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