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 - Vince Fahey

Nelson Scott Simpson, better known to wrestling fans as Nikita Koloff, dreamed about being a professional football player. Throughout high school and college, this was his goal. However, due to several injuries and a small twist of fate, he ended up becoming a professional wrestler.

Lucky us.

Nikita Koloff, especially as a heel, was a monster in the ring. With his large stature, bald head, ominous glare, and guttural Russian language, Koloff was not someone a fan wanted to meet in a dark alleyway. However, within a few years of his debut, Koloff ended up turning face, and becoming one of the most beloved heroes in pro wrestling.

It started back in 1984…. Simpson had graduated from college and was looking to enter the NFL. He moved to Georgia and lived with a friend who just happened to be a pro wrestler with Georgia Championship Wrestling. As Simpson went to matches with his friend, he came very interested in the sport, attending matches whenever he could while continuing to work out during the day. After a brief time, he moved back north to be closer to his family. Gordon Solie, famed wrestling announcer and a friend of Simpson's, had been able to line up a tryout with the USFL's Tampa Bay Bandits. At the same time, Simpson got a call from another friend, Road Warrior Animal, who told him that Jim Crockett Promotions was looking for new wrestlers. Though Simpson had zero wrestling experience, he called Crockett, figuring if nothing else, he still had a tryout with the Bandits. Crockett and Simpson spoke and the eventual outcome was that Simpson was to report to Crockett in early June with his head shaved.  

Crockett was impressed with Simpson's build. At the time, he stood around 6'2", and weighed in at 285 pounds of cut muscle. Crockett set Simpson up with veteran pro wrestlers Ivan Koloff and Don Kernoodle. Koloff was, of course, an evil Russian and Kernoodle was a U.S. traitor. At the time, they were the NWA World Tag Team champions, and they were looking for a third person to join them. Simpson fit the bill. He was brought in as Nikita Koloff, nephew to Ivan… he learned to look mean and speak with a garbled accent that was supposed to sound Russian. And he was about to become a professional wrestler.  More...

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