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It's Time To Man Up! - The Fulfillment of Dreams

It's Time to Man Up! / Nikita Koloff
The Truth Network Radio
October 10, 2020 10:30 am

It's Time To Man Up! - The Fulfillment of Dreams

It's Time to Man Up! / Nikita Koloff

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October 10, 2020 10:30 am

He dreamed of becoming a pro wrestler...and that dream was realized the same year he came to Christ. 20 years ago, Jaxson Ryker of famed WWE trio The Forgotten Sons, bowed the knee to Christ and also entered the squared circle professionally for the first time! Jaxson shares stories from his journey and how he lives out his faith today.

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Hello, this is Matt Slick from the Matt Slick Live Podcast, where I defend the Christian faith and lay out our foundations of the truth of God's Word. Your chosen Truth Network Podcast is starting in just a few seconds. Enjoy it, share it, but most of all, thank you for listening and for choosing the Truth Podcast Network.

This is the Truth Network. Once a world champion wrestler, now a champion for Christ. Once the Russian nightmare, now the devil's worst nightmare. And your tag team partner, Nikita Koloff. It's time to man up.

Welcome back to It's Time to Man Up. Nikita Koloff, the devil's worst nightmare. Martin Luther King Jr. is famous for saying, I have a dream. Well, my guest today, WWE superstar, Jaxson Ryker also had a dream. I am pleased to introduce to you Jaxson Ryker. Now, if you're not familiar with that name, some of you might be. I mean, if you're a wrestling fan or as I come to learn in the South, a wrestling fan, Jaxson is currently on the WWE roster.

You might see him on SmackDown when it airs from week to week, him and his team. I'll let him talk a little bit more about that today, but Jaxson, great to have you in the studio, my brother. It's great to be here, Nikita. Thank you so much. Yeah.

Appreciate it, man. I'm excited to have you here. And now let's just talk a few minutes about that. I mean, you're on the roster now.

If folks aren't familiar with, of course, with SmackDown or they're not familiar with wrestling in general, if they were to tune in, what would they find? They see you. Who else? You're a part of a team, right?

Yeah. The Forgotten Sons. So Friday night, we're on Fox Sport. Every Friday night, we're just now finally going back to somewhat of a live broadcast where we're running out of Orlando, Florida, the Amway Center. It's like virtual fans now.

So with all this stuff that's going on, every Friday night now. So we're on Fox Sport 1. Jaxson Ryker, we're the Forgotten Sons. We're a trio. We tend to steer towards character-wise, like there's two veterans. I'm a Marine Corps veteran.

We have another one that's a veteran. And we just, we're Americans all the way. So we kind of portray that on TV. And we just kind of just kick a lot of butt, brother. Well, hey. That can be a good thing.

That can be a good thing. And so thank you for serving, thank you for serving by the way. Thank you. For our great nation. And we really appreciate that and having that background.

It's amazing. Now, give us a little background. So you've been wrestling for how long?

It's 20 years, actually the August 28th will be 20 years. I had my first match in 2000. Yes, right. Independent show in Lenoir, North Carolina, the armory in Lenoir, North Carolina.

It's actually torn down now, but there was probably 400 people there. The guy who trained me, took me under his wing, said, well, you're having your first match. And this was like two months after training. Luckily he knew what he was doing. Yeah. And I got to call it on quick.

It was something I called on really quick. I watched as a kid since I was five. It's what I wanted to do. And then I just chased my dreams. My dad said, you got to graduate high school first. You can't do it before then, but once you graduate high school, it's a free game.

I never wanted to go to college. Never wanted to go to the military, but once 9-11 happened, I did, you know, it's like, I need to serve my country and give back. And so, but yeah, I've been wrestling almost 20 years. I'm 38 now. It's man, it's been a blessing for me.

It's been a great platform as well. That's amazing. Well, and that's interesting your story because, you know, different from my story, you know, I just heard you say from age five, you kind of fell in love with pro wrestling and, and then the dream was set, right? The dream was planted in your heart to be a pro wrestler yourself one day and, and the, and the dream was fulfilled in 20 years.

Yeah. And yeah, I wouldn't trade it for anything, man. Like, I mean, it's given me a chance to see the world, just experience some, you know, crazy characters. I've got a chance to work with, you know, Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair and Sting and like all these guys that I grew up watching. And I got a chance to wrestle Sting in 2012. So here I am standing in the ring and I remember me and my dad were just, we loved Sting, loved him.

And I'm standing in the ring and his music hits, I'm like, I'll just look around. I'm like, this is real. Like almost, almost surreal.

It was very surreal. Yeah. And he was so awesome and so giving and, you know, a man of God, of course. And like, we talked about that stuff. We talked about wrestling, everything, but it was just like, it's been a blessing, man. Just a great career.

Yeah. That's a, you know, you talk about, about Sting being a man of God. Some people may not know the story, but, you know, I, of course, I left wrestling tail end in 1992, beginning in 1993, 11 months later, found myself at an altar, surrendering my life to Jesus. I didn't see any of the guys fast forward to 1995, December of 1995, they're wrestling in the Charlotte Coliseum.

