A series of severe challenges and seemingly overwhelming odds could not keep Pavel Kozlov from achieving success in professional wrestling and acting. His undeniable talent, charisma, and indomitable will now serves as an inspiration to many.
Kozlov was the only child of parents who were both math professors at the University of Moscow, Russia. Tragedy struck Kozlov early in his life. He lost his father when he was only 13 years old. As expected of such an experience on someone so young, Pavel was greatly affected.
Around this time, Kozlov discovered American professional wrestling. One night, his mother called out to him from another room to go see what was on TV. It was a WWF show translated into Russian. Kozlov was instantly mesmerized. However, even his pursuit of this new-found interest was wrought with difficulties. Unlike in America, pro wrestling was not yet developed in Russia. What little that was shown on TV only aired once a week and very late at night for only 45 minutes. Determined, Pavel recorded each one using VHS tapes so he could rewatch them again and again.
The lack of schools to learn wrestling in meant that Kozlov had to settle with what was available to him. He trained in self-defense and kickboxing. Although he was already engaged in fighting and sports, he still yearned for professional wrestling. He was drawn to the story telling and characterization in wrestling that was absent from other combat sports. It became clear to him that he needed to move to the USA if he really wanted to become a pro wrestler.
Leaving Russia and moving to America pretty oved to be the toughest challenge of Kozlov’s life. This involved being separated from his mother. He also resolved to drop out of his final year of study in journalism at the University. But as he has proved time and time again, his fighting spirit was enough to drive him to fully commit to pursuing his dream.
Life in America was expectedly hard. Kozlov only knew very little English. Whereas in Russia he had a job in journalism, in America he had to wash dishes and flip burgers in fast food chains. At the same time, Kozlov wasted no time training in pro wrestling. He enrolled at the WWA4 school in Atlanta, Georgia where he studied wrestling for a year and a half. He also participated in various independent wrestling matches. After leaving WWA4, Pavel trained at Team 3D Academy of Professional Wrestling in Orlando, Florida.
In spite of, or perhaps because of, all the obstacles that he had to overcome, Kozlov now enjoys the fulfilment of his dreams. In 2015, he made his first wrestling appearance for the WWE. He is now recognized as Victor Romanoff, the Siberian Fighting Spirit.
Kozlov has also set his sights on Hollywood and has found success there. His talents and drive have earned him roles in a number of short films, TV shows, and independent productions. In both wrestling and acting, Kozlov’s fighting spirit is an undeniable inspiration to many.