International Wrestling Federation

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International Wrestling Federation
AcronymIWF
Founded1979[1]
Defunct1996
HeadquartersReading, Massachusetts
Burlington, Vermont[1]
Founder(s)Killer Kowalski[1]
Owner(s)Killer Kowalski (1979-1996)

The International Wrestling Federation (IWF, also known as Killer Kowalski's All-Stars) was a professional wrestling promotion that held events in the Northeastern United States from 1979 to 1996, when it was run by Killer Kowalski.[2][3] The promotion was based in Reading, Massachusetts, with offices in Burlington, Vermont.[1] It operated in conjunction with Kowalski's famed wrestling school in Malden, Massachusetts.[4]

History and overview[edit]

Formation[edit]

The International Wrestling Federation was formed in 1979 by Killer Kowalski two years after starting his wrestling school, the Killer Kowalski Institute for Professional Wrestling, in Malden, Massachusetts. According to former student John Callahan, Kowalski decided to form his own group after an argument with Angelo Savoldi at the Boston Garden.[5] The first championship titles were introduced in 1982 with Kowalski and The Executioners being billed as the first IWF Heavyweight and Tag Team Champions respectively. That same year, the IWF began airing a Sunday morning show, Bedlam from Boston, on the WXNE-TV.[1][6] During this period, Kowalski partnered with Dominic DeNucci and Bruno Sammartino's "International Wrestling" group based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.[5][7]

Territorial reach[edit]

Kowalski initially promoted shows in the Greater Boston Area but eventually toured throughout the Northeastern United States.[2][6] IWF event tours also included high school gyms and fairs in cities throughout New England.[8] Some of the promotion's regular towns included Andover, Bellingham, Billerica, Grafton, Middleboro, Norwood, Waltham, and Westford, Massachusetts. Kowalsi was able to promote IWF shows via his weekly column, "Killer's Corner", for the Boston Sunday Herald.[9][10] The IWF relocated to Burlington, Vermont in the early-1990s[1] but returned to the Boston area by November 2001.[11][12]

Notable talent[edit]

The IWF featured many former World Wide Wrestling Federation stars during its early years including, most notably, Dominic DeNucci, Larry Zbyszko, The Haiti Kid and The Valiant Brothers (Jerry Valiant and Johnny Valiant). Bull Curry was the main "heel" wrestling manager before his death.[6] Zbyszko's infamous WWWF feud with Bruno Sammartino spilled over into the IWF as he battled his former mentor's real-life son Bruno Sammartino Jr. in late 1982. Kowalski continued bringing in talent from the World Wrestling Federation when Vince McMahon Jr. took over his father's promotion in the 1980s.

The promotion showcased a number of wrestlers who were regulars in the northeast wrestling scene and was the birthplace of Paul Levesque (then known as Terra Ryzing),[4][13] Perry Saturn[14] and Chyna.[15] Levesque, who had graduated from Kowalski's school at the top of his class,[16] made his IWF debut in March 1992 defeating Tony Roy. Two months later, he won the organization's heavyweight title from Mad Dog Richard.[17][18] Saturn, billed as "The Iron Horseman",[14] won the IWF North American and Light Heavyweight Championship during the early 1990s. He also won the IWF Tag Team Championship with Levesque.[19] Saturn met his future tag team partner John Kronus while working for the IWF and helped enroll him Kowalski's wrestling school.[20] Chyna (Joanie Lee) won the IWF Ladies Championship from The Violet Flame in the mid-1990s.[3][21] "Giant" Ron Reis[9] and The Renegade, as "Rio, Lord of the Jungle", found success in World Championship Wrestling.[1]

World Wrestling Federation[edit]

Kowalski had a strong relationship with both Vince McMahon Sr. and his son Vince McMahon Jr.. His students (many of whom IWF stars) regularly appeared on World Wrestling Federation television as preliminary wrestlers during the 1980s and 90s.[8][22] His best known students - Triple H, Chyna and Perry Saturn - had prominent roles in the company during the Attitude Era.[1][3][15]

