INDUCTION: This is Your Life, Nikolai Volkoff – The First – and Worst – of These Horrible Bits!

36 Submitted by on Thu, 01 June 2017, 20:00

WWF, 1986

I’ve heard a lot of folks claiming this week that the segment on Raw Monday night wherein Alexa Bliss did a This is Your Life mocking Bayley was the worst thing they’d ever seen.

To which I can only say, “Have you never read anything on this site?”

Now before I hop up on my soap box and make with the blah blah, I will acknowledge that ever since Bayley has been brought up to the main roster from NXT, she has lost nearly everything that made her special in the first place.  This actually happens quite a bit – look at Sami Zayn.  Same story.  That’s why when people are crying for different folks to be brought up to Raw or Smackdown, I always ask the same question: why?  I mean sure, the performers themselves will get an opportunity to make more money than they ever have, but more often than not, what happens down in NXT is superior to what is force fed to us every Monday night.  So from a selfish standpoint, I’d prefer any good wrestlers stay in the comfy confines of Full Sail.  Better my personal enjoyment than their bank accounts, right?

Bah, who asked you?

Back to Bayley, Alexa, and that atrocious segment on this past Raw.  One of the main reasons that so many people were crying foul is that one of the most fondly remembered and highest rated bits in WWE history was another This is Your Life, featuring The Rock and Mick Foley.  Though everyone loves it now, at the time there were a lot of folks who hated it and thought THAT was horrible too.

News flash – neither of those were in the same universe as the single worst This is Your Life ever on WWE television.  For that monstrosity we have to go back to a 1986 episode of Tuesday Night Titans…because ready or not, tonight’s induction is This is Your Life…Nikolai Volkoff!

Really.  These things are nothing new.  They’ve been around for over three decades, and for WWE, they all started right here.  Right here with Vince McMahon in a very laid back grey suit, who appears to be standing on his tippy toes in tiny white socks.  

Why is he not wearing shoes?  

And why are his feet so teeny?

While Vince gets a grand, Lord Alfred Hayes induction, our guest does not, as he is just sitting in the crowd with the biggest dorks 1986 has to offer.  

And I say that as the man who dressed like this for prom that very same year.

VA bit of backstory on Nikolai for you younger folks.  He was the obligatory evil Russian back when evil Russians were all over the place.  He was that for the WWF.  Unlike the NWA Rooskies at the time, Nikolai was at least born in eastern Europe.  Contrast that with the guys in Crockett – we had Ivan Koloff from Canada, as well as Vladimir Pietrov, Nikita Koloff and Krusher Kruschev, all from Minnesota.  The only reason I think I even brought this up is to once more note that this man…

Repo Man

…was once an EVIL RUSSIAN.  Kinda makes my brain hurt.

Vince tells Nikolai to settle back on the sofa as he is going to regale him with stories of his past.  Nikolai’s, not Vince’s.  Like you, I feel ripped off.  So we start, and…wait.  

I know this is supposed to be a game show set, but if you told me it was a funeral home I’d totally buy that.  Did I mention the creepy organ music?  You know, like they have at a funeral home?  Because we get oodles of that here.

Nikolai’s first secret guest is introduced by saying when he first met the big Russian, Volkoff was confused when someone said hello.  This causes Nikolai to smile broadly and say…

“Fred Blassie!”

Sure enough, the fashion plate makes his way out with handshakes and hugs.  Also, he has blue shoes that appear to be covering normal sized feet.  Seriously, compare those to Vince’s.  Heck, compare Nikolai’s to Vince’s.  

What is the deal with Vince McMahon’s size 3 feet?  And how have we never heard more about them?

Blassie does what any good manager would: put over his man like nobody’s business.  We learn that Nikolai was an undefeated prize fighter, and could “lift every weight in the entire gym.”  Further, he won the gold medal in the Olympics.

Vince: “What Olympics were those, Mr. Blassie?”

Blassie: “What do you care?  It was the Olympics!”

I miss the old pre-internet days when you could blatantly tell lies and no one ever really questioned it.

With that, Vince escorts Blassie off the couch…and elsewhere into the funeral home.  I mean seriously, look at that painting and those lamps.  There are plants there and everything.  I bet if we were watching this on an 8K television you could read the condolences card.

Our next guest tells us she and Nikolai spent summers together, going to Gorky Park and getting sick on the rides and about 500 other equally inane comments.  Nikolai notes she sounds familiar, but just can’t place who it is.  Finally, Vince says to just bring her out and we get…

…his sister Olga!  We get more of Nikolai’s backstory, as we learn that he is beloved by the children of his hometown because he makes them toy animals out of old weather beaten wood.  That’s random.  And kinda charming.  Like why did Salvatore Belomo get a segment showcasing how he made tiny boats out of old magazines and we never got footage of Nikolai’s driftwood giraffes?

Instead, we get Nikolai’s baby photo.

And now you also get to learn that horrible Photoshop jobs in Vince McMahon land are also nothing new.  They’ve been around on WWE television for over THIRTY YEARS.  And Vince laughed just as hard at them back then as he screams in his announcers ears to do now!

