Kenny Jay

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Kenny Jay
Birth nameKenny Benkowski
Ring name(s)Kenny Jay[1]
Billed height6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Billed weight275 lb (125 kg)
Born(1937-03-27) March 27, 1937 (age 77)
Holdingford, Minnesota
ResidesBloomington, Minnesota
Billed fromMinnesota
Cleveland, Ohio
Trained byVerne Gagne
Bob Hawkins
DebutFebruary 1958
 
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Kenny Jay
Birth nameKenny Benkowski
Ring name(s)Kenny Jay[1]
Billed height6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Billed weight275 lb (125 kg)
Born(1937-03-27) March 27, 1937 (age 77)
Holdingford, Minnesota
ResidesBloomington, Minnesota
Billed fromMinnesota
Cleveland, Ohio
Trained byVerne Gagne
Bob Hawkins
DebutFebruary 1958

Kenny Benkowski, better known by his ring name, Kenny Jay (born March 27, 1937) is an American retired professional wrestler, best known for his appearances with the American Wrestling Association.

Jay primarily performed as a jobber. He was often paired with fellow AWA jobber Jake "The Milkman" Milliman in tag team matches.[2] During his career, he was known for his stiff wrestling style.[2]

Early life[edit]

Kenny Jay was born on March 27, 1937 in Holdingford, Minnesota.[3] Kenny was a natural athlete in high school, lettering in both football and shotput. When he graduated from high school in 1955, he moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he found employment as a factory worker.[2]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Early career; military service[edit]

His first match was at the Southside Armory for John Hinds. Before long he was working larger venues at the Marigold Arena in Chicago. His wrestling career took a hiatus when he joined the U.S. Army for a two-year stint.[3]

American Wrestling Association[edit]

After his military tour, he found employment with the American Wrestling Association (AWA), wrestling every Saturday's television taping and then house shows during the week for promoter Wally Karbo.[3]

Whenever a new name would come in, they would give them to Jay to make them look good. He used his mat-based scientific wrestling style [4] with the likes of Mad Dog Vachon, The Crusher, Verne Gagne, and Bruiser.[2]

To help pay the bills, Jay started his own landscape business, which is where he got the "Sodbuster" nickname.[2] He never left the Midwest, as he was rooted in the area with his landscape business, wife, and three children. He continued working for the AWA for nearly thirty years until they went out of business in 1991.[3]

Kenny Jay is the best overall talent in wrestling. He was what we called a 'job guy' but he could work with any human being and get a good match out of them. He would go in the ring with a big name who really couldn't do much and make him look good, and he could get in there with a Danny Hodge or Verne Gagne and make them look even better than they were. He was just an incredibly talented guy.
 

In 1972 Jay made his one overseas trip to Japan, where he worked 18 matches, including five cage matches, and won most of them.[3]

In 1976 he took on Muhammad Ali in a boxer vs wrestler match which he considers one of the high points of his career.[2]

Jay later wrestled in North Premier Wrestling with J.B. Trask, Jerry Lynn, Dan Jester and his enemy the Texas Badman.

Jay occasionally wrestled for some small local promotions in the 1990s and early 2000s.

In 2005 the Cauliflower Alley Club board of directors unanimously chose Kenny Jay to be honored.[3]

Being the first jabroni to be honored by the Cauliflower Alley Club is real exciting. It’s nice to be recognized by the boys.
 
— Kenny Jay[3]

In wrestling[edit]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mike Hart for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (December 11, 2003). "These gifts make it a very Packer Christmas". Retrieved 2007-04-29. [dead link]
  2. ^ a b c d e f Canadian Online Explorer (April 2, 2005). "This time, Kenny Jay is on top". Retrieved 2007-04-29. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Cauliflower Alley Club (2005). "CAC 2005 Honorees - Kenny Jay". Archived from the original on 2007-04-18. Retrieved 2007-04-29. 
  4. ^ onlineworldofwrestling.com. "Online World of Wrestling Profiles: Kenny Jay". Retrieved 2007-04-29. 

External links[edit]