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Ivan Koloff 2009 Shoot Interview

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Item Number: 00648

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There is a small club of former WWWF world champions. Only a handful of pro wrestlers can stake claim to holding one of the most prestigious titles in all of wrestling. RF Video is honored to sit down with our second former WWWF world champion. RF Video is proud to present a new shoot interview with the "Russian Bear" Ivan Koloff.
 
Ivan Koloff is one of the most successful pro wrestlers of his generation. Spanning three decades, Ivan made his mark all over the world as one of the most successful heels. Ivan is one of only a few men who have headlined in main-events in the AWA, WWWF, and the NWA. The road to the top wasn't always full of roses and Ivan talks all about it to RF Video.
 
Ivan's love for wrestling began as a teenager. Ivan takes us back to the day he met Jack Wentworth and his early days as Red McNulty. Ivan's rivalry with Bruno Sammartino dates back years before their infamous Madison Square Garden title change. Ivan talks about his first match with Bruno and how his inexperience rattled the legend. Koloff also gives a revealing story about Bruno the man when Ivan showed up late for his big break with the WWWF.
 
Ivan goes into great detail about he morphed from Red McNulty to Ivan Koloff. What kind of lengths did Ivan go through to maintain his gimmick? How did he handle his Russian fans when Ivan didn’t know a lick of Russian? Ivan tells some great stories about the kind of heat he received in the early territories and how hot things got with the rabid fans. It definitely wasn't easy being the Russian Bear for Ivan Koloff.
 
Ivan goes into great detail about the circumstances surrounding his one-month reign as WWWF champion. When did he find out about the title change? Who recruited him to come back to the WWWF? What were his expectations? How did Ivan react to losing the belt so quickly? How did Bruno react to the quick change? This is one of the most fascinating parts of the interview considering how closed the business was back then.
 
Ivan talks about his first match with Verne Gagne and how real Verne took wrestling. Ivan also talks about his first of many trips to the Carolina territory. How did he come up with the Russian Chain Match? Ivan also talks about leaving for the outlaw IWA company. Ivan talks about the reaction of the industry and how he was blackballed for it. Ivan also talks about the one wrestler that gave him a shot when he was down on his luck.
 
Ivan has some great stories about his territorial travels. Ivan talks about meeting a young Ric Flair and how a young Ric Flair helped Ivan later in Charlotte. Ivan talks about working for Ole Anderson. What happened when Ole wanted to fine Ivan $500? What two wrestlers had a famous amateur match in a hotel room? What wrestler fought with Ivan on a plane and wound up biting Ivan in the neck?
 
Ivan also talks about many of his legendary bouts. Ivan talks about working with Bob Backlund. Find out why the Road Warriors nicknamed him the Machine. Ivan talks about his relationship with Nikita and what it was like working with Nikita. Ivan also talks about the matches he and the Russians had with the Rock N' Roll Express, and more.
 
Ivan talks in great detail about his journey to the lord. Ivan's story is a very inspirational one to say the least. Ivan also talks about adjusting to life after wrestling. Why doesn't Vince McMahon induct him into the Hall of Fame? What is he doing today? This is one of the most interesting interviews we have ever done at RF Video. Ivan Koloff breaks kayfabe on camera for the first time ever in this fun yet revealing shoot interview.
 

Were you a wrestling fan growing up

Memories as a fan

What drew you to wrestling

Was it a big part of your life growing up

How did you get started

Talk about training under Jack Wentworth

What was the hardest thing about training

Can you talk about your incident with Sailor Clark

Who is Red McNulty

Was it difficult to wrestle with a patch

Did any veterans take you under their wing early on

How important was it back then to know how to shoot

How did Red McNulty morph into Ivan Koloff

Did you notice how successful the character change would become right away

Did you study Russia and Russian traits

Who did you base your voice change on

Was it hard to stay in character with the voice outside of the ring

Memories of the IWA in Canada

Memories of matches with Johnnie Rougeau

Can you talk about the heat you had at this time

Memories of wrestling Dory Funk for the title

Memories of Frank Tunney

How did you wind up in the WWWF

Initial memories of Vince SR

Initial memories of Toots Mondt

How did you get paired with Cpt. Lou

Memories of Lou

Did you feel more pressure now in New York

Memories of your matches with Willie Farkas which were your first around the loop

How did the Russian Bear come about

You wrestled a series with Bruno rather quickly in Philadelphia, how did that come about

Memories of your first few matches with Bruno

What was Bruno like outside of the ring

Memories of Ernie Ladd

Memories of Vince JR

Memories of Gorilla Monsoon

Who did you travel with

Memories of your Russian Death matches with Bruno

Memories wrestling Batman in Pittsburgh

How soon did you know you were going to get the belt

Bruno and Billy Graham said that Vince SR knew his plans for a title change about a year in advance, how accurate is that

What was your meeting like when you found out you were getting the belt

What promises did they make you

How tight was the locker room during this time

Memories of matches with Chief Jay Strongbow

Memories of the night you won the title

How big of a deal in 1971 was it to be WWWF champion

Bruno has said that he thought he went deaf after you won the title because the building was stunned in silence, is that true

How did the rest of the locker room treat you as champion

How did your life change

You have documented your problems with alcohol, how bad were your problems when you became champion

Did you feel a lot of pressure to sustain the houses

Memories of your month long run as champion and favorite matches

How much heat did you have on you at the time

Did you know that you would be dropping the belt a month later

Memories of your match with Pedro

Bruno has also said that he was disappointed you didn’t get a longer run. Did he express that to you and the office.