Olga isn’t entirely pleased with her brother, however, as she tells us that their parents had saved money to send her to ballet school…money that Nikolai stole to buy horrible suits like the one he was wearing on this show.  Eh, I could see him wearing that exact same outfit in his initial interview with Vince Sr.  I bet it got him got him a job as one of the Mongols, which led to a run as a WWWF tag team champion.  Guarantee that’s way more valuable than blowing money on Olga learning to do a pirouette.

We get to meet his wrestling coach next.  He explains Nikolai once picked up a broken tractor and carried it on his back to the next town.  He did the same thing with the wrestling team, “literally carrying them on his shoulders to Moscow!”  Considering Gorilla Monsoon used to claim that WWF shows were so packed folks were “literally hanging from the rafters at Boston Garden!”, I think folks in Vince’s company had zero clue what that word actually means.

The coach also was his math teacher, who explains that Nikolai may be strong, but he’s really stupid .  “He’ll always be two years old…because he can’t count any higher!”

See Fred in the background?  Yeah, that’s my reaction too.  Annoyed, angry, and wishing this was over.

Interspersed in this train wreck are highlights of a match between Nikolai and Swede Hansen.  It’s so awful that I am ready for Olga to hop back on the couch.  No joke, THIS is the finish:

I have zero idea what that was supposed to be.  Ironically, 30 years later I would see a somehow superior yet incredibly similar move in a match between Rebel and Shelly Martinez.

And I would still have no clue what it was.  In fact, the name of the file is “whateverthisis.gif”.  Seriously, right click, download it, see for yourself.

Murray Jensen, an account from Dayton, Ohio, is out next.  See, he was supposed to be a contestant on the Dating Game, but somehow wound up here.  Here on the TNT show with Nikolai Volkoff.  Vince “ad libs” and sets Murray up with Olga and the two run off together.  

Now that bit from this past Monday’s Raw, where Bayley’s first boyfriend wound up making out with her friend Tracy?  Yeah, this was basically the exact same thing.  Just as funny too.  

In fact, the next guest is Nikolai’s first girlfriend!  Wow!  Who says this company never learns?  

I mean, I do, but who else?  Everyone?

And who didn’t notice Vince totally checking out that girl’s backside as she dry humps Nikolai?  Again, everyone?

Vince: “Are you saying that Nikolai is quite a lover?”

Magda: “In the ring he was great.  In the bedroom, BLAH!  He thought that love making was like a head butt and a body slam!”

Blassie in the background: “Hit her!”

Where’s Michael Cole to laugh his fool head off at that one?

The next blast from Nikolai’s past is the infamous Agent 36, apparently one of the KGB’s top men.  An unknown KGB fact is that they apparently deck themselves out in black latex.  He claims that he brought Nikolai over to the USA to be a top level secret agent.  If you ever notice that Lana’s accent sometimes fade in and out, she ain’t got nuthin’ on this guy.  Turns out Nikolai was a terrible agent, as he failed to determine where the President of the United States lives, as after three years he could only narrow it down to somewhere east of the Rocky Mountains.

Volkoff’s tag team partner the Iron Sheik is next, and boy howdy after those last few guests am I glad to see him.  Nikolai is as well.  In fact I dare say he is filled with far more joy than I as he appears to be staring right at his crotch while grinning from ear to ear.  

And I ain’t the only one who noticed, as Vince hurriedly attempts to cover up Sheik’s weiner parade with his robe.  We then are rather quickly off to footage featuring the pair in action.

In the ring, I mean.

The show ends with all of Nikolai’s friends coming up and giving him a giant group hug.  Thankfully, Sheik has seen fit to put his robe back on as well, which truly makes this a happy ending.

Now you may have read this and thought, “Eh, that doesn’t sound so bad.  The segment with Alexa and Bayley was way worse.”  I answer any such argument with this simple graphic:

Your eyes aren’t deceiving you – this thing pulled off the double duty of being never-ending and never funny, chocking in at FORTY FOUR MINUTES.  That means that when it originally aired, with commercials, This is Your Life Nikolai Volkoff was indeed an entire HOUR in length.

In comparison, This is Your Life Bayley was right around ten minutes.  Now imagine watching that SIX TIMES IN A ROW.  

And with it being somehow even worse!


No contest.

I should note that this isn’t a challenge, WWE – it’s time to put this life to death once and for all!

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Yeah, you know...the WrestleCrap guy. Been here since before day 1, I have. You can hang out with me on Facebook. (I'm on there quite a bit) or follow my exploits on Twitter (I'm on there not quite so often). Thanks, and Keep on Crappin'!
36 Responses to "INDUCTION: This is Your Life, Nikolai Volkoff – The First – and Worst – of These Horrible Bits!"
  1. BaltoJim says:

    That suit makes him look like Curly from the Three Stooges. ‘Cept I don’t remember Curly ever doing a package check on Moe…

  2. Tony says:

    So you accuse Gorilla Monsoon of not knowing what “literally” means, then turn right around and misuse the word “ironically”. Bit of a hypocrite.

