(b. 1942) is a retired Canadian Professional Wrestler
best known for his work from the 1960s through the 1980s as Ivan Koloff
. He started as an Irish
character named Red McNulty
before starting the Koloff gimmick in 1967. His biggest moment
was when he defeated Bruno Sammartino
for the WWE (then WWWF) World Heavyweight Title
, ending Bruno's epic EIGHT-YEAR
reign, though he lost the belt to Pedro Morales
three weeks later. Aside from his WWWF run, he is famous for his work in the National Wrestling Alliance
territory in the Carolinas run by Jim Crockett. He also competed for the AWA
, All Japan Pro Wrestling
and many other promotions. He was a four-time NWA (Mid-Atlantic) World Tag Team Champion
and held various titles in other territories as well. He retired in 1994 and has since become an ordained minister.
As usual, you can find the basics at The Other Wiki
"Russian Bear Tropes":
- Arch-Enemy: Bruno Sammartino, of course, Dusty Rhodes, The Road Warriors, Chief Wahoo McDaniel
- Autobiography: Is That Wrestling Fake: The Bear Facts
- The Bad Guy Wins: The audience was shocked to silence when he pinned Bruno Sammartino, ending his eight year reign. In fact, the ring announcer didn't even proclaim that Koloff had won out of fear of how the audience would respond.
- Bash Brothers: with Nikita Koloff, Krusher Khruschev, Don Kernodle, the Powers of Pain (The Barbarian and the Warlord), Nikolai Volkoff
- Bald of Evil
- Beard of Evil
- Bears Are Bad News: His Red Baron: "The Russian Bear"
- Chain Pain/Chained by Fashion
- Dirty Communists/Foreign Wrestling Heel/Husky Russkie
- Eyepatch of Power: As Red McNulty
- Finishing Move: Bear Hug, Russian Sickle
- Follow the Leader: After Nikita's Superpowers team with Dusty Rhodes took off, Crockett tried putting Ivan and Dusty's old Texas Outlaws partner Dick Murdoch together. It didn't take.
- Gimmick Matches: Of the Russian Chain variety.
- Heel-Face Turn: In the late 1980s to feud with Paul Jones' team the Russian Assassins (I [The Angel of Death] and II [Jack Victory]).
- Leotard of Power
- Power Stable:
- Pro Wrestling Headband: With the letters "CCCP" on it.
- Ring Oldies: In the 1990s and any later matches in the Carolinas independent scene.
- Tag Team: The Russians, with different combinations of Nikita, Krusher, Kortsia Korchenko, Vladimir Koloff
- Unrelated Wrestling Family: Kayfabe uncle of Nikita Koloff.