Ivan Putski (Alive)
Joseph Bednarski [1941 - Present]
Ivan Putski Image

"Polish Power"

A native of Poland, Ivan Putski emigrated to Texas with his family when he was a young boy. Texas would prove fertile ground as he became a professional wrestler. He would go on to win the NWA American Tag Team Championship (1970) and the NWA Texas Tag Team Championship (1973) with partner Jose Lothario.

"Polish Power" entered the WWWF in 1976 and battled men like "Superstar" Billy Graham, Ivan Koloff, Bruiser Brody and Jesse "The Body" Ventura. He and tag partner Tito Santana captured the WWF World Tag Team Championship from Jimmy and Jerry Valiant in 1979, the same year they earned the PWI Tag Team of the Year. The 1980s marked the decline of Ivan's career. He was inducted into the WWF Hall of Fame (1995).

An avid bodybuilder who competed in the 1978 World's Strongest Man competition, Ivan has retired from wrestling and currently works as a security guard at a local high school.

User Comments - Add a Comment
lilfancyb - 2008-08-17 11:14:09
I loved him...they should a show showing him
Wrestling fan in Texas - 2008-12-08 15:52:30

You need to check your info on this one. Ivan Putski is dead.

 

[Editor's Note: We don't see anything online to indicate that Ivan Putski is dead: http://www.wwe.com/superstars/halloffame/ivanputski

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivan_Putski

http://www.onlineworldofwrestling.com/profiles/i/ivan-putski.html.]

Capt Spaulding - 2009-03-02 14:09:20

You may want to check your info.Ivan is very alive and doing well living in Austin. His son Scott and I are very good friends and in fact Scott spoke with his father two weekends ago while we were looking at Iron Horse motorcycles. So Ivan is very much alive!!!!

Old Friend - 2009-03-05 16:06:51

My father is an old college friend of Ivan's. My dad knows him as "Joe Bed". Could you ask Scott if he could ask Ivan if he remembers Connie Hoffman from SWT?

Bud - 2009-03-09 10:24:17

I am glad to see that Mr. Bednarski is alive and well. I went to college with his son Kent at Texas A&I, and had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Bednarski then. He is a prince of a guy.

Capt Spaulding - 2009-03-18 17:55:12

I'll be more than happy to pass this on to Ivan. Yea he is really a cool guy. It's just so sad that the wrestling industry doesn't have guys like Ivan around anymore. He is truly a one of a kind gentleman.

Capt Spaulding - 2009-03-23 15:21:34

Hey guys just an update, We were at Scotts this past weekend for his sons birthday party and Ivan was there. My god the guy(Ivan)is hard as nails and still ready to go at the sound of the bell! So for you out there the Polish Strongman Is still ready to rumble.

Old friend - 2009-03-24 16:22:42

Connie's name is Homer Hoffman and he lives in Arvada, Colorado. He has a State Farm Insurance agency in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. He tried looking up Joe Bed's number but was unsuccessful. He would really like to talk to Joe to see how he is. Thanks.

Mike Williams - 2009-05-08 02:01:20

An absolute disgrace to wrestling nothing more than an unathletic steroid freak

Tom Hoffman - 2009-05-13 11:39:26

The man is a legend. My father knew him in college and knows that Joe Bed took pride and the utmost care of his health. Nowadays anyone that has great strength and a muscular physique is assumed to be on roids. Very sad.

dirion - 2009-07-15 11:04:08

I hate to tell you but most of the bodybuilders and pro wrestlers were taking steroids in the 70's. It was just legal then:)

Bill from Pittsburgh - 2009-08-14 17:39:50

I loved Ivan, never will forget him crushing a steel barrel, I was standing in a line at the Pittsburgh airport and he was just behind me, I asked "arent you Ivan Putski"? He just smiled.

