Friday, January 09, 2009

A Piece of my Mind Jan 9th 2008 by "The Big Cheese" Sal Corrente

I have been watching the angle play out between Shawn Michaels and JBL. I am not sure where they are going with it so I won’t comment on it. I do want to talk about what came to me as I was watching Shawn give one of his speeches during this angle. I realized that about twenty years ago I came up with the same basic angle for Nikita Koloff.

I think that this happened around nineteen eighty nine. Ric Flair was the booker for WCW. At the time he was looking for Nikita to come back to work. It was not really something that Nikita wanted to do. I was aggressively pushing him to go back to work. This was sometime after Nikita’s wife Mandy had passed away from cancer. Her struggle was well known throughout the wrestling industry and the Carolinas.

As I remember, Gary Hart was managing in the territory at the time and getting a pretty good push. I thought about it and went to Nikita with this idea. I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy sell because he really wasn’t ready to go back to work anyway. I suggested that he propose this angle to Flair.

He had just gone through an experience that no one should have to go through. His wife Mandy was a beautiful girl that was taken from him by Hodgkin’s disease. It was fairly well known that the medical bills were enormous. I suggested that Gary Hart hire him as a bodyguard with the understanding that he sees to it that no one is allowed to get their hands on Gary Hart. He would have taken the job because he was so overwhelmed with bills he had no choice.

The angle would play out week after week with Gary Hart berating guys during interviews. The babyface talent would want to nail Gary Hart but Nikita would intervene. He wouldn’t get involved physically but he would talk the talent into leaving Gary alone because Nikita really needed this money. It would have involved physical altercations that Nikita would eventually settle down. He wouldn’t attack the babyfaces. He was always to be the voice of reason. When Gary Hart would complain that Nikita refused to get physically involved, Nikita would point out that he was fulfilling his obligation.

In time, Gary Hart would start interrupting Sting interviews and berating him. As each week went by it would get to Sting a little bit more. The segment would always end with Sting taking his friends problem into consideration and walking away from the situation. At some point Gary would be confronting Sting and actually slap him. At that point Sting goes in for the attack. After a slight hesitation Nikita would attack Sting from behind and lay him out. It would be a brutal attack that would leave Sting a bloody and beaten victim to “The Russian Sickle”.

When the following week comes around, Gary Hart announces that Nikita failed to perform since Sting put his hands on him and was being released from his contract. When Nikita responds he tells Gary Hart that he made a serious mistake. He trusted people like Sting to have compassion for his problem. He now realizes he was wrong and that if given another opportunity he will be “The Russian Nightmare” that everyone remembers. He reminds Gary Hart of all of his success including things like his best of seven series against Magnum TA. He promises complete and total allegiance to Gary Hart since he is the only one that attempted to help him out of his problems.

Of course, at that point, the buildup would be to an eventual match with Sting as Nikita terrorized the territory. I was reminded of this because of the Shawn Michaels angle. I guess I was way ahead of my time but it never took place. As I said, Nikita didn’t want to go back to work and asked for way more than Flair was able to pay him. I think the angle would have been hot at the time since the real facts could have caused the situation that was playing out. I guess I can sit back and watch an angle somewhat similar and see how it plays out. It was an interesting trip down memory lane for me.

The photo with this article is from WrestleReunion 1 in Tampa Fl. The Funks Dory and Terry were just about to face Americas Most Wanted(James Storm and Chris Harris) for the NWA Tag Team Championship. It would be the last time the Funk Bros would challenge for the Tag Team Titles.

This has been a piece of my mind