Gene Kiniski

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Gene Kiniski
Ring name(s) Gene Kiniski
Gene Kelly
Mighty Canadian
Big Thunder
Billed height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Billed weight 270 lb (120 kg)
Born 23 November 1928(1928-11-23)
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Died April 14, 2010(2010-04-14) (aged 81)
Blaine, Washington, United States
Resides Vancouver, British Columbia
Trained by Dory Funk
Tony Morelli
Debut February 13, 1952
Retired February 25, 1992

Eugene Nicholas "Gene" Kiniski (November 23, 1928 – April 14, 2010) was a Canadian professional wrestler and actor. He became one of the first World Champions in professional wrestling to have a former background in football, after Bronko Nagurski. Kiniski is best known for his time in many different NWA-owned territories where he won multiple championships.

Before starting his wrestling career, Kiniski played football with the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League (CFL). On his team, Kiniski was joined by future professional wrestlers Wilbur Snyder and Joe Blanchard. Al Oeming and Stu Hart were at the Eskimos training camp when Kiniski was trying out for the team.[1] Kiniski had a lengthy stint in the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) in 1964. During his time in the WWWF, Kiniski had matches against Bruno Sammartino and they had a match at Madison Square Garden on November 16, 1964.[1] After he Kiniski thought he had pinned Sammartino on the second fall, he took the championship and left. He was counted out be kept the championship until they had a rematch on December 14.[1]

On April 4, 2010, Jim Ross announced on his blog that Kiniski had "taken a turn for the worse and is battling to stay alive. 'Big Thunder's' cancer has spread to his brain and some speculate that is just a matter of time (before he dies)"[2] Kiniski died on April 14, 2010 in Blaine, Washington.[3]

Championships[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 National Wrestling Alliance, The Untold Story of the Monopoly that Strangled Pro Wrestling, p. 212, Tim Hornbaker, ECW Press, 2007, ISBN 1-55022-741-6
  2. "Happy Easter...JR's Rib 'Mania a hit at Homeland...Kiniski...Kanyon...Interesting Days Lie Ahead..FREE SHIPPING!". J.R.'s Family Bar-B-Q. http://www.jrsbarbq.com/blog/happy-easterjrs-rib-mania-hit-homelandkiniskikanyoninteresting-days-lie-aheadfree-shipping. Retrieved 2014-04-12.
  3. "Gene Kiniski passes". WWE. http://www.wwe.com/inside/news/14145618. Retrieved 2014-04-12.
  4. "A.W.A. United States Heavyweight Title". Wrestling-Titles. http://www.wrestling-titles.com/awa/awa-us-h.html. Retrieved 2014-04-12.
  5. "American Wrestling Association World Heavyweight Title". Wrestling-Titles. http://www.wrestling-titles.com/awa/awa-h.html. Retrieved 2014-04-12.
  6. "American Wrestling Association World Tag Team Title". Wrestling-Titles. http://www.wrestling-titles.com/awa/awa-t.html. Retrieved 2014-04-12.
  7. "List of CAC Award Winners". Cauliflower Alley Club. http://www.caulifloweralleyclub.org/list-of-cac-award-winners/. Retrieved 2014-04-12.
  8. "JWA All Asia Tag Team Title". Wrestling-Titles. http://www.wrestling-titles.com/japan/alljapan/asia-t.html. Retrieved 2014-04-12.
  9. "NWA International Heavyweight Title". Wrestling-Titles. http://www.wrestling-titles.com/japan/alljapan/int-h.html. Retrieved 2014-04-12.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "NWA British Empire Heavyweight Title (Toronto)". Wrestling-Titles. http://www.wrestling-titles.com/canada/on/nwa/on-be-h.html. Retrieved 2014-04-12.
  11. "Canadian Open Tag Team Title". Wrestling-Titles. http://www.wrestling-titles.com/canada/on/nwa/can-op-t.html. Retrieved 2014-04-12.
  12. "World Heavyweight Title (Montreal)". Wrestling-Titles. http://www.wrestling-titles.com/canada/qc/qc-world-h.html. Retrieved 2014-04-12.
  13. "NWA Canadian Tag Team Title". Wrestling-Titles. http://www.wrestling-titles.com/canada/bc/nwa/bc-can-t.html. Retrieved 2014-04-12.
  14. "NWA Pacific Coast Heavyweight Title". Wrestling-Titles. http://www.wrestling-titles.com/canada/bc/nwa/bc-pc-h.html. Retrieved 2014-04-12.
  15. "NWA Pacific Coast Tag Team Title". Wrestling-Titles. http://www.wrestling-titles.com/canada/bc/nwa/bc-pc-t.html. Retrieved 2014-04-12.
  16. "NWA International Television Tag Team Title". Wrestling-Titles. http://www.wrestling-titles.com/us/ca/s/nwa/int-tv-t.html. Retrieved 2014-04-12.
  17. "Hawaii Heavyweight Title". Wrestling-Titles. http://www.wrestling-titles.com/us/hi/hi-h.html. Retrieved 2014-04-12.
  18. "NWA North American Heavyweight Title". Wrestling-Titles. http://www.wrestling-titles.com/us/hi/nwa/hi-na-h.html. Retrieved 2014-04-12.
  19. "NWA Hawaii Tag Team Title". Wrestling-Titles. http://www.wrestling-titles.com/us/hi/hi-t.html. Retrieved 2014-04-12.
  20. "National Wrestling Alliance World Tag Team Title". Wrestling-Titles. http://www.wrestling-titles.com/us/ca/n/nwa/sf-nwa-t-malcewicz.html. Retrieved 2014-04-12.
  21. "NWA International Heavyweight Title (Amarillo)". Wrestling-Titles. http://www.wrestling-titles.com/us/tx/w/nwa/wt-in-h.html. Retrieved 2014-04-12.
  22. "Gene Kiniski profile". Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame. http://www.pwhf.org/halloffamers/bios/kiniski.asp. Retrieved 2014-04-12.
  23. "NWA Texas Heavyweight Title". Wrestling-Titles. http://www.wrestling-titles.com/us/tx/tx-h.html. Retrieved 2014-04-12.
  24. "NWA Texas Tag Team Title (Amarillo)". Wrestling-Titles. http://www.wrestling-titles.com/us/tx/w/nwa/wt-tx-t.html. Retrieved 2014-04-12.
  25. "Missouri Heavyweight Title". Wrestling-Titles. http://www.wrestling-titles.com/us/mo/mo-h.html. Retrieved 2014-04-12.
  26. "National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight Title". Wrestling-Titles. http://www.wrestling-titles.com/nwa/world/nwa-h.html. Retrieved 2014-04-12.
  27. "World Wrestling Association World Heavyweight Title". Wrestling-Titles. http://www.wrestling-titles.com/us/in/wwa/in-wwa-h.html. Retrieved 2014-04-12.
  28. "WWWF United States Tag Team Title". Wrestling-Titles. http://www.wrestling-titles.com/wwe/wwf-us-t.html. Retrieved 2014-04-12.
  29. "Hall of Fame 2009". NWA Ringside. http://www.walkertexaslawyer.com/nwaringside.com/home/hall-of-fame/2009-hall-of-fame. Retrieved 2014-04-12.
  30. "Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame, 1996". The Internet Wrestling Database. http://www.profightdb.com/halls-of-fame/wrestling-observer-newsletter-hall-of-fame-1996-12.html. Retrieved 2014-04-12.