Was it hard to stay in the territory and keep your heat after such a quick reign

Did you make a lot of money during your one month reign

Why do you think you didn’t at least get one run of rematches with Bruno

How much money do you think was left on the table there

It looks like they immediately went to a series with Blackjack Mulligan and Pedro rather than a series of rematches with you. Why do you think that is

How soon did you leave the WWWF after this

Did you leave amicably with Vince and Toots

Did you expect to return shortly

You went to the AWA after that, how did that come about

Memories of the territory

Memories of matches with Verne

Memories of Ray Stevens

Memories of Nick Bockwinkel

Did that 1-month run with the title make you a nationwide star for life

Anything stick out about your run in the AWA

Memories of Billy Robinson

Good road stories

How did you wind up going to Charlotte

Memories of George Scott as a booker

Memories of  teaming with Johnnie Valentine

Did he ever rib you

How was the Russian Chain Match born

How hot was the territory

Was it hard to adjust to working a region as opposed to big territories like the AWA and WWWF

Memories of a young Ric Flair

You have said you saw something special in Ric early on. Can you talk about that

You worked with Ric and helped him out when he got to Charlotte. Can you talk about that

Memories of your feud with Paul Jones

Memories of matches with Wahoo McDaniel

You abruptly left for the IWA. How did that come about

Initial thoughts on Eddie Einhorn

Did you think of the move as disrespectful to Vince SR

In hindsight do you wish you had stayed with Crockett

Did you leave on good terms

How much heat did you take from the boys and other promoters for jumping to an outlaw company

Memories of matches with Mil Masacaras

Why do you think it didn’t succeed

When you wanted to leave, were you blackballed

Why did you leave

How did you wind up in California with Billy Graham

Did you get any more heat for working with Billy

Was it hard mentally to be in this position after so many successful years in the business

How did you wind up working for Bruiser

What was he like in and outside of the ring

Memories of the Crusher

How big was the Bruiser/Sheik promotional rivalry

Did you ever work the Sheik

How did you wind up in Florida

Memories of Eddie Graham

Did it take you awhile to earn back the trust of the promoters

Memories of Dusty

Is it true a fan jumped you in the ring after an angle in Florida

Memories teaming with Ole Anderson in Georgia

Was it tough to get back into the Carolinas

How did you get back in

Why do you think you wound up making more of a home in this territory as opposed to all of the areas you had worked

How did the area change

How did Ric Flair change

Memories of matches with Rocky Johnson

Did you have to do jobs for awhile when you came back in as some sort of payback for leaving for the IWA

Memories of the “Battle of the Bullies”

Can you talk about the incident with you and Iron Sheik on the plane

Did you ever wind up getting into it with anyone else because of your drinking

Memories of your feud with Flair

Memories of your feud with Jimmy Valiant

Memories of Ole as a booker

How did you wind up back in the WWF

How had Vince SR changed at this time

Memories of being paired again Freddie Blassie

How had Vince JR changed

Memories of your series with Bob Backlund

Billy Graham said he felt that Bob was always paranoid in his matches. Do you agree

How different was the territory from the first time you were there

Memories of matches with Ivan Putski

Memories of Andre the Giant

Can you talk about your knee injury

You left pretty fast, what happened

Do you think there were just too many heels at the time

How did you wind up back in the Carolinas

Who made the call to turn you more into a tag team wrestler

Memories teaming with Don Kernoodle

Memories meeting Nikita

What were your thoughts when you were told about the gimmick

Thoughts on Dusty as a booker

When did you first try and change your style to adjust to you getting older

Memories of first teaming with Barry Darsow

How close were you and Nikita

How was traveling with Nikita

Memories of matches with the Road Warriors

Memories of matches with Dusty and Manny Fernandez

Did they give you a problem about selling for you

Memories of six-man matches with the Warriors and Dusty

Memories of matches with the Rock N Roll Express

Were you surprised at how hot the territory got

Memories of matches with Dusty and Magnum

Were you disappointed when Nikita turned babyface

Memories of matches with Nikita

Memories of the sale to Turner

Is it true that you were asked to relocate and you opted not to do so

Memories of wrestling for Herb Abrams UWF

Memories of the original ECW
When did you know your days as a fulltime wrestler were over

Was it a hard adjustment

Can you talk about your personal demons

Was it therapeutic to write your book

What do you do today

What do you miss most about the business

Any regrets

Do you think you should go into the WWE Hall of Fame

Thoughts on Bruno not going in

Thoughts on the lack of kayfabe today

What was it like to be indoctrinated into the world of video games

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