The Crystal Ball 8.16.06: Boris Alexiev
Posted by Steve Sullivan on 08.16.2006
A new way of looking at OVW talent! I'm going to compare an OVW Rookie to some legendary names. Can I pull it off? Probably not but you should read anyway because there's a poll!
Welcome one and welcome all back to the OVW Crystal Ball. And guess what. This week's column won't have a damn thing to do with me or something I did. (Insert Joy Here) Instead, I wanted to try something a little different that actually gives the name of my column…a true Crystal Ballish feeling.
This week, we are going to look at OVW up and comer Boris Alexiev. I can tell you everything there is about him and everything he has did in OVW. But will that make you fully understand what he is capable of or what he can compare to? Probably not. What you can do is relate to the past. So hop on and take a time warp into the past as we take a look into the career, the future, and the shadows of OVW star Boris Alexiev.
Maybe you haven't heard of Boris. Maybe you don't read my OVW TV Reports. Shame on you. But because I'm a nice guy, I'll tell you a little bit about him and the way he is now.
Boris made his OVW TV debut in April of 2006. A Russian mixed martial arts specialist, Boris resorts to very scientific wrestling. Takedowns, arm drags, leg scissors, etc, are the kind of moves you will see in a Boris Alexiev dominated match. It's a great throwback to an old style of wrestling.
Boris has yet to be defeated on OVW TV. He did lose in a 10 man gauntlet match just a couple of weeks ago after his manager got him disqualified. Boris also lost to Chet The Jet at the recent OVW Summer Sizzler Series event. Despite all that, Boris has been VERY dominant and very intense in his short stint in Ohio Valley Wrestling. And that's what I like about him.
With that being said, despite his intensity and dominance, Alexiev has yet to be signed to a WWE contract, which is really disturbing. It is said that Paul Heyman has been interested in him and perhaps someday we will see him on ECW, but how can the WWE not be on top of a guy who can bring the kind of intensity in the type of heel gimmick that could truly get him over in the WWE.
Of course, as in the past, there have been many Boris Alexiev's in the history of wrestling? In fact, each decade has had one in the past 30 years.
1970's- Boris Alexiev vs. Ivan Koloff
The Russian Bear, the former WWWF World Champion was a dominant force in wrestling. He was only the 3rd ever champion for the current WWE Championship, defeating the legendary Bruno Sammartino and ending Sammartino's 7 year championship reign to become a one month World Champion. He lost the title to Pedro Morales.
Similar to Alexiev, Koloff pulled off a Russian/Soviet gimmick, despite not actually being from Russia. Both men were also great scienfitic and submission wrestlers. Koloff used the famous Russian Bear Hug, while Boris uses a shoulder arm bar submission type move.
During his years in the WWWF, Koloff only held the one title, and that was the Heavyweight Title, which he held for one month. Koloff eventually jumped over to the NWA and won several championships under several different NWA divisions.
Looking into Boris' future, if he does make it into the WWE, I really don't ever expect to see him wrestling in the tag team division. Despite his very rapid rise in the WWWF, Koloff became nothing more than a tag team specialist, which probably in turn kept him from becoming the legend he could have become. The Soviet gimmick was perfect timing. At the time, nothing was hated more than a Soviet communist and for this, Koloff was the perfect lifetime heel. The same will likely be said about Boris Alexiev, even though the Soviet Union is no more and The Cold War no longer brings the heel heat it used to give professional wrestling. Despite that, Boris' bullying tactics and his deep Russian accent are a perfect fit for a lifelong heel.
If Boris and Ivan were in a fight, Ivan Koloff comes out on top. While Boris is extremely intense and has some talent, Ivan has the experience to drag the match into longer battles and probably has the better endurance. Koloff also has the better corner, with guys like Nikita Koloff, Ole Anderson, Pat Patterson, Lou Albino and Freddie Blassie backing him in his corner. Boris has his sparring partner and corner man Mr. Strongko. I think he might be outnumbered. Just a little.
If the match came down to a finisher, Boris wins the match. The Russian Bear Hug while powerful in its time, is nothing compared to the pain that Boris Alexiev can bring to his opponent with his shoulder submission. It's almost impossible to break free of and bring a bit more excitement to the crowd rather than a couple of sweaty guys hugging each other.
1980's- Boris Alexiev vs. Nikolai Volkoff
How ironic is it that Nikolai Volkoff's former tag team partner was named Boris? In comparrisson to any other wrestler to have ever been in a WWE ring, Nikolai Volkoff compares most to Boris Alexiev. Again, Nikolai's main success came as a tag team specialist, which again, I don't expect to see a lot of from Boris. But Nikolai made sure everyone knew he was a Soviet Russian Communist. Boris, or at least, the commentators thus far, have made sure everyone knows that Boris is a Russian fighter.
Volkoff was also a very technical wrestler, making use of such moves as the Bear Hug and the backbreaker. Simple moves that made a true wrestler. Boris Alexiev uses similar moves as well, including the backbreaker. Boris tends to use simple takedowns. Quick kicks and jabs to take his opponent down to the mat and apply technical submissive moves. He doesn't waste time with high impact, high risk moves as most wrestlers use these days. Alexiev is quick to the point and can be a deadly force in a matter of seconds. Which is why I liked Boris better than Volkoff.