The IWF later featured former WWF stars Demolition Ax, King Kong Bundy, Hercules, The Honky Tonk Man, The Mountie, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, Jimmy Snuka, and Nikolai Volkoff.[1] In December 1992, following his controversial departure from the WWF, The Ultimate Warrior (appearing under his old "Dingo Warrior" ring name) wrestled Hercules at an IWF show in Billerica, Massachusetts.[23][24] Then current WWF stars, such as Adam Bomb, Bob Backlund, Doink the Clown, King Kong Bundy and Hakushi, occasionally appeared at IWF events in the mid-1990s.[8][25][26][27]

Demise[edit]

The IWF stopped holding regular shows after 1996 though Kowalski continued promoting under the "Killer Kowalski's All-Stars" banner for a few more years.[28] In November 2001, the IWF took part in "Headlocks for Humanity", an American Red Cross benefit show for victims of the September 11th attacks, with Slyk Wagner Brown (managed by April Hunter) and CueBall representing the promotion.[11] One of the IWF's last shows was held in Sutton, New Hampshire on November 2, 2002.[29][12] Finally in 2003, health issues forced Kowalski to withdraw from both promoting and the wrestling school. Following his death in 2008, the Kowalski estate auctioned off IWF correspondence and other wrestling memorabilia from his career.[30]

Alumni[edit]

