- Ivan Koloff
Ivan Koloff Ring name(s) Ivan Koloff
The Russian Bear
Billed height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) Billed weight 300 lb (140 kg) Born August 25, 1942 
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Resides Winterville, North Carolina Billed from Moscow, Russia Trained by Jack Wentworth
Debut 1961 Retired September 1994
Perras was raised on a dairy farm in rural Ontario along with his six brothers and three sisters.
Since first watching professional wrestling on TV at the age of eight, he wanted to become a wrestler, and would often wrestle with his brothers growing up. At age 18, he left high school and joined Jack Wentworth's wrestling school in Hamilton, Ontario, where he would lift weights and learn wrestling holds. Ivan stood 5' 7 1/2" tall, and weighed approximately 270 pounds. Towards the end of his career he dropped a considerable amount of weight and was tipping the scale at 205 pounds.
Professional wrestling career
Perras debuted as an Irish rogue heel character named Red McNulty, billed from Dublin, Ireland and wrestling with an eyepatch. For the next three years, he wrestled around the Toronto area, eventually quitting his regular job to wrestle in the north-western area of Canada. There, Perras acquired much wrestling experience, and from there he made his first trip to Japan.
The Russian Bear
In 1967, Jim Perras became "The Russian Bear" Ivan Koloff, a bearded villainous character billed from the Ukraine, and debuted with the International Wrestling Association in Montreal, Québec. He defeated Johnny Rougeau for the IWA International Heavyweight Title the following year. Ivan Koloff debuted in the World Wide Wrestling Federation in 1970, managed by Capt. Lou Albano He soon started a feud with then-WWWF World Heavyweight Champion Bruno Sammartino. On January 18, 1971, "The Russian Bear" Ivan Koloff defeated Sammartino in Madison Square Garden for the WWWF World Heavyweight Championship by pinfall after a kneedrop from the top rope, ending Sammartino's seven and two-third years reign on top. Koloff lost the title only 21 days later to Pedro Morales, essentially being used as a "transitional" champion (as he was used to move the title from Sammartino to Morales without having the two faces work against each other), much like Stan Stasiak and the Iron Sheik would be in later years. After the loss, Koloff remained a contender for the title, but never reclaimed it, and left the WWWF in 1972.
During his time in the WWWF, Ivan Koloff wrestled WWWF title matches against Bruno Sammartino, Pedro Morales, Superstar Billy Graham and Bob Backlund, holding the distinction, with fellow villain Stan Stasiak, as one of only two men to challenge all four of these popular champions.
During the 1970s and 80s, Koloff found success in the NWA, winning many regional tag and singles titles in the Georgia, Florida, and Mid-Atlantic territories. In February 1981, he teamed with Ray Stevens to defeat Paul Jones and Masked Superstar and capture the NWA World Tag Team Championship. This would be the first of his four reigns as a World Tag Team champion, later winning the belts with Don Kernodle and twice with his "nephew" (kayfabe), Nikita Koloff as The Russians.
The Russians (which also included Krusher Kruschev) were a top heel stable from 1984 to 1986, and Nikita, under Perras' training and mentoring, and by association, became a hated heel in his own right, and would go on to have a successful singles career of his own. After Nikita turned face on Ivan to join their enemy Dusty Rhodes in 1986, Ivan teamed with Vladimir Petrov and Dick Murdoch to get revenge. Ivan Koloff's biggest NWA feuds were against Rhodes, the Road Warriors, the Rock 'n' Roll Express (Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson) and Magnum T.A..
Koloff spent time in Paul Jones' stable, the Paul Jones Army in 1988, where he was a "coach" of sorts for the Powers of Pain, The Barbarian and The Warlord. He later split with Jones, reunited with Nikita, and feuded with Jones' team, the Russian Assassins, before leaving Jim Crockett Promotions in January 1989. He also spent time in Eastern Championship Wrestling, appearing on the very first ECW card in 1992.
Currently, Perras lives in Winterville, North Carolina with his wife, Renae and has four adult children. He remains active in various charities. He has written a book, titled Is That Wrestling Fake? The Bear Facts.
Perras became a born again Christian in 1995. He travels to churches to share his testimony, and is an ordained minister.