Dr. Satan - 2009-08-15 00:09:09

Ivan Putski was one of my favorite heros in wrestling as Jessie The Body was my favorite comical heels. I always wanted to see him go toe to toe with Jessie , especially when Jessie misspronounced Ivans' last name on purpose

Paul - 2009-09-02 20:23:40

Mr. Putski, Where are you? Please consider doing autograph singings for the public. Many of us remember you from tv and in person. You are one of the best.

iluvbruiserbrody - 2009-11-24 20:38:21

when i was 3 or 4, i used to follow Ivan down the aisle at the Dallas Sportatorium with a big all day sucker. and once, Ivan picked me up and carried me a few feet, and at that age, i was in love with this man. I always rooted for him and really am glad he's alive and well in TEXAS. I LOVE YOU IVAN PUTSKI

Maggie - 2009-12-02 16:11:50

I used to watch the AWA Wrestling with my Dad when I was just a tiny gal. I remember seeing Ivan wrestle. I met him once and he thought I was cute because I was so short. My Mom liked him because he was Polish and she could cheer for him in Polish.

david - 2009-12-07 00:45:13

Ivan putski was the strongest & greatest wrestler of all times . he was a professional & also true athlete pf wrestling . no one comes close to ivan the polish power !!!!!

Cavazos - 2009-12-09 19:45:48

Ivan was a great guy and football coach when we played for chiefs in south austin

Cavazos - 2009-12-09 19:45:48

Ivan was a great guy and football coach when we played for chiefs in south austin

BIGBEN - 2009-12-15 22:15:32

He was one of my favorites. I always wanted to see him beat the crap out of Jessie The Body for mis-pronouncing his name.,, Ivan Puduski. I'd still pay to see that!

janis millers - 2010-02-01 06:34:15

we were wondering if there is an ivan putski fan club or ways to find some memorabilia?,

MICHAEL STRIDACCHIO - 2010-04-11 17:11:40

I remember as a kid cheering on Ivan Putski The Polish Power would love to see what he looks like today.... 

Jackie B - 2010-05-17 16:17:15

Ivan Putski is one of the greatest wrestlers. I enjoyed watching him on TV and seeing him in person at many wrestling matches. Happy to see he is doing well. Does anyone know what the name of the wrestler was that wore a mask when he was in the ring during the time that the Polish Power was active. He was a good looking guy. I assume he was young. I have searched all over and cannot find his name. Thanks for looking.

Phil Arnold - 2010-07-06 16:47:23

As a kid, I remember watching this short strong young man coming out of the audience on TV at the Austin Coliseum and putting Johnny Valentine in a bear hug. I believe that Joe Blanchard used to run those matches in Austin. I believe they signed up Joe Bednarski and his trade mark move was the bear hug. The only problem was sometimes his opponents would ball on him and he would get pinned, but he wouldn't let go of the bear hug. Eventually he became Ivan Putski and I saw him in Commerce, Texas wrestling against the Brute. I was always proud that Ivan Putski and I were from Austin, and went to Lone Star Conference schools. He went to Southwest Texas State and was a very powerful fullback, at least that is what I heard from the East Texas State coaches. It would be a thrill to shake his hand, and tell him my memories in person.

Ernie - 2010-08-24 13:21:39

Ivan worked for a while in Bill Watts' old promotion in 1972 and '73. He was teamed up with Ricky Ferrara as Ivan & Igor - the Putski brothers. Ferrara was primarily a jobber in various companies throughout the '70s.

janis millers - 2010-11-16 21:45:36

iam a male latvian janis pronounced yohn-iss in english it means john where the latvian language is older than greek led me to believe janis joplin was a girl named john, i have been a fan of joe since i was a kid & loved to watch ivan even when my dad tried to convince me that that style of wrestling was fake, but it didn't matter to me because ivan had style & i recently met the love of my life & we both still love out memories of joe & wanted to say hi

BOB - 2010-11-30 00:35:47

GLAD TO SEE YOUR IN GOOD HEALTH.

