Home > News & Advice > News Obituaries > Nikolai Volkoff (1947–2018), Soviet wrestling villain

Nikolai Volkoff (1947–2018), Soviet wrestling villain

by Kirk Fox

Inducted into WWE Hall of Fame in 2005.

Josip Peruzovic (1947–2018) was born in Croatia and became famous as Nikolai Volkoff, the villainous Soviet wrestler. He and The Iron Sheik were WWE Tag Team Champions and had memorable bouts against superstars Sgt. Slaughter, Hulk Hogan, and Bruno Sammartino. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005.

We invite you to share condolences for Nikolai Volkoff in our Guest Book.


Died: Sunday, July 29, 2018 (Who else died on July 29?)

Details of Death: Died at the age of 70, according to WWE.com

Memorable ring antics: He wore a fur ushanka hat and red turtleneck with gold “USSR” lettering and serenaded audiences with the Soviet National Anthem before matches, relishing the crowd’s boos and jeers.

Notable Quote: “I thought the whole building was going to come down,” he told Hannibal TV in 2016, recalling the crowd reaction the first time he sang the Soviet anthem at the Superdome in New Orleans in 1984.

What people said about him: “My best friend. My partner. My brother. We get more heat than anyone on earth. I trust him with my life. He take care of me when I was down. I miss you forever.”  —The Iron Sheik, wrestling tag team partner

Full obituary: Washington Post

Related Lives:

More Stories