Nikolai Volkoff, a WWE Hall of Famer and Maryland resident, died at the age of 70 on Sunday morning, the WWE announced.
His wife Lynn Peruzovic confirmed his death to the Associated Press. She said he has had heart problems, and that when she went to give him medicine, he was not responsive.
Born Josip Nikolai Peruzović in 1947 in then-Yugoslavia, Volkoff was one of the most notorious heels during the rise of the World Wrestling Federation in the 1980s. He portrayed a Soviet heel, drawing the ire of the fans during the Cold War, and his trademark was demanding the fans' attention and respect and then singing the Soviet anthem before matches.