Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Ivan Koloff's WWWF Championship Matches



Fifty one years ago today the "Russian Bear" Ivan Koloff ended the near 8 year reign of the legendary Bruno Sammartino in a stunned Madison Square Garden.  Koloff, one of the all time greats in wrestling, was just 29 years old and had been wrestling for 10 years at the time he won the championship.  He wrestled regularly for the next 21 years and then sporadically having his last match in 2013.  

He would hold numerous singles and tag team championships in his career, but these 21 days in 1971 would be his only recognized singles World Championship.  I knew about his match where he defeated Sammartino and when he lost the title to Pedro Morales, however until I researched it I never knew if had any other title defenses.  


Koloff would wrestle several matches in the territories loop in singles and tag matches before dropping the title to Morales.  Sammartino did not get a rematch with Koloff after losing the title.  He did defeated Koloff on February 12, 1971 in Pittsburgh by disqualification, after Koloff had dropped the title to Morales.    

January 18, 1971 Madison Square Garden
Ivan Koloff pinned WWWF World Champion Bruno Sammartino to win the championship

January 20, 1971 Hammonton, New Jersey 
WWWF World Champion: Ivan Koloff defeated Tony Marino

January 22, 1971 Cherry Hill, New Jersey 
WWWF World Champion: Ivan Koloff defeated Manuel Soto

January 27, 1971 Hammonton, New Jersey 
WWWF World Champion: Ivan Koloff & the Black Demon defeated Gorilla Monsoon & Manuel Soto via count-out

January 28, 1971 Washington DC
WWWF World Champion: Ivan Koloff defeated Jean DuBois

January 29, 1971 Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
WWWF World Champion: Ivan Koloff & WWWF International Tag Team Champions: The Mongols: Geeto & Bolo Mongol fought Gorilla Monsoon, Pedro Morales, & Chief Jay Strongbow to a no contest in a Best 3 out of 5 falls Match

January 30, 1971 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
WWWF World Champion: Ivan Koloff defeated Gorilla Monsoon via count-out


February 1, 1971 Allentown, Pennsylvania
WWWF World Champion: Ivan Koloff defeated Chief Jay Strongbow via count-out

February 2, 1971 Scranton, Pennsylvania
WWWF World Champion: Ivan Koloff defeated Chief Jay Strongbow via count-out 

February 3, 1971 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
WWWF World Champion: Ivan Koloff defeated Lee Wong

February 5, 1971 North Attleboro, Massachusetts
WWWF World Champion: Ivan Koloff fought Chief Jay Strongbow to a double disqualification

February 6, 1971 Boston, Massachusetts - Boston Garden
WWWF World Champion: Ivan Koloff defeated Jean Dubois

February 8, 1971 Madison Square Garden
US Champion: Pedro Morales pinned WWWF World Champion: Ivan Koloff to win the title at 23:18 to win the championship


The only footage I'm aware of that shows Koloff as Champion is the match where he defeated Sammartino and the match when he lost the title to Morales.  

Thank you for reading, please leave a comment, check out my other posts, and if you want like my blogs Facebook page.  You can also head over to Amazon and pick up a copy of my new book Limitless Wrestling: The First Five Years, or any of my other books as well.  

Until next time!

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