Iron Sheik And Nikolai Volkoff’s Petting Zoo

Iron Sheik Nikolai Volkoff Petting Zoo

Anyone who lived through the mid 80’s WWF will remember all the animals running around at the time. Which was your favorite was simply a matter of choice.

Dog lover?

The British Bulldogs had Matilda….


…and when Davey Boy Smith was a solo act, Winston.


Maybe you were a bit more off the beaten path and favored snakes?

Jake Roberts had not only Damien (who was so famous they made a toy out of him and cleverly avoided paying him any royalties by simply dubbing it “SNAKE”!)…

Jake The Snack rubber snake box

…but also the obscure yet not quite forgotten Lucifer who gnawed on Randy Savage’s bicep for 13 minutes of the most gruesome TV imaginable.


Naturally, Koko B. Ware had Frankie….


…while Ricky Steamboat had a Komodo Dragon who he loved so much he didn’t even bother to name.


Should also note that dragon escaped from the WWF’s clutches, and wandered around Stamford for a couple weeks until he was finally caught. True story.

Of course, all these critters pail in comparison to everyone’s favorite wrestling animal friends, Clyde and Bear.


You don’t remember Clyde and Bear?

Well, gather ’round children! Hop up on Papa Deal’s lap while I regale you with stories of their…ummm…geez, how do I get out of this sentence…ok, got it…with a crazy animated GIF!


Clyde was introduced to the world on the legendary Tuesday Night Titans, with host “Mean Gene” Okerlund telling his audience that The Iron Sheik had come to the show today with his very own camel! That’s awesome in countless ways, not the least of which is pondering if Sheik actually was riding the thing around town, weaving in and out of traffic atop the beast as he made his way to the studio.


After Gene and Sheiky Baby debate whether than the animal’s name is Clyde or Claude, we learn that camels can either be nice or mean depending on if they like you. Gene responds to this sage wisdom by immediately squatting down and looking at Clyde’s gonads to determine if he is a boy or girl.



Audio proof here.

After coming to the conclusion that Clyde is in fact a boy (how many girls named “CLYDE” do you know, Okerlund???), Nikolai makes an appearance as he is going to learn to ride the camel. Nope, he didn’t get this training at Sheik’s palatial estate in Persia (“the oldest country in the world!” notes our Arab friend), he learned how to do so in a parking lot in suburban Baltimore.


Of course, things quickly go off the rails, with Gene claiming that the animal is covered with fleas and Nikolai saying he looks just like Hulk Hogan. Ummm, what? As Gene hits on the girl standing next to the camel (“and how are YOU, sweetheart?”), the camel starts belching and moaning all over the place.


So Clyde moves back and forth and to and fro, but he can’t get back to his feet with the big Rooskie on his back. While Gene thinks Clyde is weak and pathetic for being unable to herk up Volkoff’s 300+ pound carcass, Sheik explains that…honestly, I’m not quite sure what he explains.

Maybe one of you good readers could translate this for us.

I will say that I would not like you to translate what Nikolai appears to be doing with his hands in the above image, as I believe it may be very, very lewd.

Finally, Sheik tells Nikolai to hop off Clyde so he can show us all how to properly ride a camel. And sure enough, once Sheik is up top, Clyde hops right up and starts prancing around like a show pony!


If a show pony could be classified as such by walking around in a circle for literally five seconds.

Now that we’ve met Clyde, let’s meet Nikolai’s pet!

His pet bear who just so happened to be named “BEAR”!


Know how I knew that was his name? The crack WWF graphics team identified him as such! I like to think this was Nikolai’s revenge, his way of saying, “You can’t lift me, eh Clyde? Well suck it, pal!



Gene greets Bear while wearing what appear to be gorilla gloves. Why precisely he is wearing these is a mystery to me, as the footage I found is from a Prime Time Wrestling where this segment was shown in what would appear to be abbreviated form. Sure, I could go back and find the footage of the TNT show from which this originated (it ain’t on the Network, but I do have access to all TNTs courtesy of a great man named Brendon Lastnameomittedbyrequest), but why do that when I am sure whatever reason I come up with would be superior to what was originally provided on the show?

Coming up with my own storylines is a tactic I use quite often when watching Raw these days to make things more enjoyable. In this instance, I picture Gene having some sort of hand ailment that he learned was transmittable by contact prior to a doctor’s appointment he scheduled too close to the start of the TNT filming. He knows he needs gloves so as not to infect his co-workers, but the only place he could find anything to cover his hands was a nearby Halloween costume shop that was open in July for unknown reasons.


So Gene examines Bear, noting how large he is and how he hopes he is housebroken. Okerlund then turns to Slick, asking him what he thinks of the bear. The Doctor of Style notes how smart the bear must be because, and I am just quoting here, “HE WAS BORN BLACK!” He also explains how he’s going to teach Bear to do the moonwalk.

Ok, I no longer want to come up with my own storylines.

I want SLICK to do it.

Moonwalking bear > contagious diseases and out of season Halloween stores!


My brain barely has time to comprehend the musings of the Slickster before Gene asks what sex the bear is. Not sure why Gene is so fascinated with animal genitalia, and honestly, not sure I want to know. Wait, scratch that – for the record, I am 100% sure I do NOT want to know.

Anyway, for whatever reason, everyone thinks it’s hysterical that Bear is a boy…it even elicits a SLIDE WHISTLE sound effect!


As Nikolai proudly explains that he keeps his pet bear around his house (“he’s clean and housebroken” he exclaims), Gene notes that Bear is fortunate that Freddy Blassie isn’t feeding him as it would probably starve. This leads to back and forth banter about Blassie being a fat old man.

Oh how I miss unscripted tomfoolery such as this!


Also, mean, leathery old men wearing glittery outfits who could beat you to a pulp. Those need to come back as well.

Sadly, this was the last we ever saw of Bear…and we never saw Clyde again either.

This is usually where I’d come up with some zippy ending, but today I will forgo that in favor of some horrible Photoshoppery.


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