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Man Up! - Wrestling With the Devil

It's Time to Man Up! / Nikita Koloff
The Truth Network Radio
September 26, 2020 1:00 pm

Man Up! - Wrestling With the Devil

It's Time to Man Up! / Nikita Koloff

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September 26, 2020 1:00 pm

Have YOU ever wrestled with the Devil? Wrestling superstar Lex Luger went toe-to-toe with the Enemy in the ring his whole career - and he thought he was in a losing fight. Drugs, alcohol, women...and even a few run-ins with the law. Until, by the Grace of God, he gave his life to Christ! Only with Christ in his corner did Lex realize the fight was already won.

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This is Rodney from the Masculine Journey Podcast where we explored manhood within Jesus Christ. Your chosen Truth Network Podcast is starting in just a few seconds.

Sit back, enjoy it, share it, but most of all, thank you for listening and choosing the Truth Podcast Network. Welcome to the show, Nikita Kolov, The Russian Nightmare. Well, no, let's be accurate. The Devil's Worst Nightmare. Hey, I have a question for you. Have you ever wrestled with the devil? Well, my guest today is none other than WWE, WWF, WCW Wrestling Superstar and a World Champion, The Total Package, Lex Luger. Separated from the wrestling world, he and I for 11 years, the Lord reunited us back together 14 years ago as tag team partners, not in the squared circle, but as ministry partners. I want to welcome to the show, not The Total Package, but The Whole Complete Package, Lex Luger. Lex, it's so great to have you with me today. Thank you so much for that wonderful introduction, my friend. Glad to be here.

Well, Lex, of course, we had a lot of history back in the day. You had a stellar career back in the 80s and 90s, even leading into the decade of the 2000s. Tell our listeners out there, just a quick synopsis of perhaps what that career was like before we talk about your transition in 2006.

Can you give our listeners just a snapshot of that? Sure. Wrestling-wise, you mean, or my life in general? Well, just your career. Yeah, just a snapshot of your career with WCW, WWF, WWE.

Sure. I had 15 years. My career was similar to yours.

It rose quickly. It was like the 4th of July fireworks, and that never went out. Won U.S. titles, world titles, world tag team titles. It was just a wonderful, incredible ride as far as my career wrestling line.

It was really something. What would you say were maybe one or two highlights of that career that really just, even when I ask that question, just jump out at you or just stand out when you look back? I get that question asked a lot when I'm interviewed. What would be your answer to one particular match or one particular thing, or maybe two that are a great memory or stand out for you?

Wow, that's a good question. After 15 years like I had, maybe three things pop out. Early in my career was being a member of the infamous Four Horsemen, which in its day was like a top bad guy group with Ric Flair, Tully Blanchard, Arn Anderson, and J.J. Dillon as a manager. That was a real high point in my career. When I look back now, I would say also my Lex Express tour with what's WWE now, my slam deal kazoo on the USS Intrepid on July 4th. That was just an incredible moment. Then I would say the third thing would be the Monday Night Wars in general, but specifically when I wrestled Hulk Hogan for the world title, I ended up winning live on national TV back in 97.

My career is from 86 to 01, but back in 97, I won the world title live on Monday night during the Monday Night Wars. That was definitely a big moment as well. Those three kind of stand out. There were so many though, Nick.

I called Nikita and Nick, everybody, but it's really hard to narrow it down. It was just full of incredible highlights. It really was. Well, and of course, I can relate to that.

I understand that even as I'm asked that question on different interviews. And boy, just those three you mentioned, though, certainly I'm sure for the avid wrestling fan out there has just brought them back to some wonderful memories. Now, I'm trying to decide, am I disappointed?

Am I not disappointed? You and I have a lot of history together, but I'm joking, of course, but we did have a pretty memorable match that comes to mind in Greensboro, North Carolina, if I'm not mistaken, in a cage where you became the United States Heavyweight Champion. I'm sure you recall that event that night. Yeah, that was, the audience there was always the crowd there and that talent was incredible. That was quite the moment.

They weren't real happy with the result of the time, if I remember right, but it was also definitely a highlight for sure. Although you ruptured a disc in my neck, by the way. I've forgiven you, but I always blamed you for rupturing a disc in my neck.

I was injured for three, four months after that match. Well, I'm going to borrow a phrase from you, wrestling is not an exact science. I'm going to take a page out of your book, and of course, for the listener out there, it certainly was not intentional by any means, and thankfully, you recovered from it and did go on to have a stellar 15-year career. But that brings back a fond memory to me. I remember that match in Greensboro and then, of course, many others and presenting a brand new US belt to you in Phoenix, Arizona at one point. But more than anything, I'm just grateful for the opportunity to be able to step in the ring with you and especially with the career that you had. So thank you for sharing some of those wrestling memories with us though. And by the way, as a side note on that, I jokingly always blamed you for the injury, but people don't realize, they talk about wrestling and they go, is it real? Is it not real? The injuries are, and at any moment in a match, you might take 23, what we call a bump, whether it's on the floor or you get suplexed or slammed or thrown into the cage that night.

