Nikolai Volkoff passed away on July 29th, 2018, but through his WWE Hall Of Fame career, he influenced many who came after him including Rusev.
Instead of the Sickel and Hammer, WWE's shop sells Happy Rusev Day flags, but many comparisons have been made between the Rusev and Volkoff through the years. Volkoff even appeared on Monday Night Raw in September 2014 to give his nod of approval to Rusev and Lana in a backstage segment.
Go Pro Wrestling spoke to Volkoff in May, in what could have been the legend's final interview. He was asked about Rusev and Lana's role on WWE television and he praised the duo for their ability to entertain but also, for their personal character.
"Rusev and Lana, they're good people," Volkoff said. "Rusev is a good athlete and Lana is a beautiful lady. They're a good couple and I wish them all the best, they're very beautiful people. They even speak Russian."
The professional wrestling landscape has changed dramatically since Volkoff's days in the squared circle. He spoke about change as a necessary aspect of the business, as society evolves so must its entertainment. Vince McMahon's vision for sports entertainment has carried him to success and Volkoff acknowledged that fact.
"Everything's changed, nothing's stayed the same. Wrestling had to change the way people change because if you don't change with the people then you're missing something. Vince McMahon is a very intelligent man and he knows what to do that's why he's doing so good."
If you use any portion of the quotes in this article please credit Go Pro Wrestling with a H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription