1. #1
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    Unhappy Canadian pro wrestling great was loved by millions

    Up until about age 10, my Grandparents used to take me to see wrestling during the summer months. I can remember this man in the ring. We stopped going when it started to get "commercialized" in the early 80's.


    Canadian pro wrestling great was loved by millions

    Canwest News Service April 15, 2010 2:10 AM

    Legendary former professional wrestler Gene Kiniski has died at the age of 81.

    Kiniski, who also played in the Canadian Football League for the Edmonton Eskimos, died after a battle with cancer in Blaine, Wash.

    The man who proudly referred to himself as 'Canada's Greatest Athlete' was diagnosed with cancer in November 2009.

    The Kiniski name is synonymous with pro wrestling. Gene's two sons, Nick and Kelly, also enjoyed productive careers in the squared circle.

    "Dad lived a great life," Nick, 49, said. "His only regret would be that he wished he could do it again. He used to tell me that life wasn't a rehearsal, it was a one-time take.

    "Some people just have that charisma where they can go anywhere and take over the room," Nick said of his father. "People across Canada loved him and he loved them back."

    Gene Kiniski was born in Edmonton on Nov. 23, 1928.

    In 1950, he earned a scholarship to the University of Arizona where he played football. At the same time, his wrestling career began, and when Kiniski tore a kneecap two years later while with the Eskimos, he turned his attention to wrestling full time.

    As television became a fixture in Canadian homes, pro wrestling experienced a boom period in the 1950s. Kiniski became one of the top heels -- pro wrestling lingo for the villain -- as he took on Canadian superstars like Whipper Billy Watson.

    Kiniski, who made his pro debut on Feb. 13, 1952 in Tucson, Ariz., defeating Curly Hughes, was considered one of the best performers in the industry during his peak in the 1950s and 1960s. At a time when it was considered the top honour in pro wrestling, Kiniski held the National Wrestling Alliance world title from Jan. 7, 1966 to Feb. 11, 1969. He also held several other smaller versions of world titles throughout his career.

    Kiniski was a big enough name that he was able to headline multiple events in baseball stadiums across the globe, including a famous July 17, 1957, match versus Killer Kowalski in Montreal in front of more than 21,000 fans.

    He also headlined cards in some of the world's most famous arenas, including Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, the Montreal Forum, Madison Square Garden and Budokan Stadium in Tokyo.

    As his in-ring career wound down, Kiniski promoted All-Star Wrestling in and around Vancouver from the late 1960s until the early 1980s.

    His career in the ring lasted through five decades with his final match in 1992.

    Copyright (c) The Victoria Times Colonist

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    Must not be any canadians in here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobbbbbbbbbbo View Post
    Must not be any canadians in here.
    Nah. That ain't it. Mostly no one knows him cuz they ain't old enough! ehehehehehehe

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    I remember him very well. His Mother was a councillor on Edmonton city council for quite a number of years. She didn't take no cr** either.

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    I remember names like Killer Kowalski, Leaping Larry Shane, and the Shiek. But do not remember Gene Kiniski. No disrespect, but don't recall hearing his name.

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