Gene Kiniski currently hosts a TV show on Canadian Television called “Wrestling with the Past”..
January 2010: Gene Kiniski was hospitalized in Bellingham, Washingtron with pneumonia while battling lymphoma.
April 14, 2010: Gene Kiniski passed away at his home at the age of 81 after a long battle with cancer..
Dave Meltzer wrote (April 14, 2010): Gene “Big Thunder” Kiniski, one of the great pro wrestlers of all-time, passed away this morning at his home in Blaine, WA. Kiniski, 81, had been battling cancer for some time and his death was not a surprise. Kiniski, a former college football player at Arizona, was a headliner from almost the start of his career in 1953. He made his name as a top heel in Canada through the nationally televised events in the 50s with a legendary feud with Whipper Billy Watson, the biggest star at the time in Canadian wrestling. He was also in the mix with names like Killer Kowalski, Yvon Robert and Edouard Carpentier when pro wrestling’s popularity peaked in Montreal during the late 50s. During his career he held the Montreal version of the world title, the AWA world title, the WWA world title and had his big run from January 7, 1966 through February 11, 1969, when he held the NWA world title. He was generally regarded as one of the best workers in the business during the 50s and 60s. He also had ownership in the Vancouver wrestling promotion until 1983. During the 60s and through the mid-70s, British Columbia had a strong local promotion featuring some of the best wrestlers of that era. Two of his sons, Nick and Kelly, became pro wrestlers in the 80s. Kiniski headlined a number of baseball stadium shows in many different parts of the world during his career, most notably a Montreal world title match with Kowalski, an NWA title match with Fritz Von Erich and an International title match at the old Budokan Stadium in Tokyo against Giant Baba, which is often considered the greatest match of Baba’s career.
Craig from Maple Ridge, British Columbia wrote: Hey there, I just stopped at a small gas station barely over the border into the states thru the peace arch crossing. There’s a giant blown up photo of gene with a heel faced scowl holding a case of Budweiser that’s autographed. Apparently he stops in every morning for coffee and a chat with the staff and they took his pic for a laugh and blew it up and put it on the wall. Just thought it was a neat little tid bit of information is all, it made me smile and “guy” the cashier was quite friendly and told me the story behind the photo.
Robert Louis Howell wrote: In 1969, Atlanta TV Wrestling The Professional wrestled a new masked man The Blue Destroyer possibly sent in by Gene Kiniski to eliminate his top challenger. The Professional beat and unmasked the Blue Destroyer and revealed Gene Kiniski.
November 23, 1928
Born in Edmonton, Alberta Lives in Blaine, Washington
Height and Weight
Mighty Canadian -masked- Gene Kelly (Texas) "Big Thunder" "Canada's Greatest Athlete"
Whipper Watson Verne Gagne Dutch Savage Don Leo Jonathan Bruno Sammartino Stan Stasiak Dory Funk Jr. Steven Bolus Dean Higuchi (Dean Ho) Mike & Ben Sharpe