Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Gary Gygax, Rasslin' Fan

With inspiration from so many written works, radio dramas and motion pictures too, it was no wonder that I found little on the new television set to interest me...aside from Victory at Sea and wrestling. Don't laugh, I was just a boy and prized my autographs from Verne Gagne, Wladek Kawalski, Leon Hart and others gained from the locker room at Marigold gardens in Chicago.
-EGG, from "How It All Happened: Variety is the Spice...", appearing the latest issue of The Crusader.

Verne Gagne is a legendary wrestler and promoter. He founded the American Wrestling Association, a very influential promotion in the years prior to the rise of Vince McMahon, Jr. Mr. Gagne was the top star and champ of the fed for many years. Wladek Kowalski is better known as Killer Kowalski, one of the all-time great heels of wrestling. He actually became a heel by accident, starting his career as a fan favorite goodguy. But he accidentally ripped an ear off an opponent and the crowd turned on him. According to the legend it was the fans that gave him the 'Killer' moniker. Mr. Kowalski went on to found an influential wrestling school that he runs to this day. His most famous graduate would probably be WWE superstar Triple H. I don't know who Leon Hart is. Maybe Uncle Gary is misremembering the name of Stu Hart, father of Bret 'the Hitman' Hart, trainer of many wrestling stars, and a legend in his own right.