Archive and tribute to dead wrestlers

Killer Kowalski Death

Killer Kowalski Death – Heart Attack

killer kowalski death

Wrestling legend Killer Kowalski – dead at 81. photo: wwe.com

1926-2008 (age 81)

In professional wrestling, not everyone can be the hero, and some wrestlers commit their lives to being the best villains imaginable in the ring. Killer Kowalski, known to family as Wladek Kowalski, is one such wrestler. Hated and loved by fans at the same time, from 1947 to 1977, he brought drama and excitement to story lines in the world of professional wrestling. Even up until the events of the Killer Kowalski death, he was never completely out of the world of professional wrestling.

An Injury Begins the Killer Kowalski Death Story

Following his retirement from the World Wrestling Federation in 1977, Killer Kowalski opened a school for professional wrestling in Massachusetts. He remained personally involved with the school up until 2003 when he began to suffer from health problems. Although he was no longer able to work, he remained in touch with wrestlers who graduated from his school including Triple H and Chyna.

Killer Kowalski’s health problems came to a head in 2008 when he injured his knee. He was sent to a rehabilitation center in order to regain his strength.


Killer Kowalski takes on Andre the Giant in a 1972 match in Quebec City

The Details of the Killer Kowalski Death Story

While Killer Kowalski was working to recover from his injury, he suddenly suffered a massive heart attack in early August 2008. He was admitted to a hospital in Malden, Massachusetts. Doctors told him he likely wouldn’t survive the ordeal. Despite the prognosis, Killer Kowalski lived for weeks in the hospital. He eventually passed away on August 30, 2008.

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1975: Killer Kowalski, managed by the Grand Wizard, at Madison Square Garden. photo: wwe.com

Unlike the death stories of many professional wrestlers, the Killer Kowalski death story did not play out early. The former wrestler was 81 years old at the time of his death, meaning he outlived many of the wrestlers of his generation and many that came after it.

Reactions to the Killer Kowalski Death News

Even though Killer Kowalski was 81 when he died and had not made an appearance at a professional wrestling event for about 30 years, the entire community mourned his loss. The WWE placed a tribute to Killer Kowalski on their website and even issued a press release. The press release expressed their condolences to Killer Kowalski’s wife, who he did not marry until the age of 79.

Many professional wrestlers who had graduated from his school either made public statements about the wrestler or posted about him on social media when the news of his death broke.


Killer Kowalski makes short work of Louis Torres and then gives an interview. This is toward the end of Killer’s wrestling career in the late 70s

Celebrating Killer Kowalski’s Legacy

As both a former wrestler and a trainer to some wrestling super stars, Killer Kowalski left a lasting mark on the wrestling world. His legacy has been celebrated since his death.

In November 2008, the New England Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame added him to their roster in a ceremony that took place during the APCW Thanksgiving Meltdown on the 9th of the month at the American Legion in Seekonk, Massachusetts. In 2010, Pro Wrestling Illustrated awarded Killer Kowalski the PWI Stanley Weston Award. This lifetime achievement award is given out annually to a person whom the publication feels has contributed greatly to the sport.

killer kowalski gravesite

Killer Kowalski is buried at the Woodlawn Cemetery in Everett, MA. photo: All McGonigles

Killer Kowalski Grave

Killer Kowalski’s grave is located at the Woodlawn Cemetery in Everett, MA.

Sources have said that Kowalski’s services were packed with people. This shouldn’t come as a surprise given the impact that Killer had on professional wrestling – both in the ring, and out of the ring as a trainer and family man.

Have a comment about Killer Kowalski? Sound off in the comments section below.

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