    • Al Lobama says:

      Mistaking “irony” for “coincidence” is a common error in the English language. George Carlin used to get ten minutes of material out of pointing out the proper use of the two words. ; )

  3. Cameron A. says:

    I’m surprised WWE hasn’t spearheaded a revival of This Is Your Life on an NBCUniversal channel, or at least WWE Network. The WWE is the only company that still spoofs the damn thing as though Ralph Edwards is still alive.

  4. Hulk6785 says:

    An hour long!? Good God!

  5. Andrew Elder says:

    I don’t know I could go for Sheik telling Alexa or Bayley how he was going to humble them and other things, we’d probably get those sorry folks technical difficulties deals but it’d be hilarious

  6. James says:

    About NXT…is this WWE’s new butt monkey, since there’s no WCW to misuse the stars of, just for not being WWE Proper creations? Is Vince that anal about having to create his own stars that the part of his own company he doesn’t have total control over is treated as an outsider? Even ex TNAers are treated better.

    • Zeke says:

      This may or may not be true, but from would I heard, the burying of NXT stars is the fault of Kevin Dunn. Apparently, since NXT is Triple H’s baby, he sees wrestlers from their as people who are loyal to Trips, and seeing how Hunter allegedly hates him and wants to fire him once he takes over, Dunn sees this as a problem.

      This hasn’t been confirmed to be true or not, but if it is, that would be reason #416,354 to hate Kevin Dunn.

      • Arcane Azmadi says:

        That sounds 10% plausible. That woman-hating sycophantic asshat Dunn WOULD ruin the careers of everyone who’d been a megastar in NXT solely to spite HHH and shore up his own position with Vince.

        • Arcane Azmadi says:

          Sorry, that should have been 100%. I caught that and thought I’d fixed it, but apparently not.

        • Doc 902714 says:

          Um… do know that Alexa Bliss (a former NXT Talent) is Raw Women’s Champion, right!!?

    • Torn Quadruple HGH says:


  7. Christopher Haydu says:

    What are you trying to say, RD? That merchandise doesn’t get repossessed in Russia? (In Soviet Russia, bike repossesses you!) It would make for killer vignettes to explain how one goes from a life of Krushing to Smashing to Repossessing to being a Hole in One golfer.

  8. CF says:

    Iron Sheik’s trunks — perhaps sometime someone can do an induction of “times when far more of a wrestler than is seemly is visible”….

    NXT is what one gets when Corporate Isn’t Paying Attention.

  9. Zeke says:

    A FREAKING HOUR?! Sweet Jesus that must have been utter torture to sit through.

  10. Sean Bateman says:

    The only good parts were Freddie Blassie and Shiekie Baby. The others will be humbled by Shiekie baby in the camel clutch and Nikoali hopes he breaks their back.

  11. John C says:

    That picture of Sheiky baby explains why he never liked using the small package for a maneuver.

  12. Raven7309 says:

    Hate to break it to you RD, but our old pal Krusher Kruschkev/Repo Man wasn’t from the USSR. He was an American who became a Russian sympathizer when he tagged with the Koloffs.

  13. Gabriel Benson says:

    The old “I’ll never get that hour of my life back” is much of this site. Thanks for sitting thru it for us RD and friends so we don’t have to.

  14. El Atomico says:

    OMG I had totally forgotten about this until now!

  15. MistaMaddog says:

    So that’s the beer bottle Iron Shiek uses to make people humble Old Country Way…

  16. Alexandru says:

    I think it’s safe too say that “This is your Life” Segments are one of the absolute worst plotl ines WWE has ever come up with. They’ve been bad to just awful. The Rock/Mankind one went on way too long. Only reason it’s remembered is because of the ridiculously high rating it got, not because it was good

    • John says:

      Good to know I’m not the only one who doesn’t care for the Rock/Mankind segment. I get annoyed every time WWE brings up the Rock/Mankind “This is your life” segment and how it was so highly rated. I didn’t care for it then and I don’t care for it now. To me it just really wasn’t that funny but what really killed it was that it went on far too long. Of all the great moments on WWE TV over the years that have happened knowing this is one of the highest segments makes me cringe.

  17. Shockwave says:

    Well at least the segment had Freddie Blassie.

  18. Caveman says:

    “And I say that as the man who dressed like this for porn that very same year.”


  19. Adam says:

    This certainly sounds worse… but it also had Freddie Blassie. So I guess it’s mathematically even.

    • phillip sanders says:

      What? No mention of the other two bad this is your life segments with Mick Foley hosting? One for the rock and one for John Cena. Now that was horrible.

  20. Guest says:

    Don’t know what’s worst this segment or Vince wearing those shoes with that suit the only thing that would male that worst if Vince threw on a cowboy hat.

  21. D Bone says:

    As far as Vince and his tiny feet… Only thing I can compare it to would be Drumpf and his tiny hands…

  22. Terry McC says:

    I suspect Vince is wearing spats there, you know how up he is with contemporary fashion

  23. Von Wer says:

    The guy who played Nikolai’s coach was the same guy who was Dr. Sigmund Ziff (George Steele’s hypnotist) & the explorer from the Fuji Chan skit & Gorilla Monsoon’s Director friend who helped set up Bobby Heenan a few years later…I’ve always wondered where they found these people to play these very strange characters.

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