Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Killer Kowalski

Killer Kowalski dies.

Kowalski, who legally adopted the surname in the 1960s, became the biggest, baddest villain of them all. Reviled wherever he appeared, he filled the arenas and armouries that hosted North America’s wrestling scene as fans came to jeer.

The rise of television made Kowalski’s flickering image a familiar one for millions who watched as he stomped on, manhandled and mangled adversaries week after week. No tactic was too underhand for Killer Kowalski, who developed a number of trademark moves to make his brand of mayhem stand out from the rest. The kangaroo hop entertained and inflamed the public during moments when his adversary was hors de combat.

Away from the hype Kowalski was a completely different person— a quieter and more contemplative man. A devout Roman Catholic who attended Mass regularly, he meditated before every performance and also spent many free hours enjoying classical music, admitting a particular fondness for Chopin.