Killer Kowalksi, RIP
When it came to big, mean, villain wrestlers in the 1950's, Killer Kowalski was the one. How he got his name:
“I was leaping off the rope, and Yukon Eric, who had a cauliflower ear, moved at the last second,” Kowalski told The Chicago Tribune in 1989. “I thought I missed, but all of a sudden something went rolling across the ring. It was his ear.”Rest in peace.
Yukon Eric was taken to a hospital, and the promoter asked Kowalski to visit him and apologize for severing his ear. Reporters were listening to their chat from a corridor.
“There was this 6-foot-5, 280-pound guy, his head wrapped like a mummy, dwarfing his bed,” Kowalski remembered. “I looked at him and grinned. He grinned back. I laughed, and he laughed back. Then I laughed harder and left.
“The next day the headlines read, ‘Kowalski Visits Yukon in the Hospital and Laughs.’ And when I climbed into the ring that night, the crowd called out, ‘You animal, you killer.’ And the name stuck.”