I heard they're going to be in town. I grew up my hair. I mean, I had a mullet dude. I shaved my mustache, my Fu Manchu off. And I just went down thought I'm going to have some fun. I don't think anyone will recognize me.

Most of them didn't. Like the only one that actually recognized me was Lex Luger. He goes, I'm like, dude, how would you use your eyes, bro?

You can't, can't change those eyes, right? Well, I cornered Sting for about a half hour. Let this be to the listeners out there.

Let this be a note to you. I cornered him for a half hour. Just like, I'll say it this way. I kind of threw up on him all about Jesus, right?

Like I had him pinned in the corner till he finally goes, dude, I got to go get ready for a match. I got to go. Right. I'm like, all right, but I'll, I'll, we'll continue this conversation.

Right. And, but little did I know, you know, I feel like I planted some seeds cause then fast forward to August of 1998. And I'd, I'd heard that he had surrendered his life and gave his life to Jesus. And then I began to have the privilege of, of, of traveling down to Texas, about once a quarter, spending two, three days at his house with him and his sons, his children, and just really, I, you might say mentoring, discipling, just loving them and just, you know, trying to be Jesus with skin on and help him, you know, grow up in his faith.

And so pretty cool that you, you had the opportunity to be in the ring with some of the guys that you watched growing up. Huh? It's amazing. Like amazing. Yeah. It's it's, it is surreal.

We said that. And just to get a chance to, I mean, just to be in the ring with Hulk Hogan, he's the one I can remember at five seeing on TV. And I was always in the bodybuilding and I was always into pro wrestling. So I was like, here's the best of both worlds, like superheroes are jacked.

I mean, it's just bigger than life characters. So when I got a chance to work with him and impact wrestling in 2010 through 12 or so, he was super cool to me always. So it was really cool to meet these guys that I, I kind of idolized as a kid and then for them to be super humble and very giving to me in my career. So what would you say on that note?

Okay. I mean, you threw some couple of pretty big names out there. People I'm sure recognize, even if they didn't watch wrestling, might recognize the name Hulk Hogan might recognize the name, Ric Flair, the icon sting.

Three pretty big names. Would you say, what would you say in that sense might've been your, your, what would you consider being your biggest moment in the ring? What, you know, w w was it any particular one match and can you narrow it down or maybe not? Yeah, maybe as of like a childhood dream, probably the time I got to wrestle sting.

Okay. That's a big moment for me. But other than that I got a chance to main event the Manchester arena in England.

Wow. And it was a sold out crowd there and it was just huge. And, and I remember coming to the ring, it was like a impact which is, you know, I think it's still impact now, but it was a world title match. Just a big moment for me. I was either sink or swim. So I get there and I remember standing like on the middle rope and just looking out at the people and going, this is my moment.

Like I remember being wrestling in armories, sometimes 10 people, you know, and here I am. Yeah, man. So those two memories really always set with me.

I have many other ones, but those two, I can pick out just like that. That's pretty awesome. Yeah.

I can remember being in a few arenas and thinking, am I getting paid hot dog? Oh, wait a minute. I got a $50 guarantee. That's right. That's right. Thank you.

Thank you Lord for the guarantee. Hey, I will say this one other memory. And you, you may remember this.

It was an independent show, maybe in Burlington somewhere. And you were the guest referee during my match. And I pushed you a couple of times and you said, this is your last warning.

And I did it again and you Russian sickled me. Oh yeah. Oh yeah. I remember that one. Like it was yesterday. So Nikita has beaten me up once.

Cause you felt the wrath of the Russians. Yeah. The Russian sickle. Oh my God. You know, it's hilarious.

I don't do much guest refereeing anymore, but I do autograph signings and those sorts of things. And, and it's hilarious. Cause like these guys are like, Hey, could, could you get involved in my match? Everybody wants the Russian sickle. I'm like, no, you don't want the Russians David Crockett can tell you about the Russian sickle. Anyway. So, well, that's, that's, that's, that's a great story. I don't remember that, but, but that's a great story. So I'm glad I could give you that memory. It was good. It was good. You lived to talk about it. Absolutely.

Absolutely. Well, that's, that's pretty amazing. See, so you, you've got this wrestling career and of course, you know, the weightlifting, I can relate so much to what you're saying in terms of the wrestling and the weightlifting, as far as what I became adapted to and being a quick learner, right. You know, you had a couple of months training. I had no training and like, like for real and Raleigh Dorton arena was thrust into the ring, you know, with, with a victim, my first victim, you know, he lived to talk about it too. But so let's do this. Let's transition from, so your wrestling career, you established this pretty amazing wrestling career. It's been great. And again, for those listening out there today, currently on the WWE roster.

So people can still tune in and find the Forgotten Sons and Jackson Riker and they're beating people up. That's it. So that's pretty cool. So let me ask you this. So at where along that life journey from five years old, dreaming of being a professional wrestler, falling in love with weightlifting, bodybuilding, that sort of thing. When did Jesus enter into your life?