Championships and accomplishments
- Championship Wrestling from Florida
- Georgia Championship Wrestling
- Great Lakes Wrestling Association
- GLWA United States Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Masterz of Mayhem
- MoM USWA North American Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling / Jim Crockett Promotions
- NWA Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship (4 times)
- NWA Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Don Kernodle
- NWA Mid-Atlantic Television Championship (2 times)
- NWA Television Championship (3 times)
- NWA United States Tag Team Championship (2 times) – with Krusher Khruschev (1), Dick Murdoch (1)
- NWA World Six-Man Tag Team Championship (2 times) – with Nikita Koloff and Krusher Khruschev (Baron Von Raschke with Krusher injured) (1), The Barbarian and The Warlord (1)
- NWA World Tag Team Championship (Mid-Atlantic version) (5 times) – with Nikita Koloff (1), Nikita Koloff and Krusher Khruschev (1), Ray Stevens (1), Don Kernodle (1), and Manny Fernandez (1) (substituting for Rick Rude who had left for the WWE(F)
- NWA Charlotte
- NWA Charlotte Legends Championship (1 time)
- Virginia Wrestling Association
- VWA Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Western Ohio Wrestling
- WOW International Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Other Titles
- ACW Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Vladimir Koloff
- CREW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- IWA Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with "Mad Dog" Maurice Vachon
- IWA (Montreal) International Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
Koloff is featured in:
- ^ a b c d e f g h Solomon, Brian (2006). WWE Legends. Pocket Books. pp. 155–158. ISBN 978-0-7434-9033-7.
- ^ a b c d "Ivan Koloff's profile". Online World of Wrestling. http://www.onlineworldofwrestling.com/profiles/i/ivan-koloff.html. Retrieved 2011-05-01.
- ^ "Finishing Moves List". Other Arena. http://www.otherarena.com/nCo/finish/finish.html. Retrieved 2009-11-03.
- ^ Matt Mackinder (January 17, 2008). "Sir Oliver Humperdink recalls career of yesteryear". SLAM! Wrestling. http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/2007/05/12/4175841.html. Retrieved 2008-04-04.
- ^ "House of Humperdink". Online World of Wrestling. http://www.onlineworldofwrestling.com/profiles/h/house-of-humperdink.html. Retrieved 2009-09-08.
- ^ a b c d Royal Duncan & Gary Will (4th Edition 2000). Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
- ^ "Lawler, McMahon, Road Warriors among PWHF Class of 2011". Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum. 2010-11-26. http://pwhf.blogspot.com/2010/11/lawler-mcmahon-road-warriors-among-pwhf.html. Retrieved 2010-11-28.
- Wrestling With God by Chad Bonham, 2001, ISBN 1-58919-935-9, pp. 179–197.
- IvanKoloff.com (Official Website)
- Profile at OWW
- "Is That Wrestling Fake? The Bear Facts" by Ivan Koloff and Scott Teal
WCW World Television ChampionsDanny Miller · Ivan Koloff · Paul Jones · Ric Flair · Angelo Mosca · Mr. Wrestling · Greg Valentine · Rufus R. Jones · Rick/Ricky Steamboat · Baron Von Raschke · Johnny Weaver · Masked Superstar · Roddy Piper · Sweet Ebony Diamond · Ron Bass · Charlie Brown/Jimmy Valiant · Jos LeDuc · Bad Leroy Brown · Mike Rotundo · Dick Slater · The Great Kabuki · Mark Youngblood · Tully Blanchard · Dusty Rhodes · Arn Anderson · Nikita Koloff · Rick Steiner · Sting · The Great Muta · The Z-Man · Bobby Eaton · Steve Austin · Barry Windham · Scott Steiner · Paul Orndorff · Lord Steven Regal · Larry Zbyszko · Johnny B. Badd · The Renegade · Diamond Dallas Page · Lex Luger · Prince Iaukea · Último Dragón · Alex Wright · Disco Inferno · Perry Saturn · Booker T · Rick Martel · Chris Benoit · Fit Finlay · Stevie Ray · Chris Jericho · Konnan · Scott Hall · Hacksaw Jim Duggan WWE ChampionsBuddy Rogers · Bruno Sammartino · Ivan Koloff · Pedro Morales · Stan Stasiak · Billy Graham · Bob Backlund · The Iron Sheik · Hulk Hogan · André the Giant · Randy Savage · The Ultimate Warrior · Sgt. Slaughter · Undertaker · Ric Flair · Bret Hart · Yokozuna · Kevin Nash · Shawn Michaels · Sycho Sid · Stone Cold Steve Austin · Kane · The Rock · Mick Foley · Triple H · Vince McMahon · Big Show · Kurt Angle · Chris Jericho · Brock Lesnar · Eddie Guerrero · John "Bradshaw" Layfield · John Cena · Edge · Rob Van Dam · Randy Orton · Jeff Hardy · Batista · Sheamus · The Miz · CM Punk (current) · Rey Mysterio · Alberto Del Rio
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