Herb Gerwig (April 26, 1931 - November 10, 2011) was an American professional wrestler, better known by his ring name of Killer Karl Kox, who competed in the National Wrestling Alliance as well as international promotions such as All Japan Pro Wrestling, the International Wrestling Alliance and World Championship Wrestling during the 1960s and 70s.
Killer Karl Kox was one of the biggest stars in the WCW promotion in Australia during the 1960s and 1970s. As a singles heel through the sixties, he was a top-of-card fixture battling well-established crowd favourites 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. His brainbuster finisher was as famous as his chronic rule breaking and surreptitious use of foreign objects. 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 good guy 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 Ehrich and Japanese badboys like Mr Fuiji and the Tojo Brothers.
In the wrestling profession, Killer Karl Kox was always a popular figure for his humour, 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.
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. Kox made his final wrestling-related appearance at VCCW Quest for the Crown II in August 2011, taking part in a meet and greet as well as later presenting the championship to Scot Summers.
On November 10, 2011, Kox died at the age of 80 following a heart attack and a stroke he had suffered nearly three weeks prior.
- Finishing and signature moves
- Brainbuster Suplex
- Tag teams and stables
- Wrestlers trained
Championships and accomplishments
- NWA Georgia Heavyweight Champion (3 time)
- WWA World Tag Team Champion (1 time) - with Mike DiBiase