The Russians are coming: Soviets in sports-entertainment

Page 3 of 6
June 21, 2012

Nikita Koloff

Nikita Koloff was one of sports-entertainment's great Russians.

Thanks to his association with the villainous Ivan, Nikita quickly became one of the most despised competitors in the industry. Nicknamed "The Russian Nightmare," the mighty Soviet famously took on the heroic Magnum TA in a best-of-seven series over the United States Title in summer 1986. Nikita won the seventh and deciding match to capture the championship.

Eventually, things soured between The Koloffs, leading to a split between the two. That turned into another great opportunity for Nikita, as he befriended Dusty Rhodes during The American Dream’s rivalry with The Four Horsemen. (WATCH) As hated as Nikita was at one point, he became a fan favorite when he aligned himself with the wildly popular Rhodes. As the Cold War began to thaw, Nikita heated up and became one of the most popular Russian competitors of all time.

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