Stefan Adamcik - 2010-12-19 15:40:49

Ivan or Joe Bed is very much alive, when he was a boy he lived in Smithville Tx my father who spoke czech and polish helped teach him to speak english. He know Lives in South Austn working at a local high school as a security guard. I saw him at the airport and the Lubys in South Austin, his brother Freds owned a grocery store in town.

Stinky - 2011-02-18 15:10:52

Beans! Eat more beans! One of my favorite wrestlers of all time.

Grace - 2011-02-28 20:35:38

I used to love Ivan flex his pecs, it was so cool. That is talent.

WILKU SSSSnajper!!! - 2011-06-07 08:29:35

Ivan Putski 1 przedstawiciel Polski w WWE! Jest moim idolem! A jak nie rozumienie to użyjcie se Google Tłumacz...

Superk - 2012-05-24 11:31:07

Mr. Bednarski is definitely alive, i live next door to his famous football kicker brother. UT 59

Mark Spenski - 2012-07-28 13:31:36

I'm glad to see your still with us,I watched you growing up.I always liked you and you were a Good Guy.I think it helped me when I was a kid!!!!! I would like to meet you.

Mike G - 2012-08-12 00:15:42

Joe Bednarski was a outstanding college player at SWTSU and Played for several years with the San Antone TOROS..............along with Luz Pedraza, Alfredo Avila, Freddy Edwards and Others from the 1961 DONNA HIGH SCHOOL State CHAMP REDSKINS coached by Earl Scott. All of these guys are still alive and Joe was an oustanding athlete as they all were. People should get their facts straight especially aholes that dont know diddley.

Gabe - 2012-12-18 14:48:54

He was are security guard at my high school in Buda tx back in 2004

Anonymous - 2013-01-22 22:43:42

In the early 80's, I won "lunch with your fav Wrestler" from a contest in the WWF mag. I picked Ivan Putski. He came to my house, signed autographs and took tons of pictures. Then a limo took me to the Hilton for lunch with just him. It was great asking him questions. Then later that night limo came back, took me to match. I sat front row, brought into ring, and given a kiss & a rose. Its been the best thing Ive ever won. Pictures were then published in next issue. Great conversation peace. Ivan was a true gentleman. He is still my favorite 30 years later.

Kevin Prosser Sr - 2013-01-27 21:05:56

My dad used to watch him back in the day thought he was all that and a bag of chips

Anonymous - 2013-03-03 21:29:13

Putski sucked he could Never win the Big one

Martin - 2013-03-18 20:09:35

I remember watching Ivan Putski the Polish strongman wrestle in Minnesota in the league there ran by Verne Gagne. a man with class and loved by all!!!

Irene (Rhode Island) - 2013-05-16 09:52:16

One of my favorite wrestlers to watch. They don't make them like that anymore. Big heart, muscles, loveable and great to talk to.

Amanda - 2013-05-27 21:27:03

My Uncle Joe is a great man and he was an amazing wrestler in his time! I'm so proud to be his niece!

felicia - 2013-06-30 09:26:06

just looking at some pictures and so glad to know all is well.

sargent306 - 2013-08-18 15:21:05

He was our P.E. teacher here in San Antonio at an elementary school. My husband and I both remember him. Though his size was intimidating (for a 3rd grader) I always remember that he was kind to us. Later my father spoke of his wrestling career and how good he was.

Mike O. - 2013-08-21 00:54:19

Ivan brought me years of entertainment. Both as a wrestler and a body builder. I admire the devotion he put forward to chisel his body from over 250 lb. to a lean 215 lb. When Ivan left wrestling it left a void in the sport even though his son was a powerful wrestler in his own right. I had hoped to see Ivan remain with the WWE in some other capacity. He is still missed... Good luck in all tat you do...

David Kaplan - 2014-01-11 15:57:47

I love this guy, he was my coach at Olmos Elementary in San Antonio Texas in the late 60's. He could kick a football so high you could barely see it!

elisa laing - 2014-03-18 01:21:09

I remember seeing him on Houston. Sitting in the ring with cement block on his head Standing behind him was someone with a sledge hammer. The next thing you knew the block was being busted over His head.

