17 Facts About Ivan Koloff


Ivan Koloff was the third wrestler to hold the WWWF Championship.


Ivan Koloff defeated Johnny Rougeau for the IWA International Heavyweight Championship the following year.


Ivan Koloff soon started a rivalry with then-WWWF World Heavyweight Champion Bruno Sammartino.


On January 18,1971, Ivan Koloff defeated Sammartino in Madison Square Garden for the WWWF World Heavyweight Championship by pinfall after a knee drop from the top rope, ending Sammartino's seven and two-thirds years reign.


Ivan Koloff lost the championship 21 days later to Pedro Morales, essentially being used as a "transitional champion" to move the title from Sammartino to Morales without the two fan favorites working against each other, much like Stan Stasiak and The Iron Sheik would be in later years.


Ivan Koloff would be the first opponent to ever challenge for the WWWF World Heavyweight Championship in a steel cage match in a rematch loss against Sammartino.


Koloff's biggest NWA feuds were against Rhodes, The Road Warriors, The Rock 'n' Roll Express and Magnum T A In 1988, Koloff spent time in Paul Jones' faction, The Paul Jones Army, where he was a "coach" of sorts for The Powers of Pain, The Barbarian and The Warlord.


In 1992, Ivan Koloff wrestled in the first television main event of Jim Cornette's Smoky Mountain Wrestling, beating Bobby Fulton.


Ivan Koloff lost to Ron Garvin at Tim Horner's National Championship Wrestling on July 22,1994.


Ivan Koloff spent time in Eastern Championship Wrestling, appearing on the very first ECW card in 1992.


Ivan Koloff defeated The Sandman on the July 6,1993, episode of ECW Hardcore TV in a number one contenders match for the ECW Heavyweight Championship.


In 2004, Ivan Koloff returned to the ring for the first time in 10 years.


On July 19,2013, Ivan Koloff lost Shane Douglas in an Extreme Rules match at Mega Pro.


Ivan Koloff became a born again Christian in 1995 and traveled to churches to share his testimony as an ordained minister.


Ivan Koloff spoke openly and candidly of his conversion to Christianity and struggles with alcohol and drugs and the crazy days of wrestling in his 2014 book, Life in the Trenches.


Ivan Koloff was represented by attorney Konstantine Kyros, who is involved in several other lawsuits involving former WWE wrestlers.


Ivan Koloff is featured as a playable character in the video games Legends of Wrestling, Legends of Wrestling II and Showdown: Legends of Wrestling.