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Ivan Koloff Passes Away at Age 74

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In a post on, it was revealed today that Ivan Koloff (real name Oreal Perras) passed away at age 74.  Koloff battled liver cancer for the past ten years.

Koloff, originally from Montreal, Quebec Canada, was nicknamed “the Russian Bear.”  He primarily feuded with Bruno Sammartino in the 1970’s.  He defeated Sammartino in a match at Madison Square Garden where he crushed Sammartino’s throat by jumping from the top with a flying knee.  In that shocking moment, he became WWF Champion and ended Sammartino’s seven year title run.

Koloff also worked in the NWA, teaming with Ray Stevens, Don Kernoodle, and his (kayfabe) nephew Nikita Koloff to capture tag team championships on several different occasions.  He had memorable feuds with Dusty Rhodes and Magnum TA in singles action as well as the Road Warriors and the Rock N’ Roll Express as a tag team.

Our condolences to the family, friends, and fans of Ivan Koloff.

About Bill Wentz (1537 Articles)'s Senior Columnist, writing with the site since 2009 and a lifelong wrestling fan dating all the way back to the early Wrestlemania years. As a strongly opinionated fan, you can get my thoughts regularly on Ring Rap Audio and Around the Ring on Thursdays, as well as in "Wentz's Blog" in print. Look for my live show reports as well for MMA, WWE, ROH, and more. Outside of wrestling, I have a strong obsession with trucks, winning awards statewide with a truck dubbed the "Brahma Bull Edition." Interact with me on Twitter @Bill_SoonerFan or by email at

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