One of the greatest “heel” tag teams of all time were Nikolai Volkoff and the Iron Sheik. It was the height of the Cold War, and what could be more antagonising than the Russian national anthem sung in the middle of Madison Square Gardens? Only the Sheik declaring “Russia #1, Iran #1!” and spitting on the USA. In reality Nikolai (Josip Hrvoje Peruzović) was from Yugoslavia and was known as a really nice guy. By contrast, the Sheik (Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri) actually is from Iran and might be a little psychopathic! Or it could all be an act, who knows?
Even though Nikolai’s anthem was designed to irritate, I actually like it.
In 1990 Nikolai switched sides, turned “face,” and was gifted an American flag by “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan. (Incidentally, Duggan and Sheik were once caught doing cocaine together, a tremendous scandal as they were supposed to be sworn enemies!) Nikolai used “The Stars and Stripes Forever” as his entrance music when he turned “face”, waving his new American flag.
But I’ll always remember him as one of the greatest villains, singing that Russian national anthem as only he could!