<span itemprop="name">Ivan Koloff 2009 Shoot Interview</span>
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Ivan Koloff 2009 Shoot Interview

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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