Nikita Koloff discusses his path into wrestling and Ronda Rousey paying her dues.
Appearing on Busted Open Radio, Koloff told the story of how he got his start in wrestling and almost immediately becoming a top guy despite having no formal training.
"Road Warrior Animal made the phone call one morning and asked, 'What do you think about wrestling?' I said, 'I think you're doing great.' He was like, 'No, what do YOU think about being one?' I was training for a pro football tryout. Don Kernodle had approached him and asked, 'Do you know any big guys who wouldn't mind shaving their head and becoming a Russian?' He said, "I know the guy right now,'" recalled Nikita. "I did not grow up dreaming of being a wrestler, but when Animal made that call, I called Jim Crockett Jr, had a five-minute conversation, sight unseen and made sure he understood I had no wrestling background or training. He said, 'Be in my office June 4 with your head shaved.' I just showed up the day he said to be there, introduced me to Ivan (Koloff) and Don, and they literally put me right on the interview set. The next night, I'm wrestling on television and got an 11-second win in my first ever match."
Koloff was then asked about Ronda Rousey, who jumped from MMA to professional wrestling and immediately became the focal point of the women's division.
"My story is pretty unusual. I got a lot of flack as well," stated Nikita. "Ivan was instrumental in saying, 'Nikita, you didn't go through training school or camp or amateur wrestling but you've paid your dues in other ways.' (Ronda) has paid her dues in other ways and certainly deserves all the accolades she's getting, regardless of what others think. She's paid her dues. Maybe not in the wrestling ring, but she's paid her dues."
On last night's episode of Raw, Ronda stopped being the smiley babyface she's been portrayed as for over a year and finally snapped, turning into the badass Rousey fans loved or hated in UFC. Rousey is scheduled to defend her Raw Women's Title at WrestleMania 35 against Charlotte Flair. Becky Lynch could be added to the match if she defeats Charlotte at WWE Fastlane.