Killer Karl Krupp
Killer Karl Krupp, with tag team partner Karl Von Stroheim (left)
|Birth name||George Momberg|
May 13, 1934|
|Died||August 24, 1995
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Killer Karl Krupp
Mad Dog Momberg
Baron von Krupp
|Billed height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Billed weight||256 lb (116 kg)|
Professional wrestling career
Making his debut as a professional wrestler in 1957, the first half of Momberg's lengthy career, as Dutch Momberg, was not particularly memorable. Sometime around 1971, he changed his name to Mad Dog Momberg. In 1972, he finally hit upon the gimmick that would make him a star, the character of the 'evil German,' Killer Karl Krupp.
The German heel gimmick had been around a good twenty years by this time, first popularized by Hans Schmidt and carried further by later stars, such as Fritz von Erich. A late entry into the field, Killer Karl Krupp was among the most wildly over-the-top of them all: with eyes bulging, head shaved and a short black beard framing a leering grin, Krupp was the very image of a wildly cartoonish yet frightening wrestling villain. He accessorized for the part with monocle, riding crop, heavy black boots and black ring cape, and delivered ranting promos in an affected German accent rife with mangled pronunciations. Utilizing other familiar staples of the German heel gimmick, Krupp goose-stepped to the ring, threw stiff-arm salutes, and used an Iron Claw hold (the 'Eye Claw') as his finishing move. What was unknown to the public at the time was that Momberg hated the Nazis who had occupied his homeland, and he did the over-the-top gimmick as a way of mocking them, Hogan's Heroes-style.
Despite these theatrics, Krupp was a convincing brawler in the ring. Remembered for often completely demolishing his opponents, he relished inflicting pain on them, with little regard for whether or not he was disqualified in the process of doing so.
On June 10, 1972, Krupp won his first of many assorted titles, defeating Leo Burke for the ESA's IW North American Heavyweight Championship. Early the next year he went to Japan, where he had many of his early successes, co-holding the NWA International Tag Team Championship twice between February and April 1973 (once with Johnny Valentine and once each with fellow 'evil Germans', Fritz von Erich and replacement partner Karl von Steiger). He also reached the final rounds of the 1974 and 1975 New Japan Pro Wrestling World League Tournaments, both of which he lost to Antonio Inoki. Stateside, Krupp first became a big name in the Texas territory in 1973 before moving on to Portland in 1974 where he feuded with Dutch Savage. He also appeared in CWF Florida in 1975 and then moved on to Dick the Bruiser's WWA in Indiana. There as well as in Detroit, he used the moniker Baron von Krupp.
In 1980, Krupp came to Memphis where he eventually joined Jimmy Hart's First Family of Wrestling stable and tangle with Jerry Lawler. He returned before long to Atlantic Canada, however, where he had a memorable run in Atlantic Grand Prix Wrestling, holding the European Title and feuding with The Great Mulumba and Hercules Cortez. In the mid-1980s, near the end of his career, he feuded with Angelo Mosca around southern Ontario.
George Momberg retired to his adopted home in Atlantic Canada in 1988, working for Midland Trucking Company. He later moved to Ontario. He died in Hamilton, Ontario after contracting hepatitis while wrestling in Japan.
Championships and accomplishments
- NWA International Tag Team Championship (Japan version) (2 times) - with Johnny Valentine (1) and Fritz von Erich (1)
- AGPW European Championship (1 time)
- AGPW International Championship (2 times)
- AGPW North American Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Hans Herman