This is the 255th installment of the ‘Wrestling with Sin‘ series. A group of stories that delves into the darker, underbelly of pro wrestling. Many of the stories involve such subjects as sex, drugs, greed and in some cases even murder! As with every single story in the Sin series, I do not condone or condemn the alleged participants. We simply retell their stories by researching interviews, newspapers, magazines and various other sources of media.
Oh My Oh in Ohio
Pro Wrestling Ohio (PWO) was one of the most successfully run independent promotions based in the Cleveland, Ohio area. PWO has been home to some of pro wrestling’s top, young independent wrestlers from that area. The promoter and booker of PWO was a man named Walter Klasinski. Klasinski was a truck driver turned wrestling entrepreneur.
He also just so happens to be WWE/NXT star Johnny Gargano’s step father. Gargano’s mother met Walter Klasinski after taking her nine year old son Johnny to a PWO show. A couple of years later, Gargano’s mom and Klasinski were married and Johnny Gargano grew up in the wrestling business. Gargano trained and became a pro wrestler under the PWO banner.
In 2012, Walter Klasinski was arrested and charged with three counts of attempted rape, two counts of attempted sexual battery, three counts of rape, three counts of sexual battery and aggravated assault. Details of the actual incident were kept tightly sealed, so there is not very much information over what exactly occurred. What we do know is, Klasinski entered a plea deal and accepted a fourth degree felony of aggravated assault. He was sentenced to 6 months in prison and has since been released. Pro Wrestling Ohio was taken over by his business partner and renamed Prime Wrestling.
Kola Gets Popped
Kola Kwariani was an immigrant from Georgia who became a professional wrestler in the United States in the 1950’s and 60’s. Kwariani made a fortune in wrestling and would often send money back home to Georgia to help the poor. He was instrumental in helping other stars like Argentina Rocca and Bruno Sammartino launch their careers. Once he retired from pro wrestling, Kwariani acted in movies like Stanley Kubrick’s ‘The Killing.’
In February of 1980, Kwariani went to visit a social club to play some chess. While entering the club, Kwariani accidentally bumped into five teenagers and words were exchanged. It escalated to physicality and the teenagers beat up the former wrestler. Kwariani was rushed to the hospital, but died from his injuries. Kola Kwariani was 77 years old at the time of his death.
The Havok Caused By Cheating
Current Impact Wrestling star Sami Callihan was once married to fellow independent wrestler Chrissy Rivera. When Callihan signed with WWE in 2012, Rivera came out and accused Callihan of infidelity. Some questioned Chrissy Rivera’s motives of revealing the incident after Calihan had signed with WWE. Some may have felt she revealed the news to possibly screw up his WWE status.
None the less, it was alleged that while married to Rivera…Callihan had an affair with another wrestler named Jessicka Havok. Sami Callihan and Chrissy Rivera did get a divorce and Sami is still with Havok to this day.
During the tail end of his career, ‘Mad Dog’ Vachon was wrestling for the AWA. He was in constant pain from all the years wrestling all over the world. On one particular night, Vachon’s knees were killing him so he asked Adrian Adonis for a Quaalude to help him go out and wrestle. Vachon drank the pill with a pint of whiskey and then went to wrestle his match. After it was over, Vachon return to the locker room and drank several beers.
When the show ended, he and Colonel DeBeers went out to dinner and drank a full bottle of wine. By this point, Vachon had become a bit wild and unruly, so DeBeers gave Vachon a joint to smoke to settle him down. Later that night, Vachon, DeBeers, Greg Gagne, Jim Brunzell, Adrian Adonis, Nick Bockwinkel and Bobby Heenan all boarded a private plane to return to Minneapolis, Minnesota. As the plane took off, Vachon was still uncontrollable and started yelling and challenging the others on the plane to fight him.
Suddenly, Mad Dog opened the plane’s door while in mid air. He began throwing empty beer bottles, his clothes and gym bags out of the plane. The pilot had no choice, but to make an emergency landing in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Luckily, the plane landed safely and Vachon got out of the plane and started walking on the runway. The police asked the other wrestlers to retrieve Mad Dog and bring him back to be arrested. Jim Brunzell went after the veteran wrestler and the two had a fist fight on the runway.
Mad Dog was eventually brought back and was handcuffed by police, but Vachon was still wild. The police were forced to use restraints on him in the back of the squad car. Very fortunately for Vachon, the police gave the other wrestlers a choice…either take back Mad Dog and get him home or he would be arrested and face serious charges. Vachon was released into the wrestlers custody and evryone made it home to Minnesota in one piece.