Step aside, Bronze Fonze.
Tourists may soon have a new statue to take selfies with thanks to a fundraiser campaign that is quickly meeting its goal. A gofundme aiming to erect a statue of South Milwaukee professional wrestler The Crusher has been garnering a lot of attention.
Reggie “The Crusher” Lisowski was born and raised in South Milwaukee. His interest in wrestling began while stationed in Germany with the U.S. Army during World War II, and continued training in the sport when he returned to Milwaukee at the Milwaukee’s Eagle’s Club.
Early in his wrestling career, Liowski would work blue collar jobs by day and wrestle at night. He eventually developed the persona of the beer-drinking, blue-collar tough guy that earned him the title of “the wrestler that made Milwaukee famous.” Liowski told interviewers that he trained for matches by running along the waterfront in Milwaukee while carrying a keg of beer and would strengthen his stamina by dancing polka all night with Polish barmaids.
Liowski would go on to win the AWA World Heavyweight Championship three times among many other competitions. He was inducted into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2005. Liowski passed away on October 25 that same year at the age of 79 due to a brain tumor.
The gofundme was created in December and already has reached over three-fourths of its $40,000 goal.
According to the gofundme page, Da Crusher symbolizes the embodiment of the blue-collar, hard-working history of the South Milwaukee and a monument honoring his memory will be a proud landmark for the people of Milwaukee forever.
Two upcoming events will help fund the statue. On Feb. 22, Bayview’s Vanguard will be putting together a Crusher-themed food menu, as well as hosting a silent auction featuring Crusher memorabilia and The Crusher t-shirts. On April 6, former AWA wrestlers Baron Von Raschke, Ken Patera, Jim Brunzell and others will share stories, answer questions, watch old matches, sign autographs and take photographs with fans on a night honoring Da Crusher at the South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center.
If you would like to help but cannot make it to either of these events, you can donate to the gofundme here.