Male wrestlers
Birth name: Ring name(s): Tenure: Notes
Terry Alexander Mike Davis 1994
Theodore Arcidi Ted Arcidi 1988
Victor Arko Mike Kelly 1982 [5]
William Arko Pat Kelly 1982 [5]
Robert Backlund Bob Backlund 1995–1996WWF [26][10][27]
Jimmie Banks Jojo Andrews 1982
Edward Bazzaza Ed Bonzo 1982
Richard Beauchamp Mad Dog Richards 1990–1995
Steve Bolus Steve Bolus 1982
Wagner Brown Slyk Wagner Brown 2002 [29]
Nick Busick Nick Busick 1982
Richard Byrne Richard Byrne 1982
1993
1995
[5]
David Cahill D.C. Dillinger 2002 [29]
George Caiazzo John Kronus 1994–1995 [25][9]
John Callahan John Callahan 1982 [5]
Preston Carrington Tony Ulysses 1990
1993
1995
[5]
Bert Centeno El Mascarado 1994
John Charyszyn Larry Winters 1982
Michael Chrosniak Irish Mike McGee 1982
Bryan Clark Adam Bomb 1995WWF [8][25][9]
William Coleman Bad Billy Coleman 1982
Richard Creasia Ricky Sexton 1982 [5]
William DeCoff Sean O'Reilly 1985
Dominic DeNucci Dominic DeNucci 1982 [5]
Ron DiMaria Ronnie Dee / The Star Warrior 1990
1994–1995
Kenneth Doane Jr. Kenn Phoenix [31]
Christopher Duffy Chris Duffy 1988
1990
1992–1996
[8][22][25][27]
James Duggan Jr. Jim Duggan 1994
Bill Eadie Demolition Ax 1993
Eric Maher Eddie Edwards 2002 [29]
William Eichenberger Billy Berger 1982
Robert Elowitch Robbie Ellis 1988
1995
[25]
Solofa Fatu, Jr. Fatu 1996WWF [27]
Gerard Fazio Jerry Johnson / Jerry Fazio 1982
Raymond Fernandez Hercules 1993
Wayne Ferris The Honky Tonk Man 1993
Rudolph Freed Rudy Diamond 1982
Richard Fuller Rick Fuller 1995 [26]
Scott Garland Scott Taylor 1993
1995
Steven Grabowski Steve Grabowski 1982
James Hellwig The Dingo Warrior 1993
Derek Higby The Bulldozer 1993–1996 [25][26][27]
John Hill Jerry Valiant 1982
Curtis Hughes Mr. Hughes 1994
Glenn Jacobs Isaac Yankem 1996WWF [27]
Michael Jones Rocky Jones 1982
Michael Jones Virgil 1995
Ken Jugan Zoltan the Great 1982
John Kisselll The Outpatient 1994–1996 [9][10]
Walter Kowalski Killer Kowalski 1982
1993
[3]
Paul Levesque Terra Ryzing 1992–1994 [3][4][15]
Ray Licameli Doink the Clown 1995WWF [26]
Steve Lombardi The Brooklyn Brawler / Doink the Clown 1995–1996WWF [27]
Timothy McNeany Tim McNeany 1993–1996 [8][25][26][27]
Joe Meagher Tim O'Reilly 1985
1990
Robert Miller Bushwhacker Butch 1995 [10]
John Minton Big John Studd 1990
James Neidhart Jim Neidhart 1992
Robert Orton Jr. Bob Orton, Jr. 1988
1992
Christoper Pallies King Kong Bundy 1995WWF [8][25][9]
Josip Peruzovic Nikolai Volkoff 1994WWF
Darryl Peterson Man Mountain Rock 1995WWF
Dan Pettiglio Dan Petty 1982
1985
[5]
Lanny Poffo Lanny Poffo 1994
Timothy Reid Tim Reid 1982 [5]
James Reiher Jimmy Snuka 1993
Ron Reis Ron Reis 1994 [9]
Jacques Rougeau Jr. The Mountie 1993
Tony Roy Antoine Roy / Tony Roy 1990–1996 [8][9][10][27]
David Sammartino Bruno Sammartino Jr. 1982 [5]
Perry Satullo The Iron Horseman / Perry Saturn 1992–1995 [25][9]
Scott L. Schwartz Giant David 1982 [5]
Jerry Seavey The Candyman 1992–1993
Michael Sharpe Jr. Iron Mike Sharpe 1990
Michael Shaw Bastion Booger 1995 [10]
Ronald Shaw Ron Shaw 1982
Kensuke Shinzaki Hakushi 1995WWF [8]
Robert Shoup Rob Van Winkle 1985
1988
Merced Solis Tito Santana 1994–1995
John Sullivan Johnny Valiant 1982 [5]
Paul Swanger Concrete Cowboy 1982
Terry Szopinski The Warlord 1994–1995
Dan Vinal Big Dan Vinal 1992
2002
Kevin Wacholz Nailz 1993
Brian Walsh Brian Walsh 1985
1995–1996
[8][27]
Phil Watson Whipper Watson Jr. 1982
Lawrence Whistler Larry Zbyszko 1982 [5]
Brian Wickens Bushwhacker Luke 1995 [10]
Richard Williams Rio, Lord of the Jungle 1993
Unknown The Beast 1982
Unknown Bill Wilcox 1991
Unknown Buddy Donovan 1982
Unknown Chief War Cloud 1982
Unknown Chris Grant 1982 [5]
