In a post on WWE.com, 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.