Mean Gene Kiniski Dead: Video of Legendary Canadian Wrestler
Legendary Wrestler Mean Gene Kiniski, 'Canada's Greatest Athlete' Died Wednesday at the Age of 81
Gene Kiniski, a former professional wrestler and member of the Edmonton Eskimos, died Wednesday morning of cancer. He was 81 years old.
Kiniski, who often referred to himself as "Canada's Greatest Athlete" started wrestling back in the early 1950s after a knee injury cut his football career short. He wrestled across North America and Japan in the 1950s and 60s.
Sporting a crew cut, gravelly voice, and mean glare, Mean Gene Kiniski was perfectly suited to play the role of villain most of his career. He loved referring to himself as 'Canada's Greatest Athlete' to get audiences riled up.
Gene Kiniski was born in Edmonton in 1928, the son of Polish immigrants. His mother attended the University of Alberta and eventually became an Edmonton city alderman. Like her mother, Kiniski would go on to university, and later a brief career with the CFL's Edmonton Eskimos.
Mean Gene Kiniski's Wrestling Accomplishments
Kiniski competed in countless wrestling matches, most notably with arch-rival Whipper Billy Watson.
Kiniski held several belts in his heyday. In 1961, he became AWA World champion out of Minneapolis. In 1964, he fought WWF Hall-of-Famer Bruno Sammartino for the WWWF World title. He held the WWA World title in 1965. Perhaps his greatest career accomplishment came in 1966, when he beat the legendary Lou Thesz for the NWA World heavyweight title.
Later in his career, Kiniski stayed in the wrestling game, working as a promoter for the Vancouver-based All Star Wrestling.
In 2008, Kiniski was named to the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame.
In later years, Kiniski's health failed. A fighter to the end, Kiniski battled cancer for years before passing away on Wednesday, April 10, 2010.
Here is a compilation of Mean Gene Kiniski Video