The Bolsheviks

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The Bolsheviks
Tag team
Members Nikolai Volkoff
Boris Zhukov
Heights Volkoff:
6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
604 lb (274 kg)[1]
Billed from The Soviet Union
Debut 1987[2]
Disbanded 1990
Promotions WWF

The Bolsheviks were a professional wrestling tag team in the World Wrestling Federation from late 1987 until the spring of 1990.

The team was composed of Nikolai Volkoff and Boris Zhukov portraying a pair of Russian Communist bad guys. Volkoff was born Josip Peruzovic on October 14, 1947. Although he portrayed a Russian as a wrestler, he was, in fact, from Croatia. Zhukov was an American named Jim Barrel, who had spent the previous few years of his wrestling career portraying a Russian.


Zhukov was brought in as Volkoff's partner in 1987 after Volkoff's regular partner Iron Sheik was fired. The team was managed by Slick.

The pair made their first pay-per-view (PPV) appearance together in the 10 team elimination match at the inaugural Survivor Series in 1987. The pair had little success and were the first team eliminated from the match.

They then made an appearance in the 20 man battle royal held at WrestleMania IV in Atlantic City. The duo lost to the Powers of Pain at SummerSlam '88.[3] They were once again a part of the 10 team elimination match held at Survivor Series '88 but were eliminated early once again.

They spent much of 1989 on the low end of the card, feuding with The Bushwhackers and despite being on the active roster the entire year they never made to a PPV card. Slick was also phased out as their manager around this time. The team disbanded for the first time in mid 1989 when Volkoff left the WWF to go compete in independents, and Zhukov stayed with the WWF competing mainly as a jobber. When Volkoff returned to the WWF about a year later in early 1990 the team reunited.

The duo never held any titles together, and made their last notable PPV appearance as a team at WrestleMania VI, where they were defeated in 19 seconds by The Hart Foundation.[1]

After WrestleMania, the duo split up for the second time. Volkoff became a flag-waving American face and Zhukov remained the Russian heel. The duo feuded throughout 1990 and ultimately culminated at Survivor Series 1990 in an eight man elimination match when Volkoff's team of Tito Santana and The Bushwackers, called The Alliance defeated The Mercenaries, a team consisting of Sgt. Slaughter, The Orient Express and Zhukov. Santana was the sole survivor.

In wrestling[edit]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]


  1. ^ a b Shields, Brian; Sullivan, Kevin (2009). WWE Encyclopedia. DK. p. 39. ISBN 978-0-7566-4190-0. 
  2. ^ a b Shields, Brian; Sullivan, Kevin (2009). WWE Encyclopedia. DK. p. 41. ISBN 978-0-7566-4190-0. 
  3. ^ "SummerSlam 1988 Full Event Results". WWE. Retrieved 2012-01-02.