The Moscow Mauler was one of WWE's fastest rising stars for the first few months of his run, than he seemed to fall further and further down the ladder as time went on.
Before his releases, he was part of a comedy tag team with Santino. He was entertaining and seemed to enjoy what he was doing, but I believe this led to his downfall.
This guy not only had WWE title matches within months of showing up, but he has a clean win over the Undertaker, not something many rookies can claim. Come to think of it, no rookies can make that claim.
When he first came to WWE, I was very intrigued by his character. He came to the ring with no music, no video on the titantron and a simple spotlight which followed him down the ramp to the ring.
This was such a different type of entrance for a superstar that it made his boos seem even louder. It was a great gimmick and could have worked well for longer than they allowed it to.
Somebody had to go and give him a video and theme song, and he went from being unique to just another big wrestler.
His skill in the ring is unquestionable, not the best, but very good. He had some great signature moves and had the potential to be the WWE's next great foreign heel.
Foreign heels used to work so well in WWE. The Iron Sheik was such a great heel, and he used his gimmick to make people hate him that much more.
We now know him to be a hilarious personality, but back then he was so menacing with the crazy moustache and giant arms.
Kozlov was never given the right time to make his heel character work. I think he could make a big impact if he was brought back the right way.
Imagine Punk or Cena in the middle of the ring giving one of their standard promos when suddenly the lights go dark. Everyone naturally assumes it is the Undertaker or Kane, but then a spotlight lights up the stage to reveal Kozlov looking pissed.
He rushes the ring and destroys whoever is in his path and then just walks away with the spotlight following him to the back.