Nikita Koloff Talks Almost Signing With WWE, His Feud With Magnum TA, WWE HOF, His New Show
I certainly didn't because I was just two and a half years in the business at the time. i don't think anyone could have predicted that. Certainly, from what I'm told, it's one of the absolute best kept secrets in terms of a turn that I doubt could even be done anymore with the internet and the exposure of wrestling. But, at the time, I believe it was the best kept secret in wrestling.
Of course, I think that had a lot to do with the success of it. Teaming with Dusty as the Superpowers and then of course pitting us against the Four Horseman in whatever combination lead to the success. Pro Wrestling Illustrated, I say this, too: Bill Apter was instrumental in helping with that as well. They did that cover shot where I cried a tear for Magnum T.A. I think it was the first time that the fans thought that the heartless Nikita Koloff actually had a heart. That played a big part in the turn as well.
WrestlingINC: What did you like better: being a babyface or being a heel?
Koloff: You know, I get asked that a lot. Honestly, I enjoyed both equally. I'm glad that I got the opportunity to play on both sides of the fence and experience both. I don't know that I loved one better than the other. They were both a great experience.
WrestlingINC: You eventually left wrestling all together after your wife at the time contracted Hodgkins disease.
Koloff: Correct. I took a sabbatical at the top, main event level to take care of her during her illness, and later on her passing at a young age, before I returned to the ring.
WrestlingINC: When you did return on the national stage with WCW, did you have the mindset back in 1991 that it was going to be a long-time thing or were you just going to see how you felt?
Koloff: Well, when I broke into the business -- and, of course, many have coined me the Barry Sanders of pro wrestling for those who are avid sports/football fans. I walked away really in my early-30's, what is the peak, many times, of wrestlers. I walked away on top of the business which was a goal of mine.
I broke in and I had been at it for about two weeks, and I said, 'I'll be out of this business by the time I'm 35.' it was just a childhood thing of mine, whatever success I achieved in life, I wanted to walk away as a champion on top of the business. Not knowing it was wrestling when I was young but, nevertheless, I was determined to walk away.
So, I was 33 on my way to turning 34 when I made that decision to walk away from the career. I certainly look back with fond memories and no regrets from doing that.
WrestlingINC: Did you enjoy your second stint with WCW?
Koloff: Business changed. It was a mom-and-pop operation with Crockett and became a chapter in Ted Turner's portfolio. He loved wrestling but it stepped into corporate America.
The bell-to-bell time, I loved that and enjoyed that aspect of it. But it became much more political and it was less fun, if you will, outside of the wrestling ring. I did not enjoy that aspect of it. So, when I made the decision to return to WCW, I realized I enjoyed the wrestling part of it... plus, I was newly-married and Victoria had two children, Teryn and Tawni. Now, I was a dad for the first time and I was married. To leave the family each time and to go on the road was harder and harder as well. So, that played a factor in it, too.