Answering The Internet's Most Asked Questions About Zangief From Street Fighter

Dec 22 2020 4 min read

The Russian wrestler is one of Street Fighter's most iconic characters, so here are answers to some of your most burning questions

Everyone knows about the 'Red Cyclone' from Street Fighter. Zangief has been a staple in Street Fighter since 1991, first appearing in Street Fighter World Warrior and is probably one of the first grapplers to appear in a fighting game.

Naturally, with such a long existence, many questions exist about Zangief and his history from the beginning up until his current iteration in Street Fighter V. With that in mind, I've put together some of the most common questions asked about Zangief, and I'll provide answers which will hopefully help you understand the character better.

Is Zangief a real name?

The name Zangief is pretty unique; therefore, it is understandable if some people think it isn't real. But, I assure you, Zangief is a very real name. In fact, the Street Fighter character is based on a real-life Zangief who was a wrestler from the old Soviet Union. Victor Dzantemirovich Zangiev was an amateur wrestler who won 2 titles, the U.S.-Soviet Cup Championships and the World Cup Championships, before taking on an exciting new wrestling opportunity in 1989. At the time, Japan was in love with wrestling, and at the height of the sport's popularity, Zangief moved to Japan, where he competed till 1990, coming back for a brief cameo in 1994. His popularity led him to become the inspiration behind the Zangief we all know and love in the Street Fighter series.

Victor Zangief

Is Zangief good or bad?

Zangief's affiliation is a little tricky to call as he is generally considered one of the good guys. However, in several media, he has been portrayed as a henchman or evildoer. The thing is, Zangief is a very patriotic person who will do anything for Mother Russia. He goes about competition in tournaments in the hopes of showing off Russian strength. But, this blind loyalty to his motherland can cause him to fight for the wrong things. For instance, when the Russian president sent Zangief to fight around the world, it was in a bid to further his own ambitions, but Gief, thinking it was for the good of Russia, went along with it anyway. Perhaps you could categorize Zangief as being somewhere in the middle of good and evil.

Does Zangief wax?

Considering how hairy Zangief looks, it is easy to conclude that he doesn't. This isn't helped by how 'manly' he seems, and all his talk about muscles and strength might lead some to believe that waxing is totally out of the question for our well-muscled wrestler.


Think about it. REALLY think about it. How is it possible for Zangief to have a large tuft of hair in the middle of his chest but not anywhere else? Why are there hairs jutting out of his boots but the rest of his legs remain shiny? While it has never been confirmed as canon, it does seem like Zangief takes proper care of his hair and removes it from places he doesn't want hair existing. There's even a nice nod to it in the Wreck-it Ralph movies. The only other theory you could present is that his hair grows weird, which is possible but highly unlikely.

Zangief on Bison

Why does Zangief have scars?

One of Zangief's most notable features are his many scars, which he wears proudly and shows off to anyone. These were obtained from fighting bears in the Siberian winter. Zangief believes that fighting such ferocious creatures is the only way he can build up his strength, and while he is covered with scars, he is also quite happy to have them as to him, they tell a tale of his many battles. Interestingly, there are no scars on Zangief's back, and this is because of his ethos never to turn his back on an enemy. So, he never runs, never shies from a fight, and is confident in his ability to defeat his foes.

How tall is Zangief

Zangief is a monster of a man and stands at about 7 feet, making him one of the tallest characters in the Street Fighter universe. As far as Street Fighter V is concerned, Zangief is the third tallest character only behind Abigail (8ft) and Birdie (7'1").

Zangief x Birdie

Zangief is one of the most popular grapplers in Street Fighter and probably in fighting game history. His fierce loyalty to Russia makes him a committed character who will do whatever it takes to display Soviet strength. He has shown that he has a softer side, and he admires fellow patriots like himself (Guile). I hope this has answered some of the most important or common questions about Zangief; if you want his full biography, you can always check out his wiki.

And for more 'Most asked questions' you can go here.


World Esports Stands for Charity and Peace in Ukraine

Donate to Techiia Foundation to support charity and people of Ukraine for those who suffer the most, for those who protect the country from the Russian army forces right now and for those who will never return from this war but remain in our hearts forever.

qr code
Girls Got Game: Yana b2ru Khymchenko Interview
Dragonspine: An Unforgiving, Desolate Tundra


Fighting games
Introducing WePlay! Compete: a competition app built for the FGC
Fighting games
Play Fighting Games on the WePlay Tournament Platform
Fighting games
WePlay Tekken Challenge: All You Need To Know
Fighting games
How To Improve Without Playing
Fighting games
Arslan Ash is the Champion of the WUFL S1 Tekken 7 Tournament!

Other Categories

WePlay Promotes

Stand with Ukraine


Ukrainian Army NBU Fundraising


Come Back Alive Foundation