Any one of those, it may not have had anything to do with you as my opponent. Anytime we fall or take what we call the bump, then we can and do get seriously injured. It was definitely not a desk job for 15 years. I know you can relate to that as well. Yeah, absolutely. And I think more and more people are appreciating the fact that not just our athletic abilities and understanding now that it is a form of entertainment, that there is a very physical side to that business and that injuries are very real and some of which have been career ending for some guys. And so a very valid point for you to point out to our listeners. And so appreciate you sharing a little bit of that portion of your life. And I would step away from wrestling at the tail end of 1992 and and officially in my mind, retire from wrestling.

And in the beginning part of 1993, no fanfare of sorts. It was just a decision I made walking away under my own terms. Some have coined me the Barry Sanders of pro wrestling. The football fan may appreciate or understand that. But that decision of mine in walking away, I know sometimes when you introduce me, I have to kind of chuckle to myself because if I'm not mistaken, you're like, that guy, you've said in the past, that guy's an idiot.

What's he doing walking away? You remember your thoughts when you first heard that I stepped away from pro wrestling? Well, the background to that for people who don't know, wrestling at that time was always always big with wrestling fans, obviously around the world. But it it exploded like globally with the expansion of what's WWE now and we just weren't totally global. And in turn, our contracts what we were paid exploded with it.

And our our pay scale like just, I mean, it was incredible how much more money we started making all of a sudden. And you walked away just when that period of time happened. So I thought you'd lost your mind without a doubt.

Walk away from that kind of money. I couldn't understand and thought you were crazy. Right. And I actually appreciate when, you know, sometimes when you're introducing me, when we're tag teaming together as we're doing today, and it, because it just brings me back, it brings me back to those days and, and for not me, not knowing what, what the future held what the future held for me at that particular time. Now, as you know, and many other listeners know, or maybe some out there listening don't know, you know, it'd be about 11 months later that I would surrender my heart to Jesus, find myself at an altar, giving my life to the Lord, 17 October, 1993.

And that would set me, that would set me on a trajectory. That would set me on a path that I would say never in a million years would I ever have thought I would be doing what I'm doing now, whether it's the broadcasting of, of this show or traveling now the globe, as you mentioned, traveling globally and sharing the good news of the Gospel. But that decision separated you and I from, from essentially thinking 1993, I think I saw you again at the Charlotte Coliseum in 1995, but then I wouldn't see you again this near as I can recall until June of 2006 back in Phoenix, Arizona. But not this, this time, not, not, not to hit you upside the head with a belt, but we were at a conference hosted by Larry and Wendy Karachuk called AIM International, Athletes International Ministries, and you and I would be, would come back together, meet once again basically about 11 years later at this Christian Athletes Conference, because something happened in your life in April of 2006.

Do you want to take a couple minutes and just share for our listeners what happened? Yeah, I was in June, as you're talking about, of 2006, I was a brand new baby Christian. Just six weeks prior to that conference, I got saved on a road to Damascus salvation. I was, back in my wrestling career, obviously went well, made tons of money, bought lots of stuff, had a very, what people would look at as a very successful full life, but I always felt like I, there was something missing. I felt like I had a full life but an empty heart, but I did not have any idea what was missing because I grew up unchurched and never had any kind of relationship or really knowledge of what I called religious people, and in the course of feeling like I had an empty heart, even though I was supposed to by worldly standards have everything, I started even pursuing what Solomon in the book Ecclesiastes calls the pleasure-seeking chasing the wind chase. When I shoot at everything but still felt an emptiness, I chased after with a lot of self-destructive things, which I'm sure a lot of people are familiar with, so-called young, successful, sometimes famous people, drugs, alcohol, women, and I went down the, what I know now is basically the path of destruction was really in a life and death struggle with those things. From around 01 through 06, even ended up in and out of jail on felony drug charges, my life had taken a complete downward spiral behind the scenes, which a lot of people didn't know.

I hid it well from a lot of people, but it really gone downhill and I was really at that point, at any point my life could have ended. So, last time I went to jail, I met a jail chaplain named Pastor Steve Baskins, and he introduced me to a pastor who ended up becoming my original spiritual dad. The week before I got saved, Dr. Frady, I went to his service and heard the end of the Sermon on the Mount, which was Matthew 7, 24 through 27, talking about is your life built on the sand or the rock, basically.

