Russia has long been a source of heels for the company, whether or not the Famous Russian Wrestlers are actual Russians. It is a tradition that continues today every time the company has the opportunity to take advantage of the “good vs. best.”
Throughout the years, the WWE has had the privilege of featuring several accomplished wrestlers of Russian origin. Among them, Pavel Kozlov, also known as “The Pavel Russian Bear,” is another noteworthy WWE Russian Wrestler who contributed to the WWE’s popularity with remarkable performances. Their impact on the organization has been significant and remains an integral part of its history. Pavel Russian Bear beat his rivals in many rings, and thousands of fans chanted the Famous Russian Wrestler.
Pavel Russian Bear is an American actor admired for his Russian ancestry. Did you know WWE has never created Italian or Mexican heroes the same way they did the Russians, especially during the Cold War? That period made it easy to tell the story of good versus evil, us versus them, stars and stripes versus hammer and sickle. A wrestler could make the audience hate them through their arrogance or underhanded techniques, but there was nothing as powerful as sticking a Russian name to attract the ire of the fans.
WWE is one of many large American companies to take a position and cancel its plans in Russia since both Netflix and Spotify have frozen their projects or have directly closed their offices in that country.
Russia in WWE
Throughout its history, WWE has had several Russian fighters or characters from that country—most of the time, with the role of WWE Russian Wrestlers. The most recent case was Pavel Russian Bear, a fighter born in Russia who played an aggressive Russian in the ring while being an American movie actor.
WWE reviews the evolution that the WWE championship has had throughout its 50 years because, as we well know, the title was recently redesigned. For it to become what it is today, it had to go through many things—hands, image changes, etc.
The first WWE championship:
In its early days, the championship was redesigned several times. Bruno Sammartino carried several championship models, including one that featured the 48 contiguous states of the United States of America. Eventually, Sammartino chose a more traditional championship at the beginning of his second reign, which had as its design an eagle taking flight and two wrestlers battling on the canvas (Grappling). This design was popular among other champions, so its use was prolonged in the reigns of superstars such as Billy Graham and Bob Backlund.
Green Leather Championship used by The Iron Sheik
This championship was replaced in 1983 by one with a larger design. However, this new green leather belt had as its design a fighter lifting the tournament and the world behind him, which meant that the bearer of this title was the world champion. In the same way, this championship recognized its history and lineage, using plates on the sides with the names of the previous holders.
The green leather championship was introduced at the end of Bob Backlund’s reign. This title was carried by superstars such as Iron Sheik and Hulk Hogan, the most famous. As WWE began its march from the eastern territory to the entire world, the championship represented what a world champion indeed was.
NWA TV Championship
After Hulk Hogan’s historic victory in 1984, WWE presented him with another championship. This championship is based on tradition. Smaller than its predecessor, this one had a design similar to the NWA television championship. Below the WWE letters was an eagle holding a flag in its talons, declaring the bearer “World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion.” The side plates continued the tradition of naming their previous bearers with their reigns’ start and end dates.
What is it to be a WWE Russian Wrestler?
You have to really hone your wrestling skills to become a WWE Russian Wrestler. This means practicing moves, learning to grapple and throw, and building strength and endurance. Developing a unique persona will set you apart from other wrestlers. Once you feel confident in your wrestling abilities, it’s time to start networking.
This could mean competing in smaller local events or trying out for WWE’s developmental program, NXT. To increase your chances of being noticed by WWE, ensure you have a standout look and personality. This could mean dying your hair a bold color or adopting a unique persona that will capture audiences’ attention.
Above all, remember that becoming a WWE Russian Wrestler takes hard work, dedication, and persistence. Keep working on your craft, and never give up on your dreams. Who knows? You could be stepping into the ring as a WWE superstar like Pavel Russian Bear one day.