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Nikolai Volkoff (1947-2018)

    
    

Real Name - Josip Nikolai Peruzovic
Lifespan - 10/14/1947 - 7/29/2018
6'4" 315 lbs. - Glen Arm, MD

Athletic Background - Weightlifting [Yugoslavian Nat'l Team], Bodybuilding, Wrestling

Teacher(s) - Stu Hart; Killer Kowalski

Professional Background - WWWF(`68-`74), Georgia(`75), WWWF(`76-`77), Florida(`80), Mid-Atlantic(`81), Mid-South(`83-`84), Georgia(`84), WWF(`84-`92), WWF(`95), Indies(`97-)

AliasesMongol Bepo, Boris Breznikov, Nicolai Volkoff

Groups - Executioners, Russians, Million Dollar Corporation

Peak Years - 1974 - 1985


Finisher(s) - 
- Press Slam into Backbreaker
- Bearhug

Favorites - 
- Press Slam onto top rope
- Jumping Stomp
- Chokehold
- Kitchen Sink
- Gut Punches


Ringwork Rating - 

 Move Set
 Science
 Aerial
 Power
 Strikes


Intangibles Rating - 

 Entertainment
 Selling
 Bumping
 Carrying
 Heat
 Legacy


Place in History - While many Soviet heels grew out of the Cold War era, perhaps none were more famous than Nikolai Volkoff.  The hulking grappler had legitimately lived behind the Iron Curtain, but fled like many others.  In North America, he quickly got breaks based on his size and look.  It was as a Mongolian brute paired with veteran Newt Tattrie that he first caught a big break.  As a monster heel, he developed his style that he would maintain for the remainder of his career.  Eventually, he recreated himself as a Soviet heel not so different than Ivan Koloff.  As Nikolai Volkoff, he worked on top in a number of places, most notably in the WWWF.  As an established top heel there he was able to return again and again.  By the time the national expansion began in the mid-1980s, Volkoff was nearly forty and coming out of his best physical years.  He was partnered with Iron Sheik and Freddie Blassie and enjoyed several more years working tags.  After that run ended, Nikolai was relegated to some underneath roles teaming with Boris Zukov as the Bolsheviks, turning face and partnering with Jim Duggan and even having a short stint as a lackey for the Million Dollar Corporation.  Although he was really at a physical and working peak in the 1970s, it is the run with the Sheik that most remember Nikolai Volkoff for nowadays.  
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