Growing up in Malden, Massachusetts, about six miles from Boston, I always wanted a famous hometown hero to call my own. Granted, there were some famous people from the surrounding towns and cities, but the bragging rights were never the same.
Finally, I had a hometown hero thanks to a man named Walter "Killer" Kowalski.
Kowalski was a Canadian-born wrestler, but chose my hometown of Malden to train some of the greatest wrestlers the business has to offer. Names like Chyna, Big John Studd, Albert, Triple H, Perry Saturn, Kronus (The Eliminators), Frankie Kazarian, and Kenny Dykstra.
Some people may not agree, but I believe Kowalski really put Malden on the map in the wrestling business and helped it garner some national attention.
Kowalski was ceremoniously remembered at St. Joseph's Church in Malden, where I was confirmed and baptized. When I discovered his service would be going on there, I made my time available to go to remember him.
The service was packed with people—his family, his trainees, and everyone else that highly respected one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. The mood was sullen, yet filled with a positive atmosphere. Everyone knew they were not there only to grieve, but to remember the best he brought to people's lives and the wrestling business.
I expected to see some famous faces there, but being in the back and leaving right after I was not able to see anyone.
There was the feeling that not only had the business lost a great man, but the community as well. The readings from people were tremendous and no doubt reminded me what this business is truly about.
Filled with memories about his time as a wrestler and telling everyone how he respected and loved the business so much that he made it his life was truly emotional and inspiring.
I was not fortunate enough to go to the cemetery and lay him to rest, but that is for family and people closer to him.
Kowalski is a legend in this business and was also a great man who improved and loved the community in which he trained. I am proud to say that he chose my town to pass down his knowledge of wrestling and pass the torch to future greats.
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