to one of the "old school" grapplers who paid his dues by going head to head with some of the best wrestlers available
during those Golden Days of Professional Wrestling.
REAL NAME-R.D. "Bud" Kowarko
BIRTH PLACE-Buffalo, NY
TRAINED BY-Stu Hart &
DEBUT-Atlanta, GA 1962
FAVORITE HOLDS-Leg take-down, Flying head scissors &
FINISHING HOLDS-Boston Crab, combo backbreaker/hangman
Eddie Graham/Sam Steamboat, Scufflin Hillbillies, Russian Wolfmen,
Gallagher Bros, Dr. Jerry Graham & Chief Bigheart
Being an avid student and belt holder of martial
arts re: (judo/jiu jitzu) Bud found himself in Vic Tanny's gym on a daily weight training session when Steve "Mr.
America" Stanley strolled in and started working out. After several days of chatting, Steve invited Bud to pull
necks in the mat room.
Steve found Bud to be exceptionally fast and light on his feet. At this time Bud weighed
245 lbs. and had 4 years experience in martial arts. Steve used Bud as a sparring partner on every visit to the gym.
Bud was also introduced to Yukon Eric, Ilio Di Paulo and several other wrestlers.
Bud was eventually convinced that Pro
Wrestling was an attractive option vs. working in concrete construction. Bud rounded out his training by working with
Bibber McCoy-a local boxing/wrestling coach and an amateur sports promoter. With Bibber, Bud had access to a boxing/wrestling
ring. Bibbers camp also included Jumpin Joe Foglia, Lil Abner, Dick LoGalbo, Big Ed Mosca & several local boxers.
Bud made his Pro Wrestling debut in Atlanta GA in early 1962. Some of Buds opponents included Ricky Romero, Lenny
Montana, Fred Blassie, Derrell Cochran and others. After a sit down session with Fred Blassie Bud was convinced that
the future of Pro Wrestling was going to include tag teams and that they were going to become a mainstay. They were
becoming very popular & Bud took Fred's advise to heart, returned to Buffalo and discussed this issue with his mentor
Bibber. They agreed that the best candidate would be Dick LoGalbo a powerful 250 pounder with ring experience and the
lightest on his feet. After training with Dick for 8 weeks, Bud and Dick traveled back to Atlanta as "The Bison
Having traveled from one end of Georgia to the other and wrestling a lot of notables, the Bison Bros.
took a break. Dick went back to Buffalo to deal with family matters and Bud traveled on to Calgary Alberta. Bud
called Stu Hart from Atlanta and told him he was looking to gain more experience and was told to "get his butt up there."
Stu took Bud under his wing and had daily workouts and training sessions. Bud worked and trained hard and had the highest
regard for Stu Hart, calling him "the best pound for pound shooter" he ever met. Bud wrestled Calgary, Edmonton,
Regina, Sask, Lethbridge & Saskatoon.
Bud wrestled stars like Dr. Jerry Graham, Chief Bigheart, Don McLarity, Johnny
Kostas, Dominic Bravo, Mike Sharpe, Ronnie Etchison, Jim Wright and others. Bud considered his time in the Canadian
Territory to be a crucial part of his wrestling career. Bud considered Stu Hart a master. Buddy Bison also
wrestled for Frank Tunney in Toronto Ontario, Pedro Martinez-Buffalo NY, Roy Shire-San Francisco, CA, Nick Gulas-Nashville,
TN, Dory Funk Sr. Amarillo, TX, Don McIntyre, Vince McMahon, Paul Jones, among others.
1963-Bud was a two-time Great Lakes wrestling champion.
tagged up with Charlie Bruce as "The Executioners." Lenny Montana was slated to be Bud's partner, but
at the last minute went to Los Angeles, CA to follow-up on his film career. Lenny had a part in the "The Godfather"
as Luca Brazzi. Bud and Charlie Bruce took on many of the top tag teams of that era. The Russian Wolfmen, The
Gallagher Bros, Scufflin Hillbillies, Bravo Bros., Steve & Bob Stanlee, Eddie Graham & Sam Steamboat, Chief Bigheart
& Wahoo McDaniels, among others. Bloody feuds broke out in the Alabama territory when The Executioners faced off
with the local heroes "The Scufflin Hillbillies." Cousin Alfred & Cousin Willie were on the receiving
end of some severe punishment via The Executioners. The Executioners also felt what it was like to get hit with a clay
jug & the butt of an Alabama squirrel rifle.
SEPT-OCT 1964 A bid for the World Tag Team Championship
brought The Executioners to South Florida, Tampa & Miami to be exact. Cowboy Luttrell was sponsoring a tag team
tournament with the likes of Tarzan Tyler/Joe McCarthy-Russian Wolfmen-Don Curtis/Abe Jacobs & Tony Marino/Steve Bolus.
In the first match, Tyler/McCarthy defeated Tony Marino and Steve Bolus. In the second, Curtis/Jacobs won over the Russian
Wolfmen. In the third, The Executioners pinned Tyler & McCarthy. The final match was won by the Executioners
over Curtis & Jacobs. This tournament win gave The Executioners the opportunity to meet Eddie Graham & Sam Steamboat
for the title. Four thousand fans witnessed The Executioners win the championship belts and the title of World Champions.
Buddy Bison wrestled for several years with a chronic neck injury sustained in a match on television in Hamilton Ontario.
He re-injured it in Ft. Worth, TX and this injury finally sidelined Bud. He retired to Miami, FL and wrestled part-time
and refereed for a while.
After trying his hand at law enforcement and bounty hunting, Bud eventually decided to try
and make a living at his favorite past time, hunting and fishing. Having guided in several states and Alaska, Bud retired
after 20 years of guiding and ten years in the lodge business.
If you would like to contact Bud to reminisce about the
Golden Age of Wrestling, please feel free at email@example.com