Vladimir Voinovich and Nikolai Volkoff!

Dasvidania, tovarishchi! Author Vladimir Voinovich and legendary ’80s grappler Nikolai Volkoff both bid mother Russia adieu this week, at age 85 and 70, respectively! Voinovich is probably best known for his epic war satire The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin, published in three volumes over the span of nearly forty years. As you can imagine, war satire doesn’t go over entirely well in Russia, so he had a pretty contentious run there, bouncing back and forth out of exile, and remaining fairly critical of the rulers throughout his life. And while Volkoff alternated between fervent Soviet stooge (especially during his tag team partnership with the Iron Sheik and with Boris Zhukov in The Bolsheviks) and America-loving face, he was actually born in modern day Croatia, then part of Yugoslavia, as Josip Nikolai Peruzović. But this was the Reagan ’80s, back when Russia was still a major villain even while not corrupting our elections, so Volkoff’s singing of the Soviet national anthem before matches really riled up the crowds. Ah, simpler times! до свиданиятоварищи!

This picture is America today, apparently

Despite July being our lightest month for deaths in over two years, Sam still managed her second in three weeks on Voinovich, the 25 points leaving her one point out of seventh overall, a position occupied by Volkoff’s 40 recipient Mike M., which also jumped him to second in the Holloway! Well done, folks!

This still resides in some Scranton attic with my old toys

Replacement picks due by next Monday!

(Also, just in case you were interested, no one can pick up Demi Lovato until at least August 23rd – them’s the rules!)

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