10 Best WWE Stars To Compete In A Wrestling World Cup
10. Croatia Nikolai Volkoff
Born in the republic of Croatia when it was part of Yugoslavia, Josip Peruzovic wrestled under a number of names in a 30 year career at the top level of wrestling. His first prominent role was in the WWWF, as it was then called, in 1970, where he was known as Bepo Mongol in The Mongols tag team, which won tag team championship gold. However, his most famous identity of all was as the evil Soviet menace, Nikolai Volkoff. Teaming with Boris Zhukov as The Bolsheviks or with Iranian The Iron Sheik, Volkoffs gimmick played upon American insecurities during the Cold War era. He famously started singing the Soviet national anthem (badly) before every single match over the microphone, which enraged local fans in arenas across America. It also became his trademark - let's face it, no matter how much fans booed him, they'd have felt short changed if he HADN'T started singing. Once the Iron Curtain fell at the end of the 1980s, Volkoffs gimmick was suddenly dated. He became a liberated Lithuanian (as Lithuania was part of the old Soviet Union which had now broken up), battling Sgt Slaughter as Slaughter became the new foreign menace, embracing Iraq at the time of the first Gulf War. He departed the WWF soon afterwards as his new gimmick had a limited shelf life, and re-emerged briefly in 1994 as a sympathetic penniless babyface at the beck and call of Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase. He was billed as coming from Mongolia, the Soviet Union and Lithuania, but ironically, he was never, ever billed from his actual homeland of Croatia!
Dean Ayass is a well known name to British wrestling fans. A commentator, manager, booker and ring announcer who has been involved in the business since 1993, Dean's insight into the business is second to none.