Nikita Koloff Talks Almost Signing With WWE, His Feud With Magnum TA, WWE HOF, His New Show
WrestlingINC: What about your accent? Your promos were so memorable and you said you didn't have much experience beforehand. Where did you come up with the accent? Was that something you just came up with on your own or studied?
Koloff: Well, you know, part of the storyline was that I didn't speak any English -- which I didn't do for about the first six months other than in the car I drove in, the dressing room. During that time, I got a hold of some Russian work books and cassettes -- some listening won't even know what a cassette is [laughs]. But I learned to sign my name in Russian and was listening to Russian words.
I just thought to myself, OK, if I really was from there and I was just learning the English language, how would this word sound? What would that word sound like? So it's just something that really developed over the course of time.
Koloff: That would be rumors to me. Obviously, the magazines really hyped that up and pumped that up. Certainly, the Russian wrestler against Hulk Hogan would have been a pretty good draw, without a doubt.
The only time I really considered the WWF as it was known in those days was when Barry Darsow, who was known as Krusher Kruschev with us, was leaving the NWA to go up there. He originally wanted me to be a part of Demolition with him. I just really didn't have an interest in doing that. I worked very hard on the Nikita Koloff character as well as I just felt a real sense of loyalty to Jim Crockett for giving me my break.
Could I have went there and probably made ten times the money or more? There's no doubt in my mind that I could have. But loyalty and integrity were very important to me. Always have been and still are.
WrestlingINC: You then had the huge feud with Magnum T.A., probably the most memorable feud during the early-to-mid-'80's. What was only being in the business a few years and being involved in such a huge feud like?
Koloff: It was very memorable and probably the absolute most talked about feud in my carer. I certainly had a lot of incredible matches over the years. The very first Great American Bash with Ric Flair, the chain matches with the Road Warriors, the War Games with the Superpowers, Dusty and I and the Road Warriors against the Four Horsemen. On and on it goes. But, certainly, the best of 7 with Magnum for the U.S. Heavyweight title -- probably the most talked about series of matches that I had in my career.
It was just natural chemistry. he had that all-American look to him and, of course, I was the epitome of evil, the number one most hated guy in wrestling at that time. So, it made for as you might say, a story-book type of series of events. Certainly, without a doubt, very memorable.
WrestlingINC: Your face turn after Magnum T.A.'s accident was another very memorable event. It's one of those things you don't see done very well nowadays. It was kind of a simple story done so well and it was such a big success. Did you have any idea that it would be as successful as it was?
Koloff: No, I don't think anybody -- certainly Crockett had many years of experience in the wrestling industry and Dusty as a booker certainly had lots of experiences as well. But, there's never been a Russian good guy, Russian babyface. So, I don't think any of us knew what to expect.