Nikolai Volkoff

Volkoff was a Croatian-American professional wrestler who was best known for his performances in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF).

While trying his luck as a wrestler in Calgary, Alberta in 1967, he met the wrestler Newton Tattrie, who was wrestling for Stu Hart’s Stampede Wrestling. During his 1963-1968 tour, Tattrie took Peruzovic under his wing as a protégé and trained the non-English speaking, 315-pound man to become a professional wrestler and tag team partner. When Tattrie left the territory in 1968 for the US, Peruzovic left with him, working in various territories for The National Wrestling Alliance including NWA Detroit, the International Wrestling Association and the National Wrestling Federation where they won tag gold.

In the 1970s, he was Bepo of the Mongols tag team, one of the masked Executioners and feuded with Bruno Sammartino over the WWWF World Heavyweight Championship as Volkoff. In the 1980s, he was known for teaming with The Iron Sheik, with whom he won the WWF Tag Team Championship at the inaugural WrestleMania event, and later with Boris Zhukov as The Bolsheviks.

In 1990, he turned face and embraced America, briefly feuding with Zhukov and newly turned Iraqi sympathizer Sgt. Slaughter. In 1994, after a hiatus, he returned as a destitute and desperate character, exploited by Ted DiBiase as the first member of his Million Dollar Corporation. He again took a break and went to the Independent circuit and landed in the NAWA for some time. Volkoff continued the Indy circuit and made sporadic appearances in the WWE up until his death.

Volkoff died at home on July 29, 2018, at the age of 70.

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