Koloff died at the age of 74 in 2017 following a battle with liver cancer. His most notable accomplishment in the wrestling business came when he defeated Bruno Sammartino for the WWWF (WWE) Championship in 1971.
Anderson received his WWE Hall of Fame induction in 2012 as a member of The Four Horsemen. Speaking on his ARN podcast, the wrestling legend could not understand why Koloff has never joined him in the Hall of Fame:
“That does boggle the mind… You know what, that’ll be one of those that… God, I don’t think anybody will be able to put on an argument that could justify him not being in there. That s*cks.”
Koloff competed in over 250 matches for the WWWF (WWE) from 1969 to 1983. Known as The Russian Bear, he also wrestled for the NWA, AJPW and ECW.
Ivan Koloff’s WWWF (WWE) Championship victory
Bruno Sammartino held the WWWF Championship on two occasions over the course of 4,040 days. To put that into context, the record for the second-longest cumulative days as WWE Champion belongs to Hulk Hogan (2,188 days).
Sammartino’s first reign lasted 2,803 days between May 1963 and January 1971. He lost the WWWF Championship to Ivan Koloff, who held the title for 21 days before losing it to Pedro Morales.
Despite having issues with WWE for several decades, Sammartino received his Hall of Fame induction in 2013. However, Koloff’s contributions to the industry have still not been recognized at WWE's annual ceremony.
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