Boris Zhukov

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Boris Zhukov
Birth name James Kirk Harrell
Born (1959-01-29) January 29, 1959 (age 56)
Roanoke, Virginia
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Boris Zhukov[1]
Boris Zukoff[1]
Boris Zurchov[1]
Pvt. Jim Nelson[1]
Jim Nelson[1]
Billed height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)[1]
Billed weight 298 lb (135 kg)[1]
Billed from Soviet Union
Trained by Ric McCord
Debut May 1978[1]
Retired 2001[2]

James "Jim" Kirk Harrell (born January 29, 1959) is an American retired professional wrestler, better known by his ring name, Boris Zhukov (sometimes spelled Boris Zukhov). He is best known for his appearances with the American Wrestling Association and the World Wrestling Federation.

Professional wrestling career[edit]

After four years wrestling in different territories, Harrell started wrestling in 1982 as Pvt. Jim Nelson in Sgt. Slaughter's "Cobra Corps" in the NWA's Jim Crockett Promotions. He frequently teamed with Don Kernodle and he feuded with Porkchop Cash.[3] In 1984, he went to Alabama's Southeast Championship Wrestling and continued his feud with Cash.[1]

American Wrestling Association[edit]

In 1985, Harrell debuted in the American Wrestling Association as "Boris Zukhov", billed from the Soviet Union. Zhukov adopted Chris Markoff as his manager and challenged AWA World Heavyweight Champion Rick Martel and AWA America's Champion Sgt. Slaughter.[1] In 1987, he formed a tag team with Soldat Ustinov under Sheik Adnan El Kassey's management. The pair won the AWA World tag team title that same year.[4] Zhukov, however, left the AWA for the WWF while he was still one half of the tag team champions (the storyline being that Wahoo McDaniel chased him out after a brutal chain match). As a result, former tag team title holder Doug Somers was brought in to team with Ustinov, losing the titles to the team of Jerry Lawler and Bill Dundee.[4]

World Wrestling Federation[edit]

Upon entering the WWF, he formed a team with Nikolai Volkoff known as The Bolsheviks. They teamed for over a year, but never rose above mid-card status. By mid 1989, Zukhov was wrestling in singles competition, being used primarily as a jobber regularly losing in very short work with no announcement. He even feuded with his former tag team partner when Volkoff received a push as a face in 1990. Zhukov was often ridiculed by Vince McMahon and other WWF commentators for his large head.[5]

Zhukov left the WWF in 1991.[5]

Independent circuit[edit]

In 2007, Zhukov resurfaced as a heel in Virginia-based promotion American Championship Wrestling (ACW) and allied with local heel Eclipso. He was attacked and injured, leading to a face turn and a "Wrestle or Retire" match on September 8 for Eclipso's ACW Championship. Before the match, Zhukov told the crowd he was retiring, but a replacement had been chosen. Later that night, his old persona, Pvt. Jim Nelson (who had not been seen since an assault by Don Kernodle and Sgt. Slaughter in 1983) was revealed as that replacement. Now clean-shaven and dressed in army camouflage, he'd redone Sgt. Slaughter's boot camp and was promoted to Sgt. Jim Nelson in a pre-match ceremony. Nelson won the match and title after interference from both managers. Due to the controversy, the title was held up.[6]

In wrestling[edit]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Boris Zhukov Profile". Online World Of Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-09-21. 
  2. ^ Mid-Atlantic Gateway's Jim Nelson Interview, part 2
  3. ^ Greg Oliver and Steve Johnson (2005). "The final Conflict". The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Tag Teams. ECW Press. pp. 226–228. ISBN 978-1-55022-683-6. 
  4. ^ a b c Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "AWA Tag Team Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. pp. 29–30. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 
  5. ^ a b Solomon, Brian (2006). "Nikolai Volkoff". WWE Legends. Pocket Books. pp. 163–168. ISBN 0-7434-9033-9. 
  6. ^ "The Return of Pvt. Jim Nelson" by Dick Bourne, Mid-Atlantic Gateway
  7. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "NWA Canadian Television Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. p. 353. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 
  8. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "NWA Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. p. 115. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 
  9. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "NWA Alabama Heavyweight Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. pp. 182–183. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 

External links[edit]