Nikolai Volkoff, born Josip Nikolai Peruzović, passed away at age 70 following a recent hospitalization in his adopted home state of Maryland on July 29, 2018.
Volkoff, a WWE Hall of Famer, joined the company then known as WWWF under the ownership of Vince McMahon Sr. in 1968 and spent nearly twenty years in the promotion over three decades. Volkoff won the WWF Tag Team Championship with The Iron Sheik in 1985 at the first-ever WrestleMania, along with three reigns as WWWF International Tag Team Champion as Bepo Mongol with tag partner Geto Mongol and manager Captain Lou Albano. During his run in the WWE, Volkoff also spent time in the tag team The Bolsheviks, as well as Ted DiBiase’s Million Dollar Corporation. Volkoff made numerous cameos for the company after semi-retiring from the ring as well.
Outside of the WWE, Volkoff wrestled in the AWA under Bobby “The Brain” Heenan and in “Cowboy” Bill Watts’ Mid-South promotion.
Volkoff was known as a family man outside of wrestling to his wife and two daughters and was active in his Baltimore County community, including an unsuccessful primary run for Maryland District 7 State Delegate in 2006.