Full name: Charles "Karel" Istaz
Other name(s): Karl Gotch, Karl Krauser
Nickname(s): Kamisama (God of Wrestling)
Born: August 3, 1924 in Antwerp, Antwerpen, Belgium
Died: July 28, 2007 in Tampa, Florida, United States
Karel Istaz competed at the 1948 Olympics in both freestyle and Greco-Roman and was also trained in the Indian martial art of Pehlwani. He turned professional in 1950, wrestling mostly in Europe and winning the German and European Heavyweight Championship under the name Karl Krauser. Istaz moved to the United States in 1960 where he took the stage name Karl Gotch and won the American Wrestling Alliance (AWA) title in 1961, before losing it in 1963 to Lou Thesz. A backstage altercation with Buddy Rogers caused Gotch to lose favor with American promoters and he then moved to Japan.
Gotch wrestled in Japan throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, mostly for New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW). He had a brief return to the United States in 1971, where he won the tag team title of the Worldwide Wrestling Federation (WWF) in 1971, alongside René Goulet. He also wrestled in Australia in the late 1960s, again using Karl Krauser, and in 1965 he defeated Spiros Arion to win the International Wrestling Alliance (IWA) championship.
Some of Gotch’s trainees in Japan founded the Universal Wrestling Federation (UWF), and his influence in Japan lasted for decades, as he became known as Kamisama, or “God of Wrestling.” He is a member of the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame and the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame. Gotch later settled in retirement in Florida, where he died at age 82.
|1948 Summer||23||London||Wrestling||Men's Light-Heavyweight, Greco-Roman||Belgium||BEL||AC|
|1948 Summer||23||London||Wrestling||Men's Light-Heavyweight, Freestyle||Belgium||BEL||AC|
|1948 Summer||23||London||Wrestling||Belgium||BEL||Final Standings||AC||1948-08-03||Eliminated r3/6||7|
|1948 Summer||23||London||Wrestling||Belgium||BEL||Round Three||8T||1948-08-05||7|
|1948 Summer||23||London||Wrestling||Belgium||BEL||Round Three||Match #2||2||1948-08-05||Kovács (HUN) fall (4:01), Istaz (BEL)||3|
|1948 Summer||23||London||Wrestling||Belgium||BEL||Round Two||7T||1948-08-04||4|
|1948 Summer||23||London||Wrestling||Belgium||BEL||Round Two||Match #3||1||1948-08-04||Istaz (BEL) decision (3-0), Kambaflis (GRE)||1|
|1948 Summer||23||London||Wrestling||Belgium||BEL||Round One||8T||1948-08-03||3|
|1948 Summer||23||London||Wrestling||Belgium||BEL||Round One||Match #4||2||1948-08-03||Gröndahl (FIN) fall (3:54), Istaz (BEL)||3|
|1948 Summer||23||London||Wrestling||Belgium||BEL||Final Standings||AC||1948-07-29||Eliminated r3/8||6|
|1948 Summer||23||London||Wrestling||Belgium||BEL||Round Three||7T||1948-07-30||6|
|1948 Summer||23||London||Wrestling||Belgium||BEL||Round Three||Match #1||2||1948-07-30||Stöckli (SUI) fall (1:20), Istaz (BEL)||3|
|1948 Summer||23||London||Wrestling||Belgium||BEL||Round Two||6T||1948-07-30||3|
|1948 Summer||23||London||Wrestling||Belgium||BEL||Round Two||Match #8||AC||1948-07-30||Istaz (BEL)||0|
|1948 Summer||23||London||Wrestling||Belgium||BEL||Round One||9T||1948-07-29||3|
|1948 Summer||23||London||Wrestling||Belgium||BEL||Round One||Match #5||2||1948-07-29||Candaş (TUR) decision (3-0), Istaz (BEL)||3|