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James "Jim" Kirk Harrell (December 13, 1959) is a retired American professional wrestler better known by his ring name Boris Zhukov (sometimes spelled Boris Zukhov). He is best known for his appearances with the American Wrestling Association (AWA) and the World Wrestling Federation (WWF).
Professional wrestling career
After four years wrestling in different territories, during that time he wrestled as "Jim Nelson" and spent most of it as a tag-team with partner The Legendary Eclipso. Harrell started wrestling in 1982 as Pvt. Jim Nelson in Sgt. Slaughter's "Cobra Corps" in the NWA's Jim Crockett Promotions. He frequently teamed with Don Kernodle and he feuded with Porkchop Cash. In 1984, he went to Alabama's Southeast Championship Wrestling and continued his feud with Cash.
In 1985, Harrell debuted in the American Wrestling Association as "Boris Zukhov", billed from the Soviet Union. Zhukov adopted Chris Markoff as his manager and challenged AWA World Heavyweight Champion Rick Martel and AWA America's Championship Sgt. Slaughter. In 1987, he formed a tag team with Soldat Ustinov under Sheik Adnan El Kassey's management. The pair won the AWA World tag team titles that same year. Zhukov, however, left the AWA for the WWF while he was still one half of the tag team champions (the storyline being that Wahoo McDaniel chased him out after a brutal chain match). As a result, former tag team title holder Doug Somers was brought in to team with Ustinov, losing the titles to the team of Jerry Lawler and Bill Dundee.
Upon entering the WWF, he formed a team with Nikolai Volkoff known as The Bolsheviks. They teamed for over a year, but never rose above mid-card status. By mid 1989, Zukhov was wrestling in singles competition, being used primarily as a jobber, regularly losing in very short work with no announcement. He even feuded with his former tag team partner when Volkoff received a push as a face in 1990. Zhukov was often ridiculed by Vince McMahon and other WWF commentators for his large head.
Zhukov left the WWF in 1991.
In 2001, Zhukov resurfaced as a heel in Virginia-based promotion American Championship Wrestling (ACW) and allied with local heel Eclipso. He was attacked and injured, leading to a face turn and a "Wrestle or Retire" match on September 8 for Eclipso's ACW Championship. Before the match, Zhukov told the crowd he was retiring, but a replacement had been chosen. Later that night, his old persona, Pvt. Jim Nelson (who had not been seen since an assault by Don Kernodle and Sgt. Slaughter in 1983) was revealed as that replacement. Now clean-shaven and dressed in army camouflage, he'd redone Sgt. Slaughter's boot camp and was promoted to Sgt. Jim Nelson in a pre-match ceremony. Nelson won the match and title after interference from both managers. Due to the controversy, the title was held up.
Championships and accomplishments
- Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards
- World Wrestling Federation