Chris Markoff
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Chris Jelevarov
Chris Jelevorou
Chris Markoff[3]
Chris Markov
Chris Zeleurov
Harry Madison
Billed height6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)[3]
Billed weight275 lb (125 kg; 19.6 st)[3]
Billed fromMacedonia[4]

Chris Markoff is a Yugoslav-American retired professional wrestler. He is best known for his appearances with professional wrestling promotions in the Midwestern United States in the 1960s.[1][3][4]

Early life

Markoff was born in Yugoslavia and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota in the United States.[1][2]

Professional wrestling career

Markoff began his career in the Minneapolis-based American Wrestling Association in the mid-1960s.[5] Managed by Professor Steve Druk, he feuded with The Crusher.[1] He became AWA World Tag Team Champion with Harley Race in January 1967 after Race's original partner, Larry Hennig, sustained a broken leg. Their reign ended in November 1967 when they were defeated by Pat O'Connor and Wilbur Snyder.[6]

In the mid-1960s, Markoff began wrestling for the Indianapolis, Indiana-based World Wrestling Association, where he formed a tag team with Angelo Poffo called "The Devil's Duo". Markoff and Poffo won the WWA World Tag Team Championship in 1966 and again in 1967.[7]

In the late-1960s, Markoff began competing for Championship Wrestling from Florida. He won the NWA Florida Tag Team Championship in 1969 and again in 1972.

In 1969, Markoff wrestled for the Los Angeles, California-based promotion NWA Hollywood Wrestling. Over the course of the year, he won the NWA Americas Tag Team Championship with Bronko Lubich, the NWA "Beat the Champ" Television Championship, and the NWA Pacific Coast Heavyweight Championship (Los Angeles version) three times.[8][6]

In 1972, Markoff toured Japan with the Japan Wrestling Association, wrestling a series of matches against Apache Bull Ramos. Antagonism between Markoff and Ramos resulted in a legitimate brawl in a restaurant during which Ramos bit off part of Markoff's ear and Markoff bit off the tip of Ramos' finger.[9]

In 1978, Markoff wrestled in New Zealand for All Star Pro Wrestling, briefly holding the NWA British Empire/Commonwealth Championship. In the same year, he wrestled in Hawaii for 50th State Big Time Wrestling, holding the NWA Hawaii Tag Team Championship with Steve Strong.

In 1981, Markoff joined the Charlotte, North Carolina-based Jim Crockett Promotions, where he formed a tag team with Nikolai Volkoff called "The Imperial Russians". Managed by Lord Alfred Hayes, the duo won the NWA Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Championship later that year.[5][10][11]

Championships and accomplishments


  1. ^ a b c d e f Kristian Pope (14 August 2005). Tuff Stuff Professional Wrestling Field Guide: Legend and Lore. Krause Publications. p. 294. ISBN 1-4402-2810-8.
  2. ^ a b Harley Race; Gerry Tritz (2004). King of the Ring: The Harley Race Story. Sports Publishing LLC. p. 31. ISBN 978-1-58261-818-0.
  3. ^ a b c d "Chris Markoff". Retrieved September 30, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d Dale Pierce (10 June 2013). Wrestling in Akron. Arcadia Publishing Incorporated. p. 75. ISBN 978-1-4396-4350-1.
  5. ^ a b "Chris Markoff – Career". Retrieved September 30, 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Chris Markoff – Titles". Retrieved September 30, 2017.
  7. ^ Harris M. Lentz III (9 May 2011). Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2010. McFarland. p. 338. ISBN 978-0-7864-4175-4.
  8. ^ a b "Pacific Coast Heavyweight Title (Los Angeles)". 2017. Retrieved October 1, 2017.
  9. ^ Jim Wilson; Jim Wilson & Weldon T. Johnson (2 September 2003). Chokehold: Pro Wrestling's Real Mayhem Outside the Ring. Xlibris Corporation. p. 117. ISBN 978-1-4628-1172-4.
  10. ^ a b Dewey Robertson; Meredith Renwick (2006). Bang Your Head: The Real Story of the Missing Link. ECW Press. p. 86. ISBN 978-1-55022-727-7.
  11. ^ Harris M. Lentz III (4 May 2006). Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2005: Film, Television, Radio, Theatre, Dance, Music, Cartoons and Pop Culture. McFarland. p. 164. ISBN 978-0-7864-5210-1.
  12. ^ a b Harris M. Lentz III (20 May 2008). Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2007: Film, Television, Radio, Theatre, Dance, Music, Cartoons and Pop Culture. McFarland. p. 226. ISBN 978-0-7864-5191-3.
  13. ^ "N.W.A. "Beat the Champ" International Television Title (Los Angeles)". Puroresu Dojo. 2003.
  14. ^ Harris M. Lentz III (9 May 2011). Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2010. McFarland. p. 338. ISBN 978-0-7864-4175-4.
  15. ^ George Schire (2010). Minnesota's Golden Age of Wrestling: From Verne Gagne to the Road Warriors. Minnesota Historical Society. p. 222. ISBN 978-0-87351-620-4.