NWA legend "The Russian Nightmare" Nikita Koloff was recently interviewed on the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling podcast. Koloff talked about his wrestling career including working with Magnum T.A, The Russians, Lex Luger, Sting, The 4 Horsemen, being part of War Games, meeting Vince McMahon, and more.
Nikita said he turned down Ric Flair’s offer to drop the NWA title to him in order for Nikita to come back to wrestling after he left.
“I had a wife die of cancer, Mandy," Koloff said. "I actually left wrestling at one point in the midst of my main event career. I walked away on a sabbatical to take care of her. She was diagnosed with cancer at age 24. It went into remission and then came back with a vengeance, and when it came back, that’s when I stepped away to take care of her and nurture her through that. She passed away at the age of 26."
Koloff says Flair invited him to his house to convince him to return to wrestling. Koloff said, "It was actually just a few weeks after her passing that he invited me down to his house in Charlotte. We had lunch by the poolside and he offered me the World Heavyweight Title. It just didn’t feel right. I would say maybe a few weeks later, or a couple months later, I can’t remember the exact time frame, but he invited me down again, and offered it to me a second time. Looking back, no regrets in doing that, and I established my character where I didn’t feel I necessarily needed a belt to be over.”
Koloff eventually returned to do some NWA TV tapings in 1990 and he went back to WCW in 1991 and retired at the end of 1992.