Grappling With Tragedy: Killer Karl Krupp

Brian Damage

Grappling with Tragedy is a series of articles that deal with unfortunate, tragic incidents that have occurred throughout the history of professional wrestling. It is unlike the ‘Wrestling with Sin’ series that deals more with the seedier side of wrestling like arrests, murders and suicides. Grappling looks more at particular tragic incidents that have in some instances altered pro wrestling in some way.

Karl Krupp

George Momberg was born in the Netherlands in 1934 and emigrated to Canada after World War II. In 1957, at the age of 23…Momberg began training to become a pro wrestler. Making his debut that year under the alias of Dutch Momberg. For over ten years, Momberg had several different names including Mad Dog Momberg, Baron von Krupp and Karl von Krupp. He was nothing more than a journeyman wrestler, who never really caught on with fans.

It wasn’t until 1972, when he changed his name to Killer Karl Krupp and changed his gimmick to a Nazi sympathizer complete with boots, cape, monocle and goose stepping that his career really took off. Even though the Nazi gimmick was traditionally growing old and tired in pro wrestling, Momberg made it work by using outlandish facial expressions, giving great interviews and combining all of that with a vicious streak in the ring. It wasn’t long before the Killer Karl Krupp character became an international sensation. He wrestled all over the world in places like Canada, Japan and various territories in Texas, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee and Indiana.

Killer Karl Krupp was smart enough to never overstay his welcome in any particular territory as not to get stale with fans. He had several classic feuds with the likes of Hercules Cortez, Leo Burke, Antonio Inoki and Angelo Mosca. During a tour of Japan, Krupp unfortunately contracted Hepatitis C. The effects of the disease slowed him down completely and Momberg made the decision to retire and work a job in a trucking company and focus on his wife and three daughters. Sadly, his Hepatitis ended his life at the age of 61. His body was cremated and his ashes were spread into several bodies of water including the Atlantic Ocean.

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