Canada’s Greatest Athlete

Fans and friends of Gene Kiniski, Canada’s Greatest Athlete, got together at Kiniski‚Äôs Reef Tavern in Point Roberts yesterday for what was the unveiling of the “Kiniski Experience”. Hosted by Sportsnet 650 radio’s James Cybulski, the afternoon was spent looking at memorabilia, and sharing stories from Kiniski’s colourful past in the professional wrestling world. Gene’s sons, Nick and Kelly gave a family’s perspective of the man, and friends shared some wonderful stories. Also at the event was author Steven Verrier, who recently released a biography on the wrestling legend, titled “Gene Kiniski, Canadian Wrestling Legend”, who spoke about writing the book. It’s hard to believe, but Gene passed away 9 years ago. The tribute will be a permanent display at Kiniski’s Reef Tavern, 1334 Gulf Road in Point Roberts Washington. A must see for old time wrestling fans.

3 thoughts on “Canada’s Greatest Athlete

  1. Laine Frajberg

    I first saw “Big Thunder” perform in 1958.(The feed was from Toronto on CBC.)He was involved in a bitter feud with “Whipper Billy” Watson, whom he had legitimately injured,at the time.Although a “heel”,I always liked the guy as I found him very entertaining and colourful.I liked his “rock em.sock em” take no prisoners style of “rasslin”.Lou Thesz,Verne Gagne,Whipper Watson,and Wilbur Snyder may have been better scientific wrestlers but when it came to entertainment,Gene was the best.And boy could he work a crowd.
    So “Big Thunder”, rest in peace.

    1. Wayne Post author

      You’re right Laine, he was the best at working a crowd. As Gene used to say, “Wrestling is dollar for dollar, pound for pound, the best entertainment money can buy!”

  2. Al

    Mr Kiniski (Gene) wrestled all over N America and Japan. He wrestled the very best …Lou Thesz Don Leo Jonathan Bruno Samartino Bulldog Brown Dory a Funk Jr Abdulla the Butcher Bobo Brazil Giant Baba so on…
    He held the NWA heavyweight title for 2.5 yrs.
    I seen him wrestle many times at the PNE Gardens and Queens Park Arenex building. Yes in that Arenex building there were world class wrestlers like Adbulla the Butcher Don Leo Jonathan John and Chris Tolos Bulldog Brown Dutch Savage Rocky Johnson The Assassins, The Kangaroos Gene Kiniski on and on….these guys were tough physical in real life and very talented and skilled in their craft.
    Entertainment ….we fans got.
    Those were the days.
    On youtube there is a Jack Webster program with the boxer M. Ali and G. Kiniski. Both were champions in their sport and both had the gift of the gab !!!
    RIP guys . God bless their families.


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