Unknown Cueball 2002 [29]
Unknown Davey O'Hannon 1982
Unknown Freight Train Dan 2002 [29]
Unknown Greg Winston 1982
Unknown Gypsy Rodriguez 1982
Unknown Hans Schroeder 1982 [5]
Unknown Jack Buford 1982
Unknown James Cody / Kid Delicious 1996 [27]
Unknown Jamie Pain 2002 [29]
Unknown Jeff Craney 1982
Unknown Jeff Roberts 2002 [29]
Unknown John Bonello 1982
Unknown John Sullivan 2002 [29]
Unknown Manuel Soto 1982
Unknown Mike Hollow 1994–1996 [25][26][27]
Unknown Mike Madison 1982 [5]
Unknown Mike Sciulli 1982
Unknown Mike "Jethro" Chambers 1982 [5]
Unknown The Mongolian 1982
Unknown Nemesis 2002 [29]
Unknown Richie Rich [32]
Unknown Ron Lee 1982
Unknown Rush 2002 [29]
Unknown Russian Mauler 1994
1996
[25][26][27]
Unknown Snooky Fink 1994–1996 [33][10][27]
Unknown Steve Hart 1995 [9]
Unknown Steve King / The Arctic Angel 1994–1995 [10]
Unknown The Stormtrooper 1994–1995 [25]
Unknown Tre the Smooth Operator 1993–1996
2002
[8][25][9][27]
Unknown Christopher Annino aka Rescue 911 2009 [29]
Female wrestlers
Birth name: Ring name(s): Tenure: Notes
Theresa Best Violet Flame 1995 [25][26][9][10]
Dawn Francis Rosebud 1990
1993
April Hunter April Hunter 2002 [29]
Linda Joaquin Linda Dallas 1988
Joan Laurer Joanie Lee 1996 [3][1][15][33]
Amy Nicholetti Ramblin' Rose 1990–1995 [25][26][10][34]
Nicole Raczynski Nikki Roxx 2002 [29]
Diane Syms Misty Blue Simmes 1985
1988
Debbie Szostecki Debbie Combs 1982
Alexandra Whitney Amanda Storm
Unknown Alexia Starr 1994
Unknown Brittany Brown 1990
1992–1994
Unknown Crystal Blue 1994
Unknown Donna Day 1982
Unknown Jamie West 1992–1996 [27]
Unknown Rain Drop 1996 [33]
Unknown Tammy West 1994
Unknown Lady Liberty aka Nikki Moccia 2009 [25]
Midget wrestlers
Birth name: Ring name(s): Tenure: Notes
Raymond Kessler The Haiti Kid 1982
Dana Magazu Dana Carpenter 1985
1988
Roger Tomlin Little Boy Blue 1982
Douglas Tunstall Jr. Tiny the Terrible 1996
Louis Waterhouse Jr. Little Louie 1985
1994–1995
Unknown Irish Leprechaun 1988
1996
Unknown Mighty Doom 1994
Unknown Little Leopard 1994
Stables and tag teams
Tag team/Stable(s) Members Tenure(s)
The Bushwhackers Bushwhacker Butch and Bushwhacker Luke 1995
The Eliminators Perry Saturn and John Kronus 1994–1995
The Kelly Twins Mike Kelly and Pat Kelly 1982
The Mutilators Jamie Pain and Nemesis 2002
The Soul Brothers Tony Ulysses and Chris Grant
The Valiant Brothers Jerry Valiant and Johnny Valiant 1982
Managers and valets
Birth name: Ring name(s): Tenure: Notes
Claude Giroux Dink 1995 [26]
Fred Koury Sr. Bull Curry 1982
Don Liable The Bug 1994
1996
[33][27]
John Minton Big John Studd 1994 [9]
Unknown John Rodeo 1995–1996 [9][27]
Unknown Professor Eugene Bickell 1995–1996 [26][27]
Unknown Vito Carlucci 1995 [9]
Commentators and interviewers
Birth name: Ring name(s): Tenure: Notes
Chris Claussen Chris Claussen 1982 Bedlam from Boston announcer
Stephen Driscoll Stephen Driscoll 1982 Ring announcer
Bedlam from Boston on-air talent[35]
Mel Simons Mel Simons 1982–1996 Ring announcer[27]
Bedlam from Boston on-air talent[36]
Referees
Birth name: Ring name(s): Tenure: Notes
Matt Cail Matt Cail
Gary McCarthy Gary McCarthy
Fred Sparta Fred Sparta Head referee[9]
Other personnel
Birth name: Ring name(s): Tenure: Notes
Walter Kowalski Killer Kowalski 1979–1996 Promoter
Don Liable Don Liable Head of publicity
Official photographer[33]
Company name to Year
Company name: Years:
International Wrestling Federation 1979–1996
Killer Kowalski's All Stars 2002
Notes
^ Indicates they are deceased.
^ Indicates they died while they were employed with .
WWF ^ Indicates they were part of a talent exchange with the World Wrestling Federation.

