**The Unlikely Rise of Boris Zhukov**

You don't often hear about wrestlers who started their careers in the late 19th century. Well, except for Boris Zhukov, that is. This behemoth of a man (6'2" and 260 pounds) has been body-slamming opponents for an astonishing eight decades.

Born Jim Barrel in Roanoke, Virginia, Zhukov's early life was marked by football, not professional wrestling. That all changed on March 8, 1932, when he stepped into the ring for his first match. Little did anyone know that this rugged individual would go on to become one of the most successful wrestlers of all time.

Zhukov's career spanned multiple promotions, including World Wrestling Entertainment, National Wrestling Alliance, American Wrestling Association, Universal Wrestling Federation, and Continental Wrestling Association. His impressive résumé boasts four championship titles: AWA World Tag Team Championship, NWA Wrestle Birmingham Heavyweight Championship, NWA Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Championship, and NWA Canadian Television Championship.

But what makes Zhukov truly remarkable is his ability to adapt. He went by multiple ring names throughout his career, including Boris Zurhkov, Jim Nelson (both versions), Pvt. Jim Nelson, Sgt. Jim Nelson, Jason, and Mr. Russia. You'd think it would get confusing, but Zhukov's impressive skills in the ring kept fans coming back for more.

Zhukov's final match took place on October 6, 2012 – an astonishing 80-year career that defies explanation. It's a testament to his dedication, perseverance, and sheer physicality that he was able to maintain such a long and successful run.

When all is said and done, Boris Zhukov stands as a wrestling legend, a true giant in the sport. His legacy serves as an inspiration to generations of grapplers to come.
Name: Boris Zhukov
Real Name: Jim Barrel
Ring Names: Boris Zurhkov, Jim Nelson, Pvt. Jim Nelson, Sgt. Jim Nelson, Jason, Mr. Russia
Date of Birth: 13 December 1959
Born In: Roanoke, Virginia, United States

Facts

Here are 10 interesting facts and tidbits about wrestler Boris Zhukov:

• Boris Zhukov was born James Barrel on September 15, 1946, in Cleveland, Ohio.

• He began his professional wrestling career in the early 1970s, working for various independent promotions and territories.

• One of Zhukov's earliest ring names was Pvt. Jim Nelson, which he used during a stint in the Continental Wrestling Association (CWA) in the mid-1970s.

• In the late 1970s, Zhukov adopted the moniker Sgt. Jim Nelson, reflecting his military-inspired gimmick and attire.

• Zhukov's Mr. Russia character emerged in the early 1980s, featuring a red, white, and blue costume and an American flag-printed singlet.

• During his time in World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW), Zhukov feuded with notable figures like Terry Funk, Stan "The Man" Stasiak, and Gino Hernandez.

• In 1982, Zhukov won the WCCW World Heavyweight Championship, a title he held for several months.

• Zhukov's Jason character was a fan favorite in the mid-to-late 1980s, with his high-flying moveset and charismatic persona earning him a reputation as one of the best aerialists of his era.

• Boris Zhukov made sporadic appearances in World Championship Wrestling (WCW) during the early 1990s, often competing against up-and-coming talent like Ricky Steamboat and Barry Windham.

• Despite his extensive career, Zhukov's legacy has been somewhat overshadowed by other prominent wrestlers of his generation. Nonetheless, he remains a beloved figure among old-school wrestling enthusiasts and aficionados of Texas-based promotions.