Jesus being the rock, and there's a great quote by Edward Mote, said, on Christ the solid rock I stand, all else is sinking sand. I realized in that service that my whole life listening to Dr. Frady speak was built on sinking sand, that's why I had this emptiness inside of me. He did an altar call, it was a Baptist church, and I ran out the back door, my heart was pounding, I didn't know what happened, the Holy Spirit had gotten a hold of me, but I ran out the door and thought I'd escaped, but obviously I hadn't. The Holy Spirit followed me back to the hotel I was living at the time, and a week later in the same hotel room that I could have overdosed so many times in the lifestyle I was living back then, in the high-risk lifestyle I was living, Pastor Steve came over, I called him up, said I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep, something's wrong with me.

He came over, shared the Gospel with me, we got down on our knees in that same hotel room, over the same couch I used to party on, and I gave my life to Jesus and surrendered to him, and he became my Lord and Savior, and my life has never been the same since. That emptiness was gone. Yeah, I like how you say, that's such a powerful story, and I like how sometimes you say you feel like you were power-washed from the inside out.

Oh yeah. Yeah, just that cleansing, and you know, it's such an amazing story, and for those who maybe aren't familiar with your story, I mean, you just are giving us a snapshot today. I mean, there's so much more to your story, and that's in book form, right?

People could get that book out there, right? What's the name of your book? Wrestling with the Devil. Wrestling with the Devil, and you know, if you're out there, you want to hear more of Lex's story. I'm telling you, he's just giving you a glimpse into his life, and there really is so much more that I believe that you'll find fascinating about his story.

Wrestling with the Devil, so you know, go on Amazon, go where you need to go to find that book, bookstores, and get yourself a copy of that book, and so you have this life-changing changing transformation. This, if you will say, this spiritual birth, which by the way, speaking of birth, let me just wish you a happy birthday today, my friend. Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you.

There you go. I was joking around with some people today. My earthly birthday, no dishonor to my mother, who I dearly love, but this was the day I was, I was, it was my earthly birth, so I'm born in iniquity, I know now, and really my special day now is really April 23rd, my spiritual birth, my transformation by the grace and mercy of God into eternity. So I really might, like, April 23rd's become my big deal of birthday celebration, and my other birthday has become sort of a side note, so to speak, of my worldly earthly birth.

Yes. Well, and that's what, I just love the Lord connecting us together because we're in many ways so much alike, and certainly on the same page with that as well. You know, my birthday's in, my physical birth is in March, but you know, 17 October 1993 is the date that I celebrate more than anything, and so I still wanted to at least wish you that happy birthday, but speaking of that, through that decision, Pastor Steve Baskins, Doc Frady, becoming a mentor of yours, the Lord reconnect, reconnecting us back together in Arizona there at the AIM Conference, and from that point on, from 2006, really till present day, you know, we've just, again, when I said in my introduction, I really meant it, and you're one of my biggest inspirations because of not only just how you've walked your journey with Jesus out, but even the adversity and things that you have gone through, and overcome. Just like the Bible talks about, we are more than overcomers. Can you take just a minute, Lex, and again, I know it's just a snapshot, but you know, not long after your salvation, you had pretty, you had something that happened that really opened your eyes to really what could be the brevity of life, but even the significance of health, right? Can you just take a minute and share that with our listeners? Yeah, for some people that want to, when they receive their salvation, they think everything's just gonna be hunky-dory.

That's when things could really start happening. My life with drama didn't change right then and there, for sure. I had, God placed so many, I have to say, prior to that, a year and a half leading up to my injury, my spinal cord injury, which is I know what you're referring to, God placed so many people, Pastor Steve Baskin, Dr. Frady, just giants of yourself. You became a wonderful, incredible mentor to me, who poured in my life and discipled me, and watered me, and my roots grew down deep, and you taught me how to pray, and to read God's word, how to apply it to my life. So thankfully, I had some kind of foundation because a year and a half later, in late 07, I had a spinal cord injury, and it was, I woke up in a hotel room paralyzed, and the neck down, I had done a heavy shoulder trap and neck workout the night before, and something didn't feel right. I woke up paralyzed, neck down, neck down, couldn't move, had to bash my hotel room door down, shipped me off 911 to emergency room out in California, Stanford, which is an incredible place, and the prognosis and diagnosis was a swelling on my spinal cord, they're not sure still this day why, and they said I was going to be a quadriplegic the rest of my life, and I need 24 hour care, bathing, fed, need someone to help me do everything for the rest of my life. So that was quite the shock, I thought I was going to be this big warrior for Christ, and all of a sudden I was told I was going to be a quadriplegic the rest of my life.

