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WRESTLER PROFILES

Wrestler: Johnny Kostas
Real Name: Ioanis Constantino Kostolias
Birthday: November 22, 1922
Hometown: Korone, Messenia, Peloponnese, Greece
Moved to Tucson, Arizona
Marital Status: Married twice w/2 Sons
Height & Weight: 6'0" - 245 lbs
Trained by:
Debut: 1940 (Argentina)
Previous Gimmicks: Johnny Kostolias
Finishing Move: The Dropkick
Favorite Moves: The Airplane Spin
Flying Head Scissors
Notable Feuds:
Jody Arnold
Don Arnold
Sweet Daddy Watts
Mighty Atlas
Killer Kane
Stu Gibson
Dutch Savage
John Tolos
El Vikingo
Cruz Negro
The von Steigers
Chuck Karbo
Bob Sweetan
Jim Starr
Frank Shields
Riger Kirby
Mad Dog Vachon
Notable Feuds:
Mitri the Arabian Assassin
The Comancharos
Bearcat Wright
Gene Kiniski
Lonnie Mayne
Rex Mobley
Henry Harnell
Abdullah the Butcher
Tony Borne
Eric Stovell
Spike Jones
Fred Williams
Bruce Kirk
Bobby Nichols
Tony Borne
Lonnie Mayne
Fabulous Kangaroos

  • Arizona State Heavyweight title ();
  • Southern Tag Team titles w/Chief Golden Hawk (1950s);
  • Canadian Tag Team titles w/Don Leo Jonathan ();

  • Johnny Kostolias was trained as an amateur and shootfighter in Greece..
  • 1965: Johnny Kostas wrestled a major tour of Europe..
  • Johnny Kostas wrestled Lou Thesz to a two hour draw..
  • August 27, 2004: Johnny Kostas passed away in Tucsan, Arizona (Ashes scattered in the sea off the coast of his hometown)..
  • JohnnY Kostas was mainly a singles wrestler but he did team with with various partners throughout his long carrer..
  • ~~~The most hilarious, though played with dead sobriety at the time, was a masked man named Edmundo "Mundo" Manuel..
  • ~~~He was brought in to help Johnny Kostas fight the von Steigers at the height of their Arizona feud..
  • ~~~The story was, Manuel was a "cousin" to Kostas, who wore a mask to cover scars from a boyhood accident..
  • ~~~Kind of like The Phantom of the Opera beforehand or WWE's Kane afterward..
  • ~~~~~~Other teammates down the line included Chief Golden Hawk, Jim Osborne and others..
    Dale Pierce send in these comments: An interesting story had him dead many years ago when he was not. The problem arose with the death of wrestler George "Scrapiron" Gadasky, who also used the name of Johnny Costa. They were two different people but the reason for the confusion is obvious.

    One of the greatest angles ever involving Kostas came in Arizona around 1970. Johnny was in a feud with regional villain, Jody Arnold, and always wrestled in his bare feet. Anyway, in a promo before their bout, Kostas came on screen during the TV taping with a large box, with a question mark in it. He announced in his box was a secret weapon that would help him beat Arnold. Naturally, fans had to come to see what was in the box. The box contained nothing but a pair of wrestling boots which Kostas put on and wore during the bout. Arnold was supposedly so worried the boots were loaded with something or so rattled to see Kostas not wrestling in his bare feet, the psychological impact was too much for him and he lost quickly.. Arnold would later reflect that Kostas, along with Ray Gordon, was legitimately the toughest man he ever wrestled or trained with.

    Though a mainstay in the Arizona-California region, Kostas also appeared in Europe, Australia, Canada, Mexico, South America, the Pacific Northwest and the Northeastern USA. Kostas spoke several languages, including English, Spanish, Greek and French.
    Greg Kelly wrote: Here are John Kostas' Sydney results for 1965 ----- 65/6/26- John Kostas d Pat O’Hara. 7/3- John Kostas d Al Woods. 7/10- Spiros Arion & John Kostas d Mitsu Arakawa & Bob the Bruiser DQ. 7/17- Spiros Arion & John Kostas d Mitsu Arakawa & Bob the Bruiser 2-0. 7/24- Spiros Arion/John Kostas/Dick Steinborn d Bob the Bruiser/Killer Kowalski/Mitsu Arakawa 2-1. 7/31- Roy Heffernan d John Kostas. 8/7- Alaskan d John Kostas. 8/14- Bulldog Brower d John Kostas. 8/21- Bob the Bruiser d John Kostas. 8/28- Cyclone Negro d John Kostas.
    Dale Pierce wrote: In old Portland results, Johnny Kostas has the distinction of facing and beating a wrestkler who went under the name of Kay Faben (an inside joke obviously. Details as to who this was? Who knows????)