August 18, 2003
Kowalski's school closing
By GREG OLIVER -- Producer, SLAM! Wrestling
For over 30 years now, Killer Kowalski has been running a wrestling school in Massachussets. But come the end of August, he's taking a break.
The building where Killer Kowalski's Pro Wrestling Institute has been in Malden, Massachussets has been sold and the school is being forced out.
"My school, the building it's in, they're tearing it down," Kowalski told SLAM! Wrestling. "I have to be out of there by the end of August."
Kowalski started training wrestlers back in 1978 at the Salem, MA YMCA. He's been at the current location for the last 20 years. Some of the big names to come out of his schools include Big John Studd, Mike Shaw (aka Makhan Singh/Norman the Lunatic), Hunter Hearst Helmsley, Chyna and A-Train.
He hasn't always been the primary trainer at his Institute, but he was always a hands-on person, making regular appearances at the school. Students were encouraged to take out a lifetime membership so they could always return to train with him.
For the moment, Kowalski doesn't have firm plans for the immediate future. He may re-open on his own or perhaps associate with another existing school. "There's a couple of places that want me to come down there to get in with them. My name is so big they want to use my name," he said.
Slyck Wagner Brown, a trainer at the school for the last two years, believes that Kowalski will join with an existing school and that it will be a huge boost for them. "[Kowalski's name] is the backbone of the wrestling school," he said. "The person/school that gains the service of Killer Kowalski in the future will definetly see major changes as far as new students are concerned."
Greg Oliver founded SLAM! Wrestling with John Powell way back in 1996, and has been writing about pro wrestling since 1985. He is the author of the recently published book The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Canadians from ECW Press. He had a true mark-out moment was at the Cauliflower Alley Club reunion in April 2003 when Kowalski bought copies of his book for his family. Order it from Highspots.com. Greg can be emailed at email@example.com.