True as it may be that Volkoff accomplished many great things in his day. I mean the guy is in the WWE Hall of Fame, but watching Volkoff wrestle was almost boring to me. I will admit that when he and The Iron Shiek were a tag team and won the Tag Titles at Wrestlemania I, he was pretty exciting, but after that, and his days as a Bolshivek, he became rather boring. The guy was a talented wrestler, and while he was a scientific pioneer and a true master of the grapple in his day, his intensity just doesn't match that of what I see in Boris Alexiev, and for that, I think Boris would win this match.
1990's- Boris Alexiev vs. Arn Anderson vs. Chris Benoit
I couldn't decide who to pit Boris against in the 90's so I picked the best two and made this a triple threat match. Arn Anderson was and always will be one of my favorite technical wrestlers of all time. The guy was fun to watch. When he was in the ring, you knew you were going to get a great scientific, bull free match. The same was for the 1990's Chris Benoit. Benoit was and still is one of the most intense wrestlers on a mainstream wrestling roster.
If Anderson and Benoit had some kind of weird...and I mean very weird, balding, gap toothed kid, they may have named it Boris Alexiev.
In all seriousness, a lot of people are going to hate me comparing Boris to Arn. But Arn was a great heel and he wasn't even really trying to be a heel. It was just known he was a bad guy by the company he alligned himself with and the dirty tactics he pulled in the ring. Early in Boris' career, he never even pulled a dirty tactic. He was just a heel and everyone knew it because he wasn't slacking around the ring and playing to the crowd. He was serious and down to business and that's what makes a great scientific heel.
Arn Anderson was for the most part, a career heel. I expect the same from Boris. When was the last time the WWE had a face Russian? You'd have to go way back and even then I don't know if you could find one! If Boris does get the call, he's going to be a heel for life.
I also say Benoit because of his set of submissive moves. Benoit is quick. He can snap you into a submission and latch onto you in a moment's notice. And so far, that's been the case for Boris Alexiev. Boris has yet to be in a match on OVW TV that has lasted more than a couple of minutes. He's performed several different submission moves but always ends his match with that painful shoulder submission.
Picking a winner of this match would be impossible so I'm going to call a no contest. Anderson and Benoit in the 90's obviously had the aid of the 4 Horsemen and I can see them coming in and throwing the match. Benoit even had more than that with guys like Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko and Perry Saturn backing him as well. In order for Boris to be anywhere near the success these two were, he's going to have to allign himself with another powerful force, before breaking off as a single's competitor.
Present Day- Boris Alexiev vs. Kurt Angle
If you're an avid reader, you're probably sick of these comparrissons but I can really see a match between these two in the months to come. Especially if it's on ECW. Both men are super intense. That's no secret about Kurt Angle and if you've read this far, it's no secret to you about Boris either. Both men are "Wrestlers". Both men are very technical and both men specialize in a shoot style. This match would be fantastic and exciting.
Kurt has been all over the business, from a face to a heel. He's a better heel and has seen more success as a heel. He has also did most of it on his own, without a long term allignment that the past comparrissons have been known for. (I'm pretending like Team Angle never existed by the way.) This is the route that Boris needs to take. He's got the mat skills. He's got the intensity. He just lacks a bit of personality but that will follow. He's only had a 4 month career. If something is to happen to Kurt Angle, which seems likely with all the physical problems he has had recently, Boris Alexiev could very easily be the piece that fills the void of Kurt Angle. And yes he lacks the name and star power, Boris in his own right, within a couple of years, could grow into a super heel in Kurt Angle's current role.
There is no true edge in this match. You have to throw experience out the door because obviously, Kurt has been in the business a lot longer than Alexiev. In fact, any of the comparrissons I've made, you can't use experience. It's obvious that Boris Alexiev needs some polishing, otherwise he wouldn't even be in OVW. He'd already be on a WWE stage somewhere. But once Boris can develop into the star Paul Heyman and myself think he can be, look out. Prepare to hate the Russians like it's 1984 all over again!
While Boris Alexiev does not have a WWE contract at this time, that does not mean he will not get one. Seth Skyfire, the current TV Champ and a good contendor to become the next OVW Heavyweight Champion, just recently signed a WWE deal after working in OVW for several years. It may take some time in OVW, but hopefully Boris, and the WWE can stick through it and eventually find a way to make Boris work on a WWE program. I know it's there. I see it. I just can hope the scouts can see it too. This type of skill and intensity cannot be wasted for long, and if it is wasted, then it will be the first time I'll have ever felt let down by OVW.
So let me know what you think! Is there anything you would like to know about Boris Alexiev? Do you disagree with some of my comparrissons? This was a different way of approaching OVW talent and getting the fans who know the WWE but now its developmental talent familiar with the type of wrestlers they could potentially see sometime in the future. So let me know what you want and I shall make it so. And until then my friends...