Muscle-bound monsters, mysterious foreigners and brutal brawlers: Wrestling’s overlooked stables

The Russian Team

Members: Ivan Koloff, Nikita Koloff & Krusher Khrushchev

Much like the Soviet Union’s dominance in Olympic sports, this trio of communists ran roughshod over the National Wrestling Alliance in the 1980s. Former WWE Champion Ivan Koloff brought his massive nephew Nikita over from Moscow, and sold Barry Darsow on the Soviet way of life, transforming him into Krusher Khrushchev.

Donning T-shirts that claimed “Ain’t Nothing Can Stop Us,” the Soviet trio dominated Jim Crockett Promotions. On the back of Nikita’s vicious Russian Sickle, the trio captured the NWA World Tag Team Titles, defending them under the “Freebird Rule.” Add on Nikita’s reign as United States Champion and a turn as World Six-Man Tag Team Champions and you have one impressive squad.

Watch The Russian Team in action

Unfortunately, there was no miracle on canvas that sent The Russians packing back to Moscow. Instead, it was Dusty Rhodes, who convinced Nikita to join him in his legendary rivalry with The Four Horsemen. Uncle Ivan and Khrushchev were left holding the red flag as the Soviet Union soon faded away.