WrestlingINC: Having left the business at such a young age, did you feel any of the injuries from your pro wrestling days?
Koloff: Overall, I'm very, very healthy. I'm certainly not suffering from the repercussions of wrestling that a lot of the guys are. No knee replacement, no hip replacements needed with me.
I did get injured in that last match with Van Vader, i injured my neck and got a hernia. I had hernia surgery and was rehabilitating my neck. None of it was career-ending although they kind of played off that. 'Van Vader ended my career.' That was something that they were just able to play with.
But, I feel fortunate that, because i was able to walk away at such an early age, that I really have the optimal health that I do now. I've trimmed down quite a bit of weight just to maintain my health and mobility and that sort of thing. I feel great, I really do. My neck still gives me trouble from time to time but overall I feel great.
WrestlingINC: So, you didn't leave WCW the second time because of injury as is believed? You were planning on leaving wrestling anyway?
Koloff: I had planned to leave wrestling from the day I broke into wrestling by the time I turned 35. I was just on the verge of turning 34 and I had had the surgery. I certainly could have went back and wrestled some more because the neck injury wasn't career-ending. It was just 'I'll put caution on my side.' More than anything, I left wrestling by my choice as part of the goal from a young age and holding to what I stated when I broke into wrestling that I would be retired by 35.
WrestlingINC: After you retired, did you follow the product at all? Do you follow it at all today?
Koloff: You know, I didn't. It was a chapter in my life that I have fond memories of. I look back and I have fond memories. I'm still involved in and around it. Last night, I made a local appearance and I signed some autographs and I was a special referee. I'll still make some appearances with Legends signings and those sort of things on a very limited basis. I do make myself available.
Again, I didn't grow up dreaming of being a wrestler or an avid fan of it. So, when I walked away from it, i closed that chapter in my life. Although I'd catch bits and pieces of it here and there, i have not really followed it for 20 years.
WrestlingINC: Is the WWE Hall of Fame induction something that would interest you?
Koloff: Well, I've been inducted into a few Hall of Fames. Most notable, the Dan Gable & Lou Thesz Hall of Fame, which is quite an honor in itself. When you think of Dan Gable and some of the Olympic wrestlers that are apart of that Hall of Fame, Lou Thesz and his storied career in wrestling.
Certainly, if I was contacted for that, it would certainly be an honor to be apart of it. If they never contact me, I'm not going to lose any sleep over that in any way. What Vince McMahon has done with the business of pro wrestling and the height that he's taken it to is commendable.
If they contact me, it's not necessarily something i would turn down but would look to it as just another feather in my cap for what I hopefully gave the fans in terms of entertainment.
WrestlingINC: Yeah, I certainly think a class of yourself, Magnum T.A. and Sting, three guys that were never with WWE, would be fantastic.
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