Championships[edit]

Key
Reign The reign number for the specific set of wrestlers listed
Event The event promoted by the respective promotion in which the titles were won
N/A The specific information is not known
Used for vacated reigns so as not to count it as an official reign
(n) Indicates that a title change took place "no later than" the date listed.[Note 1]
  Indicates that there was a period where the lineage is undocumented due to the lack of written documentation

IWF Heavyweight Championship[edit]

No. Champion Reign Date Days held Location Event Notes Ref.
1 Killer Kowalski 1 1982 (n) N/A Unknown Live event  
                 
2 Bryan Walsh 1 N/A N/A Unknown Live event    
3 Chris Duffy 1 1986 N/A Unknown Live event   [37]
                 
4 Chris Duffy 2 1987 N/A Unknown Live event   [37]
5 Ronnie Dee 1 N/A N/A Unknown Live event    
6 Mad Dog Richards 1 June, 1991 (n) N/A Unknown Live event    
7 Terra Ryzing 1 July 1992 N/A Unknown Live event    
Vacated March 12, 1994 N/A N/A Championship vacated for unknown reasons  
8 Tony Roy 1 October, 1994 (n) N/A Unknown Live event    
                 
9 Big Dan Vinal 2 November 2002 N/A Unknown Live event   [12]

IWF Tag Team Championship[edit]

No. Champions Reign Date Days held Location Event Notes Ref.
1 The Executioners
(Executioner #1 and Executioner #2)
1 1982 (n) N/A Unknown Live event  
2 Richard Byrne and Dan Petty 1 1982 (n) N/A Unknown Live event  
3 Executioner #1 and Johnny Valiant 1 1982 (n) N/A Unknown Live event  
                 

IWF North American Championship[edit]

No. Champion Reign Date Days held Location Event Notes Ref.
1 The Iron Horseman 1 March, 1994 (n) N/A Unknown Live event  
                 
2 Tony Roy 1 March, 1995 (n) N/A Unknown Live event    

IWF Light Heavyweight Championship[edit]

No. Champion Reign Date Days held Location Event Notes Ref.
                 
1 Bill Wilcox 1 December, 1991 (n) N/A Unknown Live event  
2 The Iron Horseman 1 December 6, 1991 N/A Andover, Massachusetts Live event  
3 Tony Ulysses 1 January, 1993 (n) N/A Unknown Live event  
4 The Iron Horseman 2 January 8, 1993 N/A Billerica, Massachusetts Live event  

IWF Ladies Championship[edit]

No. Champion Reign Date Days held Location Event Notes Ref.
                 
1 Nikki Moccia aka Lady Liberty 1 N/A N/A Unknown Live event  
2 Linda Dallas 1 February 28, 1985 30 Boston, Massachusetts Live event
3 Misty Blue Simmes 1 March 30, 1985 N/A N/A Live event  
4 Kat Leroux 1 1987 N/A N/A Live event
5 Misty Blue Simmes 2 1987 N/A N/A Live event also holds NWA US Women's title
6 Babyface Nellie 1 December 17, 1991 N/A N/A Live event
7 Brittany Brown 1 January 17, 1992 N/A Hanover, Massachusetts Live event  
8 Violet Flame 1 January, 1996 (n) N/A Unknown Live event  
9 Joanie Lee 1 September 28, 1996 N/A Salem, New Hampshire Live event  

