Ask most fans from the 1980s what they remember about Killer Khan, and they’ll probably recall his 1980s WWF feud with Andre the Giant.
Khan was a big, thick Japanese guy whose gimmick was that of a savage, out-of-control Mongolian. His facial expressions usually consisted of an exaggerated, lip-curling grimace, and he was bald except for a short, braided pony tail. During his offense, he let out these high-pitched shrieks.
He had two runs in the WWF, first in 1981 and then in 1987. The initial run was far more memorable, as he was portrayed as a vicious wrestler who broke Andre’s leg and then tried to take out Rick “Quick Draw” McGraw with several kneedrops to McGraw’s neck on the concrete floor.
At some point, Andre did legitimately break his angle, although I’m not sure if it was an accident during a match or out of the ring. If memory serves me correctly, Andre recovered from his injury at a hospital here in Boston. The WWF played up the injury as part of an angle with Khan, building up to a series of stretcher matches, including one at the old Boston Garden in October 1981. During an interview with Vince McMahon on Championship Wrestling, Andre was on crutches. Of course, Khan and manager Fred Blassie came out, and Khan whacked Andre with the crutch, leading to a great McMahon reaction of, “No, no, no! No!”
Later, in 1987, Khan returned to the WWF with Mr. Fuji as his manager. At this point, Khan started blowing a green mist out of his mouth similar to the Great Kabuki. Khan challenged Hulk Hogan for the WWF Title at the Garden, which I remember because Hogan blocked the mist with his hands and rubbed it into Khan’s face en route to a victory.
Khan also wrestled elsewhere in the United States and Japan before retiring in the late 1980s. Since then he has been involved in the restaurant business and also released, believe it or not, an album. The photo of an older Killer Khan on the album cover will make your day.