Well, it's quite a story, and again, I know we've got just a few minutes left here, and that's why I'm encouraging you to pick up a copy of Lex's book and really read his whole story. But from that, the Lord just connecting our hearts together, we began to do a variety of different ministries together in 2015. We actually spent almost a year together, living under the same roof, and spent time just in front of the Lord and seeking God's direction and guidance, and God birthed a vision for us. He's given us favor with men, and so we have a real heart for men. Again, another connection point for us, and out of that came some conferences and now a camp which you and I are blessed to be able to co-facilitate called Man Camp, and then one-day conferences, the local churches and communities will bring that conference thing called Man Up.

Imagine that, it's time to man up. But these camps, Lex, you want to just take a second and just share with the folks, you know, the vision there is to bring men in and equip them, and what's our goal of the Man Camp? For men listening out there, why should they consider coming to Man Camp outside of the opportunity to spend time, of course, with you and I? But outside of that, we encourage men to consider coming to Man Camp. I've been to some great men's conferences, and you, by the way, have an incredible, I feel, gift from God with men in particular. And so I always was, we can tag team partners, but you were always a mentor to me as well, and I was just so thrilled to be a part of the idea of a Man Camp. We had been to some other men's events, and we sort of were always talking about the highlights of those, but we always felt that there were certain things emphasized at these men's events, but you and I always talked about the whole man, meaning mentally, physically, and spiritually, obviously spiritually the most important thing, but the whole man, meaning take care of the temple with exercise and nutrition. God gave us these bodies. We should want to take care of them.

So there was never really anything that targeted that, and how to best take care of the body nutritionally and exercise-wise, and also a lot of the mental and emotional struggles us men go through, some emphasize that, but we never really delved in depth with all three, and that was kind of what birthed the vision of this, and I think that anybody who attends the Man Camp is going to get something that they've never really experienced before by, I think, the wholeness of it, meaning mind, body, and spirit. No, that's good. Yeah, being whole men living holy lives, holy available under the Lord, and our goal is to send those men back to their ladies and to their families and to their communities and their businesses, better equipped to be the man of God that God is calling them to be. So Lex, it's such, again, a privilege of having you on the show with me today, and thank you for sharing some of your story, and just looking forward to how we're able to team up in the future and just build the kingdom of God together. Thank you, my friend. Thank you, Nikita, for having me on. Thanks, guys. Well, God bless you, my brother, and have an awesome birthday celebration. Thank you.

Well, folks, Lex Luger, The Total Package, so grateful to have him on with us today. I would just take another minute or two and just share with you a story. I told you from time to time, you know, I have people that, whether it's through social media, Twitter, Instagram, whether it's through Facebook, or they just directly email me. They get my email, koloffercrist at gmail.com. They'll email me questions, or sometimes they'll email me stories, and I'm just inspired by the stories, and sometimes even just the questions and the opportunity to be able to speak into somebody's life.

And this one comes from Juan up in the East Coast, New York area, and he just says, Nikita, just wanted to say hello and check in with you, and I want to thank you for the impact you've had on my life. I remember watching wrestling at the age of four and being amazed by it. I saw you wrestle Ric Flair in 1986, and you wanted me to win and become the world champion.

Of course, that didn't happen in that particular match, but all the matches were, for me, a must-see event. Then in 2016, I got the opportunity to meet you at a convention in New York. I still do legends conventions and signings, and what a dream come true that was. We talked for a while, and he said, the Lord asked me if I could pray, impressed upon me to pray for you, and so we prayed. We lifted up the name of Jesus right in the middle of a very crowded wrestling convention. We prayed. Wow.

Only God can cause something like that to happen. Since then, we've become friends, inspired. You've inspired me to chase after my dreams and never quit.

Four years later, I began to teach, and the last part of that story is, he said, many times I said to myself, I've said not to give up or not to quit. Thank you for the inspiration. Thank you for caring about the life of one of your lifetime fans who is now your friend, and last but not least, I'm especially grateful for the concern from my father that you showed as he battled cancer last year, and you're known to wrestling fans worldwide, but you're just such an incredible person and so down to earth, and can't thank you enough for all of your inspiration, and I will keep you in my prayers. Juan R. from up in the New York area, and on that note, if you have a thought, if you have a prayer request, if you have a story, you know, email that to me or reach out to me through social media, and I want to thank you for being a listener today, and listen, you have a God-blessed day, okay?

Take care. Men, I would like to challenge each of you to consider spending five days with Lex Luger and I at Man Camp, pursuing the heart of God. Ladies, if you're listening, we'll send your men home better equipped to be men of God, godly husbands, and godly fathers. That appeals to you. Give them your blessing and encourage them to sign up today at mancamp.info. Pastors, if you would like to bring Koloff for Christ Ministries and Man Up Conference to your community, go to koloff.org and email me. Remember this, it's time to man up.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-27 01:24:13 / 2024-02-27 01:34:23 / 10

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