GG and I spoke about this on a recent edition of FGB Radio and the unfortunate has happened. Former NWA World Heavyweight Champion Gene Kininski passed away earlier this morning, losing his battle with cancer. He was 81.
He was born right outside of Edmonton, Alberta Canada and played college football and wrestled. Kininski portrayed a villainous heel for most of his career and had a legendary feud with “Whipper” Billy Watson early in his career. Kininski will most be remembered by wrestling fans as the first Canadian man to hold the recognized NWA World Heavyweight Championship and a favorite amongst Canadian sportswriters of the era. He defeated Lou Thesz in 1966 in St. Louis to become the Champion and held the title for three years non-stop until he would lose to Dory Funk Jr in Tampa, Florida at the legendary Armory. He was honored in the 1992 Cauliflower Alley Club festival.
We wish his family the best.