Art of Gimmickry

The Cold War Russian Wrestler

IMG_3532While the Cold War had been a thing since the late 1940’s, it was still a pretty intense situation in the 1980’s and, most importantly, a major part of the fabric that made up a lot of 1980’s popular culture. You had Sylvester Stallone defending America’s honor against the Soviets in the best Rocky movie since the first one, Rocky IV. Even “teenage” movie heartthrobs answered the call to arms in the war against Soviet Russia in the original Red Dawn. And wrestling was no different. Always trying to remain relevant with the times, every territory had its own Red Menace, sometimes even two.

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A Winner is You

Zangief

IMG_2152Height: 7′
Weight: 256 lbs.
Hometown: Russia
Finisher: Final Atomic Buster
Video Game: Street Fighter series & Marvel vs. Capcom series

Often perceived as a villain, in particularly the few films he’s made appearances in, the “Red Cyclone” is actually considered to be “good natured, with a great sense of humor, and totally fearless.” according to the Capcom Wiki page of Street Fighter II: Special Championship Edition. The grappling Ruskie is also considered to be the first fighting video game character who relies on a rasslin’ moveset. So you can thank this man for your Kings, Wolf Hawkfields, and Big Bear/Raidens.

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