SLAM! Wrestling Canadian Hall of Fame: Joe 'Killer' Christie
1917 in Buffalo, NY
January 6, 1999 in Brantford, Ontario
6' 3", 235 pounds
The Masked Marvel, Destroyer
The Canadian wrestling community has lost another legend.
Joe 'Killer' Christie died Wednesday, January 6, 1999 in Brantford, Ontario at 82.
Christie, who's real name was Joe Kayorie, was one of the meanest
villains inside the ring, and a nice guy outside it.
Ted Beare, sports columnist for the Brantford Expositor, shared this
story in his column after learning of Christie's death:
"One day the sportswriter had stopped to talk to a friend in the
supermarket when Kayorie came down the aisle, pushing a cartload of
groceries. They stopped to chat for a few minutes. After Kayorie left,
the sportswriter asked his friend: 'What do you think that man did for
a living before he retired?' 'He's big enough to have been a football
player," the friend replied, 'But he doesn't seem to be mean enough.' "
Christie was born in Buffalo, NY, but moved to Brantford when he was
He started wrestling in 1946 and made it his business for 23 years to
frustrate fans by beating on their heroes.
And when he couldn't show his face around town, the 6'-3", 235-pound
Killer would don a hood and become The Masked Marvel or the Destroyer.
Christie wasn't much for holding titles over his long career. He was a
world junior heavyweight champ in 1951, and held the Texas-version of
the world tag titles with Danny McShain in the early sixties.
Long-time wrestler and current ICW president Waldo von Erich
Christie was "a likeable guy" who was always the heel.
Ike "The Crippler" Shaw
, former wrestler and current trainer with the Cambridge,
Ontario-based ICW, remembered working out with Christie, who was a good
technical wrestler and a 'shooter' if he needed to be. "He stretched my
ass but good," recalled Shaw.
In his 1997 interview with SLAM! Wrestling
, Stu Hart talked about
"He was a pretty fair boxer at one time. He boxed in the east. One time
he boxed Tony Gallento, and I think, maybe embarrassed Gallento a little
bit. Gallento was fairly heavy and bouncy. And Christie was pretty
vicious. I think he proved his point when he boxed Tony Gallento."
By GREG OLIVER
, SLAM! Sports
Thanks to the Brantford Expositor, Anne Chamberlain, Ike
Shaw and Waldo von Erich for their help with this obituary
Joe was good at getting a lot of fan heat. One time in London Ontario, Christie wrestled a young wrestler by the name of Frankie Monroe in 1961
at Labatt Park. Joe had just knocked out Monroe with his knockout punch
called "The Crazy Mary" and decided he would be a caring person and
carried Monroe on his shoulders back to the dressing room, however when
Joe spotted a large rock on the ground he promply dropped Franke Monroe
on the rock Injuring his spine infuriating the fans to the point of a
riot and the referee Pat Flanagan also a wrestler, mule kicked Joe all
the way back to the dressing room with the fans in hot persuit! As The
Canadian version of The Destroyer he was unmasked by the legendary
Johnny Valentine in Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens and in Detroit
Michigan as The Masked Marvel. Christie lost two straight falls and his
mask to the living legend Brunno Sammartino in 1965 at Detroit's Cobo
Terry Dart from London Ontario a wrestling fan since 1957.