(CNN)Nikolai Volkoff, the burly wrestler whose brash Soviet persona and physical embodiment of Communism made him one of the most hated figures in professional wrestling, has died at the age of 70, World Wrestling Entertainment said.
Volkoff was considered a heel, the wrestling term for a character who plays an enemy figure and riles up crowds. Amid the height of the Cold War in the 1980s, Volkoff antagonized American audiences by wearing all-red Soviet outfits, waving a Soviet flag and insisting that the crowds stand for the Russian national anthem and then loudly singing along.
Villains - Volkoff - Rendition - Soviet - National
"As one of the greatest villains sports-entertainment had ever seen, Volkoff's infamous rendition of the Soviet National Anthem before his matches made him an instant icon in the eyes of the WWE Universe as a Superstar they truly loved to hate," WWE said.
Volkoff, often wearing the Russian ushanka hat, became a dastardly Soviet villain and faced off against heroic American wrestlers like Hulk Hogan.
Heel - Iron - Sheik
He tag-teamed with the Iranian heel Iron Sheik, and...
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