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Killer Karl Kox To Be Given 2023 Posthumous Award by Cauliflower Alley Club

June 3, 2023 | Posted by Joseph Lee
Cauliflower Alley Club

The Cauliflower Alley Club has announced that the late Killer Karl Kox will be honored with the 2023 Posthumous Award. Other 2023 award recipients include CM Punk (Iron Mike Mazurki Award), Koko B. Ware (Men’s Wrestling Award), Mickie James (Women’s Wrestling Award) and Ron Simmons (Lifetime Achievement Award). The ceremony happens in Las Vegas on August 28-30. Here’s the press release:

Killer Karl Kox to be honored with the 2023 Posthumous Award

Feared matman wowed them the world over

The Cauliflower Alley Club is thrilled to announce that the late wrestling legend, Killer Karl Kox, has been selected as the recipient of the club’s Posthumous Award for 2023.

Kox, born Herbert Alan Gerwig on April 26, 1931, passed away on Nov. 10, 2011 at the age of 80.

Wikipedia has the following, entertaining and informative, bio on him…

Gerwig began his career in 1956. Rumors were that in 1957, Kox earned the name, Killer, when he performed his famous finishing move, the brainbuster, on his opponent by holding him upside down for a period of time and allowing the blood to rush to the brain.[1] As a singles heel through the sixties, he was a top-of-card fixture battling well-established crowd favorites such as Mark Lewin, Spiros Arion, Tex McKenzie, Dominic Denucci and Mario Milano. Enormous numbers from Australia’s nascent ethnic community turned out to support Arion, Denucci and Milano, and Kox risked riots at every appearance.

On February 21, 1967, he and Iron Mike DiBiase defeated Pedro Morales & Ricky Romero to win the WWA World Tag Team titles. He defeated Buddy Rogers to win the MWCW North American title in March 1968. Fans longed to see the brainbuster deployed on the side of good, and this boon was granted in 1971 when the Killer turned into a babyface in a nationally televised mea culpa – he pledged to change his ways on a solemn promise to his dying mother.

This created much heat in the already booming Australian wrestling promotion, where the fixture was an ongoing television “war” between the good guys referred to as “The People’s Army” (Lewin, Curtis, Arion, Milano and visiting faces from overseas) and the “mercenary soldiers” managed by Kentucky biker / preacher Big Bad John. The turning of the tables saw the erstwhile Killer create great excitement in tag matches against his former heel comrades Abdullah the Butcher, Brute Bernard, Dick “The Bulldog” Brower, Tiger Singh, Waldo Von Erich and Japanese heels like Mr Fuji and The Tojo Brothers (Hiro ‘The Great’ Tojo and Hito Tojo).

He lost to Johnny Weaver on May 4, 1973, in a Hair vs Mask match while working as The Masked Menace. He won the Florida Brass Knucks title by winning a tournament, and also defended the title against Rocky Johnson and Steve Keirn. In February 1978, he defeated Dusty Rhodes to win the Florida heavyweight title.

At a wrestling show later that year, Kox was wrestling a match when a fan started to repeatedly hit him with an umbrella. Security got involved and detained the fan, but instead of kicking the fan out of the show, Kox requested that they bring him into a backroom with the door locked. He allegedly requested that security not let him out until it was alright doing so. Security took the fan to a back room and locked the door. After Kox’s match ended, he told security to open the door and he went in. Five minutes later, Kox walked out of the room and the fan was found lying on the floor, covered in blood and was knocked out unconscious.

In the wrestling profession, Killer Karl Kox was always a popular figure for his humor, behind-the-scenes practical jokes and inventiveness in furthering the promotion (“the greatest gimmicks man in the business” said one admiring colleague). His grudge matches were well-calibrated and exciting, building through a series of disqualifications and non-decisions through run-in interference, and often climaxing in a conditional match in which “the loser packs his bags and leaves town.” This saw off one or the other of the combatants as they travelled to fulfill other promotional runs in other countries; battle would be re-joined next season when the participants returned for another highly profitable run.

Dick Murdoch once listed a number of people he had supposedly defeated and put out of wrestling, including a midget wrestler from the 1940s (few people caught the joke reference) and also listed on Herb Gelwig, (who was of course Killer Karl Kox with whom he teamed several times and was still quite active.) On October 9, 1979, he defeated Wahoo McDaniel to win the Georgia State Heavyweight title. He was cheered in Australia for one of the few times in his life when he faced the team of Abdullah & Bulldog Brower.

Among Killer Karl Kox’s famous matches in Australia, his feuds with man-mountain Haystacks Calhoun usually involved the insinuation of foreign objects into the proceedings by Kox. At the end of one season, Kox “left Australia for medical treatment in the states” when, in a strap match with Bulldog Brower, his eye was nearly removed (the wound was unbandaged to show the television audience). A headline making event was when a television match for the Australian championship against Spiros Arion was declared ended due to time limit by well-loved commentator Jack Little. Kox responded by applying the Brain Buster to the unfortunate Little, who was hospitalized and required to call matches the following month in a neck brace.

Please join us at the Plaza Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV this August 28-30 at the Cauliflower Alley Club celebrates its 57th annual reunion by honoring a who’s who of the professional wrestling industry as selected in our class of 2023.

Tickets and CAC memberships can be purchased online and all the reunion information can be obtained by visiting the club’s website at www.caulifloweralleyclub.org.

We hope to see you in Vegas, this August!