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Documentation of the specific date of a title change is not found but documentation of the champion holding the title on that date/in that period.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "The New England Indy Graveyard: International Wrestling Federation". The New England Independent. 2003.
  2. ^ a b Kaelberer, Angie Peterson (2010). Edge Books: Triple H. Capstone. p. 12. ISBN 1429639482.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Lentz III, Harris M. (2003). Biographical Dictionary of Professional Wrestling (2 ed.). McFarland. ISBN 0786417544.
  4. ^ a b c Heos, Bridget (2011). Triple H: No Mercy. Rosen Publishing Group. ISBN 144885539X.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Callahan, John (October 10, 2006). "Killer Kowalski Trained". KayfabeMemories.com.
  6. ^ a b c "Killer Kowalski". Canadian Online Explorer. SLAM! Sports. January 12, 2008.
  7. ^ Callahan, John (August 17, 2009). "Bedlam From Boston". KayfabeMemories.com.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Macika, Dominic, ed. (May 26, 1996). "RSPW Frequently Asked Questions". rec.sport.pro-wrestling. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Crockett, Michael D. (April 2, 1995). "Killer Kowalski's IWF notes". rec.sport.pro-wrestling. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Crockett, Michael D. (May 16, 1995). "Notes from Killer Kowalski's IWF". rec.sport.pro-wrestling. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  11. ^ a b Nason, Josh (November 20, 2001). "411 Tuesday Indy Report: Results, IWF, Maple Leaf Comeback". 411mania.com.
  12. ^ a b c "Wrestling champion locates to paper city". The Berlin Daily Sun. November 29, 2003.
  13. ^ Bixenspan, David (October 26, 2009). "Triple H: "Some people think we're scheming all the time to improve our own situations. But the more people we make stars, the more money we all make, and everyone's happy."". Cagesideseats.com.
  14. ^ a b Picarello, Robert (2002). Monsters of the Mat. New York: Berkley Boulevard Books. p. 118. ISBN 042518594X.
  15. ^ a b c d Cox, Christopher (August 30, 1999). "Killer Career Moves". Boston Herald.
  16. ^ Taub, David. "Hunter Hearst Helmsley (HHH)". WrestlingMuseum.com.
  17. ^ Milner, John; Jason Clevett; Richard Kamchen. "Hunter Hearst Helmsley". Canadian Online Explorer. SLAM! Sports.
  18. ^ Hornbaker, Tim. "Triple H Wrestling History". Legacyofwrestling.com.
  19. ^ "WCW: Perry Saturn, part 1". Wrestling Redux. April 4, 2007.
  20. ^ "Biography". Rings of Saturn. 1999.
  21. ^ "Violet Flame". Glorywrestling.com. February 10, 2008.
  22. ^ a b "Chris Duffy". OnlineWorldofWrestling.com.
  23. ^ Sarnecky, Ronny (April 12, 2014). "The Piledriver Report 04.12.14: Goodbye Warrior". 411mania.com.
  24. ^ "Wrestling By The Numbers: James 'The Ultimate' Warrior". Gerweck.net. April 15, 2014.
  25. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Doucet, Ken (March 26, 1995). "IWF March into Destruction Tour". rec.sport.pro-wrestling. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  26. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Crockett, Michael D. (April 25, 1995). "Notes from Killer Kowalski's IWF". rec.sport.pro-wrestling. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  27. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Crockett, Michael D. (March 26, 1996). "(IWF) Bellingham, MA 3/22". rec.sport.pro-wrestling. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  28. ^ "Interview with Eve". Glorywrestling.com. August 15, 2004.
  29. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Independent Wrestling Results - November 2002". OnlineWorldofWrestling.com. November 2002.
  30. ^ "Killer Kowalski estate auction in Saugus". Wickedlocal.com. August 9, 2011.
  31. ^ ""Broadway" Kenn Phoenix". PWFnortheast.com. 2004.
  32. ^ "Milfords Best Kept Secret". SPWri.com. July 21, 2015.
  33. ^ a b c d e Laible, Don (April 22, 2016). "Chyna's Wrestling Early Days". Observer-Dispatch.
  34. ^ Wrobel, Darryl (June 1999). "Wrestling's Dark Secret - 21 Deaths In Five Years". National Enquirer.
  35. ^ "Wrestling: a different kind of performance". UMass.edu. UMass Amherst. February 2013.
  36. ^ Symkus, Ed (June 2, 2011). "Mel Simons Just Keeps on Entertaining..." West Roxbury Patch.
  37. ^ a b Liable, Don (May 1992). "Gorgeous Chris Duffy: Wrestling's Diamond in the Rough". Wrestling Eye. New York: Jems Inc. pp. 48–50.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]