Tony Khan Meets Famous Wrestling Superfan Vladimir

Back in the day, before the likes of Frank the Clown, Brock Lesnar Guy, and Rick the Sign Guy, there was one wrestling fan who, more than any other, was famous simply for being incredibly visible on-camera at major wrestling events, generally pay-per-views and shows in and around New York City. That would be Vladimir Abouzeide. In 2021, WWE announced a documentary about Vladimir, complete with a trailer, and gave him their first-ever Superfan Award, but the finished product was never released for reasons that have never been explained. Still, Vladimir has been a mainstay at major shows since, with Major League Wrestling honoring him in November. And on Monday, he got further recognition, this time from AEW President Tony Khan.

"At age 8, on the first [pay-per-view] I ever watched live, I saw a fan who seemed to be having such a great time at the live event," Khan tweeted alongside a photo of him and Vladimir shaking hands. "At age 12, I joined the [internet wrestling community], and learned that his name is Vlad, [and] he's a very nice guy. It was an honor to meet him in person. Thank you Vlad, you're the man!"

Vladimir has even — albeit very occasionally — been part of the show, most memorably at the October 20, 1986 WWF show at Madison Square Garden that aired live on MSG Network. During a live Piper's Pit interview segment where Roddy Piper interviewed Bobby Heenan and Paul Orndorff, Heenan challenged Piper to a tag team match against Orndorff and Harley Race, expressing skepticism that Piper could find a partner. Piper then plucked Vladimir out of the crowd to suggest his partner. Vlad picked Hulk Hogan. The match was made for the MSG return on November 24 and sold out the arena.