Cleveland-area wrestling promoter pleads to sex charges

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Walt Klasinski by Walter Novak
  • Walt Klasinski by Walter Novak

Walt Klasinski, known around northeastern Ohio as the owner of Pro Wrestling Ohio (PWO), was arrested last month for a laundry list of sex offenses. According to wrestling writer of Jerry Wiseman of the Columbus Examiner,

In December of 2012 Klasinski was charged with three counts of attempted rape, two counts of attempted sexual battery, three counts of rape, three counts of sexual battery and aggravated assault. Klasinski entered into a plea agreement for aggravated assault against a woman, a fourth degree felony and was sentenced to jail. He is currently serving time in Lorain Correctional Institution with a scheduled release date of June 17, 2012. The particulars of the case continue to be held closely to the vest and there has been a considerable effort to keep the arrest and adjudication out of the public eye.

Wiseman also published a long roster of Klasinski’s previous encounters with the law dating back to 1976. They include arrests and pleas for carrying a concealed weapon, grand theft, assault, and robbery, among other things.

The future looked bright for Klasinski back in July 2008 when former Scene writer Gus Garcia-Roberts penned a 3,500 word cover story on Klasinski and the PWO.

Since the 55-year-old Klasinski started PWO in 2007 on a shoestring and his wages as a truck driver, it’s become one of Ohio’s top independent promotions, running regular live shows in different venues around Northeastern Ohio and holding down the 10 p.m. Sunday slot on Sports Time Ohio with its popular TV show. The promotion’s big annual event, Wrestlelution, attracts a couple of thousand people to the Nautica Pavilion each summer with big-name guest wrestlers like Hacksaw Jim Duggan, King Kong Bundy, and Greg “The Hammer” Valentine, alongside its homegrown stars like Jason Bane, M-Dogg 20, Krimson, and Klasinski’s own stepson, Johnny Gargano.

Klasinski’s right-hand man Joe Dombrowski is said to be running the promotion while Klasinski is away. — Anastasia Pantsios

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