Tom Stewart Colliers,WV - 2014-05-04 18:37:19

Ivan Putski was awesome...the polish hammer. I couldn't wait to watch putski wrestle when I was a kid. Remember when he used to sing before the matches. Hahaha. He was great. I loved watching him wrestle.

art Devlin - 2014-05-23 13:48:14

The wwwf was the best as a young kid, Vince rujne (It when he started rock and wrestling it been down hill since SO FAKE it was pedro bruno backlund putski and strong bow and many many more stars that brought us to the spectrum on a monthly basis. Today its such a joke I would be ashamed to even engage in conversationz on fthe subject nuff said.

TATE CELAYA - 2014-09-14 17:18:58

I REMEMBER JOE FROM MY DAYS AT SOUTHWEST TEXAS STATE COLLEGE. JOE LET A FEW OF US AVID WEIGHTLIFTERS WORK OUT WITH HIM. HE WAS THE STRONGEST MAN I'VE EVER SEEN. WHEN I WAS ATTEMPTING TO BENCH PRESS 300 FOR THE FIRST TIME HE SAID HE NEEDED TO DO SOME STRETCHING AND DID 15 BENCH PRESS REPS WITH THE 300. HE WAS A CHARATER.

Lorraine - 2014-10-27 12:35:48

I really enjoyed watching him It was truly a blessing. There is nothing like him. Thanks so much for your years.

R. Peer - 2014-10-30 09:27:55

The first time I ever saw Joe was early one morning in the gym at Southwest Texas State College (now known as Texas state University, LBJ's old alma mater - located in San Marcos, TX.) in the Summer of 1965. I think he had just graduated the year before but somehow was still associated with the athletic department there at SWT (I got there too late to see him play football but was told by some upperclassmen friends of mine that as a running back Joe was a real force to be reckoned with ... I can just imagine as back then he weighed 225 pounds and according to the head coach he could bench press 405 pounds ... and Joe was in the room when the coach announced that to my first PE class). Anyway that morning was the first time I had been to the gym (this was long before the PE class), and I was there early on my own (it was still fairly dark as it was just before sunrise), And I was in the weight room alone - or so I thought. I noticed that the bar on the squat rack was really loaded down. I checked to see how much was on it ... it was 325 pounds. And I thought, "Wow ... someone's doing squats with 325 pounds! I was impressed. I went back over to the bar I was using and about that time this guy came walking in ... huge diamond calves and just really muscled up. And I thought this must be the squat rack guy. And sure enough he meandered up to the squat rack and took the bar off the rack. And I thought, "Good night ... he's going to do front squats with that weight!". I just watched him ... I wanted to see this. But he didn't do front squats. No instead he just ripped off 7 reps of standing front presses ... and then set the bar back in the rack he left the room. He didn't strain with it at all ... the last rep looked like the first one. He literally ripped them off without breaking a sweat. It just blew me away. And that's what he would do. He'd work out either in the morning (or afternoon) doing one exercise. But he'd do that exercise the entire morning (or the entire afternoon as the case may be). He'd do a set and then wander off (for 15 minutes or so), and then come back a do another set. How many sets? Who knows ... whatever it was it was a huge number. I would generally do 8 sets on my exercises (and I may do 2 or 3 different exercises while I was there). But when I came in Joe would already be well into his routine (with multiple set behind him) and when I left Joe was still there (and probably for another couple of hours) ... doing that one exercise (whatever it might be for that day). That early morning in 1965 was his day to do standing front presses. And I got to watch him do a few sets. He was well into his routine before I got there and it continued on after I left. That was something I'll never forget ... I was really amazed. Anyway ... that's the Joe Bednarski I remember (there was no Ivan Putski back then). It was back in the days long before Nintendo were invented ... and long before "the friendly college on the hill" thought it wanted to be Texas State (a shrine to LBJ).