Ivan Koloff has died, aged 74.
Koloff, real name Oreal Perras, passed away following a battle with liver cancer.
Perras was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in August 1942, and joined a wrestling school when he was 18. He debuted for the WWWF towards the end of 1969, under the tutelage of Captain Lou Albano, and quickly began a rivalry with WWWF champion Bruno Sammartino. On 18 January 1971 Koloff shocked the Madison Square Garden crowd, and the wrestling world, when he beat Sammartino – ending his seven-year reign.
He would only hold the belt for three weeks, transitioning it to Pedro Morales. He left the company later the same year, before making returns in the late-70’s and early 80’s.
Despite that Sammartino victory, Koloff’s biggest fame came in NWA, winning the Television championship and enjoying multiple reigns with the Tag-Team championships.
It was during these years the Koloff gained the reputation – that exists to this day – of being one of the sport’s greatest ever heels.