We are always pleased to hear from ex wrestlers or their family members, and welcome information or photos from anyone to enhance the A-Z section. Adolf Kaiser ... Peter Kaiser ... Adnan Al Kaissy ... Sergei Kalmikoff ... Kamikaze ... Kangaroo Kid ... Vince Karalius ... Great Karloff ... Stan Karoly ... Stanislaw Karolyi ... Joe Katich ... The Katt ... Klaus Kauroff ...
We are always pleased to hear from ex wrestlers or their family members, and welcome information or photos from anyone to enhance the A-Z section.
Adolf Kaiser ... Peter Kaiser ... Adnan Al Kaissy ... Sergei Kalmikoff ... Kamikaze ... Kangaroo Kid ... Vince Karalius ... Great Karloff ... Stan Karoly ... Stanislaw Karolyi ... Joe Katich ... The Katt ... Klaus Kauroff ...
It is now fifty years since the villainous German Dr Adolf Kaiser stomped his way around British rings. We have no personal memories of his encounters, mostly in southern England against top class opposition such as Gordon Nelson, Georges Gordienko and a Royal Albert Hall loss to Jerry DeJager. We have been told by those that did know him that he was an aggressive wrestler who used his not inconsiderable strength to work over his opponents physically and work up the ringsiders mentally.
Wrestling Heritage reader Pantaleon Manlapig has provided details of the monocled stereotypical German. He was in fact a Hungarian, born on 9th February, 1921, by the name of Hans Waldherr. Hans grew up in 'vienna and was later a Austrian citizen. Normally he was billed as "Würger aus Wien" (Strangler from Vienna).
He also used the moniker Dr. Adolph Kaiser in Vienna for George "Schurl" Blemenschützs famous Heumarkt tournament. Later he was a renowned Actor playing in numerous movies and in many theatres. He and his wife also owned the "Winterhuder Bierstube" in Hamburg.
Adolf Kaiser was immortalised in oil by renowned artist and wrestling fan Peter Blake in a painting housed in the Southbank Centre, London.
Hamburg's Peter Kaiser was the nephew of the famous German wrestler and promoter Gustl kaiser. Peter made two visits of around a month to Britain, mainly northern England, in the spring and autumn of 1960. Opposition was first class: Bill Howes, Gordon Nelson, Ray Apollon, but results were less than impressive. Peter kaiser passed away on 25th October, 1985.
Most readers with memories of Kamikaze probably recall the man in the striking, somewhat scary, masks who faced Jimmy Breaks and Tally Ho Kaye in 1981 and 1982.
We have been told Ian Gilmour was beneath the hood but have no confirmation of this and know that many wrestlers have used the gimmick through the years.
Our earliest memories of Kamikaze were on the independent bills of the 1960s. The masked man proclaimed "Death before dishonour," but even that was not enough to save him from occasional losses. Unlike most masked men he did not state that he would unmask if beaten, which was just as well, the justification being that his face was so hideously disfigured due to burns sustained in the Korean war that he could never reveal his face.
In March 1964 the middleweight Kamikaze gave away over a stone in weight when he tried unsuccessfully to defeat and unmask the villainous Doctor Death at the Edmonton Granada Cinema. Regular under the mask for the 1960s independents was Eddie Stratton. Eddie was the real deal as far as the martial arts were concerned. He was a British aikido teacher and the founder of Yoshinkan UK, and the Shudokan Institute of Aikido International.
Under the hood at various times were Bob Anthony, Al Miquet, Eric Taylor, Tug Wilson, Bob Anthony, John Foley, Maurice Hunter, Ray Crawley, Ian Gilmour and undoubtedly various others. First to grab the name was arguably a Continental star active for five years in Spain before being unmasked in July 1965 by Conde Maximilian. Beneath tha mask was the stylish Spaniard Modesto Aledo.
The name came from his Lithuanian grandparents. Vince Karalius was one of the biggest names in British rugby league during the 1950s and early 1960s, making twelve appearances for Great Britain. A ferocious, intimidating player he was known as “The Wild Bull of the Pampas.”
The one time St Helens rugby league forward was another who transferred from one rough sport to another; with a short career working mainly for Wryton Promotions in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
He was trained for the professional ring by his long time friend Ted Betley, the man who was also responsible for the early development of Dynamite Kid, Steve Wright and Young David.
Karalius and Betley were neighbours in the Isle of Man where they both moved with their families after retiring from their sporting activities.
When Ted died in 2001 Vince Karalius gave a heart-rending speech about his friend and was one of the pall bearers. Karalius passed away in December 2008, aged 76.
Hungarian middleweight Stan Karoly was a familiar figure in Southern England in the late 1960s.
We were told at the time that like many other young Hungarians he left his home country in 1956 and settled in Austria where he continued to pursue his interest in amateur wrestling, but now with an eye on turning professional.
Whether or not that is true we cannot confirm because he was also said to be the son of Stanislaw Karloyi who had left Hungary long before 1956. Maybe a reader, or Stan himself, can shed some light on his background.
Following a short career with the independent promoters was eventually signed up by Dale Martin Promotions.
One of the great Hungarian wrestlers in the business pre war until the late 1950s.
He was a pre-war European light heavyweight champion who lost his title to Mike Demitre at L'Elysee-Montmartre in Paris in 1938. the programme (right) is from a contest at the Palais de Sports, paris, in february 1948.
Acknowledged for his physique and superb physical condition he was a visitor to the USA in those days when transatlantic travel was unusual.
A skilful technical wrestler he won many bouts with his favourite move the Scorpion Death Lock.
Yugoslavian born and domiciled in Australia. As part of a world tour begun in September 1968 he made a short visit to Britain, for Dale Martin Promotions, in the spring of 1969, with opponents Kalman Gaston, Ray Fury, Bob Kirkwood and Charlie Fisher.
Please get in touch if you can provide more information
It came to light with Togo Tani's inclusion on these listings in 2011 that, as Umeyuki Kiyomigawa, he had been responsible in Spain for the training of this German super-heavyweight.
His first UK tour was in November 1967 - and he lost every match by a knockout.
Kauroff made his way back to the UK in Januray 1975 and stayed about six weeks. Although he again wasn’t very successful in his bouts against mainly mid-carders, he stepped into the ring with some top-notch opponents such as Steve Viedor, Georges Gordienko, Tibor Szakacs and Mike Marino. He did however chalk up a victory over Prince Kumali, and perhaps his highlight was defeating the masked Exorcist in Liverpool.
At the Royal Albert Hall he lost to Steve Viedor. On television he beat Roy St. Clair but lost matches to him around the halls.
In Germany, the affectionately held Hanoverian won the World Cup tournament twice and later became one of the most hated men when he worked as the heel manager for the US stars, in the now defunct Catch Wrestling Association when he brought theri villains to Germany and Austria.
In June 2011 the now retired legend returned for one night only as manager at Westside Xtreme Wrestling’s charity event “wXw with you, Japan”.