestling from the 1950s through the 1970s.
Kowalski, who is perhaps most widely remembered for the kneedrop that tore off part of Yukon Ericâ<80><99>s ear, was also a champion in several promotions throughout his career. A master of the clawhold, Killer had legendary battles against the likes of Bruno Sammartino, Whipper Watson, Yukon Eric, John Tolos and Mad Dog Vachon. Despite his in-ring persona of a â<80><9c>killer,â<80> he was, in fact, a kind and warm person outside the ring. In the business of professional wrestling, there are very few people about whom one hears nothing negative; Killer Kowalski was one of those people.
In addition to wrestling, Killer was well regarded as a trainer of young wrestlers. Some of his graduates include Perry Saturn, John Kronus, Triple H and Big John Studd.
Kowalski was a strict vegetarian and credited his excellent physical conditioning and longevity to his diet. He was married for the first time in 2006 to Theresa who was his constant companion in his later years. With bad knees from his many years in the ring, he was confined to a rehabilitation center over the last period of his life.
Kowalski is one of the most decorated men in the history of professional wrestling, having been inducted to the WWE Hall of Fame (class of 1996), the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame (class of 2003), the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame (class of 1996), the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame (class of 2007) and being the recipient of the 2002 Iron Mike Award from the Cauliflower Alley Club.
Please click here to visit our tribute page to Killer.
The Cauliflower Alley Club offer our deepest condolences to the friends and family of Walter â<80><9c>Killerâ<80> Kowalski. There will never be another like him.
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” Kowlaski 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. From day one, Walter became my trainer, and my friend. He guided me through every step of pro wrestling, but more importantly, taught me how to be a genuine, good person, and to treat others with respect, dignity and class. I owe so much to Walter, that I could never put it all in words. The time we spent together is and always will be some of the most precious memories I have, and I will keep it in a special place in my heart. 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, Frankie