Let's talk about that. I can remember being really young and to some people it sounds crazy, but to me it doesn't. It was, it was me experiencing who Jesus was on my own. You know, my father and my mother were believers. It wasn't, they didn't go to church every Sunday per se. But I remember as a kid during the summer breaks, there would be like a week long, like a Bible camp. So the churches that I didn't even attend would come by these, you know, where I lived, we lived in a trailer park, you know, they would come pick us up on a little bus and take us away for the day. And we'd do things to the church.

We would play games, whatever, but they would, they would also read the Bible to us. But I remember just hearing this, about this Jesus and being very interested in it. And before I even like really knew what prayer was, I remember at nighttime talking to God, you know, not, not being saved or giving my life to, to the Lord or anything yet, because that didn't happen until 2000. And I remember being young and kind of experiencing it on my own in a way, but I truly experienced if we want to fast forward a little bit. March 15th, 2000 is when I was saved. And it was my hometown church, Bethlehem Church of God in North Hickory, North Carolina.

And it started as a revival tent revival. My grandfather was a preacher. Okay. So it's in the family genealogy. I believe so.

Yeah. He died in the seventies, but I still have a cassette tape of him preaching one of his last sermons. So it's pretty amazing for me to, you know, I went to that church and we would have these week long revivals where these Baptist preachers would come in and the Holy Spirit filled, speaking in tongues. Fire and brimstone, baby.

Fire and brimstone, man. And Pastor John Binks was his name. And I remember, you know, leading up to this, you know, the pastor would make an altar call and I'm kind of feeling this tugging, but I'm like, no, no, no, I don't know what's going on here.

But just a little bit of information. My grandmother always sat beside me or I always sat beside her through the whole sermon. No matter what's going on, all I'd ever hear was say, thank you, Jesus.

Thank you, Jesus. Over and over and over. Grandma. Oh, grandma, man.

Yeah. And what I realized now is she was, she was planting a seed, you know? So Pastor John Binks is preaching this fiery revival and wearing a suit, sweating, it's hot in there, people going crazy. And he made the altar call. And that night I decided to like kick those cinder blocks off and obey the Lord. And I walked up and knelt down on that red carpet that's still there today and gave my life to Jesus, man. Wow. March 15th, 2000. Yes.

So 20 years ago. And you know, I've had my rocky road. I could be here for two hours talking about my testimony, but I've always knew that the Holy Spirit convicted me of things that I needed to change. And that was, I take back to the childhood of praying. Prayer was something that was always important to me. And when I got saved, I knew I had to have that communication with God.

You know what I mean? But yeah, I love it because it's a family church. My grandfather started it and it was just, my grandmother was there. My dad was there.

It was a super cool man to experience it. Yeah. Grandpa, grandma can plant seeds and praying for their children and grandchildren. Yes. Intercessory. Interceding.

Intercessory. And for future generations. And you've got this foundation of remembering your praying and then eventually leading to March 15th, 2000 for you the day of decision when you said, this is it. This is when I'm going to surrender my life to Jesus. And for the listeners out there, you may not... Jackson remembers a particular day.

I do as well. For me, 17 October, 1993 was my day of decision. And you may be out there and you're like, man, I've always believed in God, but I don't remember a day of decision. And what's most important is not so much you remembering the day, but as much as remembering the moment. And if it was real for you, if it was real and it was a heartfelt decision and you opened your heart and invited Jesus in, then you're a blood washed, born again believer. And I think that's important that we all recognize that... I look at it this way, Jackson, that God's placed eternity in all of us, in all of our hearts.

He's placed eternity. And it's just a matter of us coming to that point of decision of when we're going to surrender our life to Jesus. So you surrender your life to Jesus 2000, and correct me if I'm wrong, but that's the same year you got into wrestling, right?

It is, yeah. Right when I graduated... So that was March, I graduated in May of 2000, and then started training in August... Well, I started training in June of 2000. Okay. August of 2000, I had my first match, so...

Okay. Yeah. Same year, wow, 2000, that's a big year. Big year, yeah, it was huge, yeah. Man, you solidified your eternal destiny.

Yes. And took a step into fulfilling your dream. Right, right. What a huge year for you.

Well, that's pretty amazing. And so you mentioned, you may mention, I think you said it this way, I've had a rocky road, and I want everyone out there listening to understand, even the fact that you give your life to Jesus doesn't mean it's... It's gonna be smooth sailing until you cross over the river and into the celestial city and take that step into eternity. I like to say it this way, death is not a period, it's a comma, right? Right, right.

For those who have Jesus in their heart and in their life and have surrendered their life, you don't have to have a fear of death, because you know that's just a step through a threshold into eternal life. So for yourself, you've made this decision, you're on this path, the road hasn't always been smooth, and I can relate to... I like to relate it this way, like life's been like a roller coaster, man. Yep. From the time I get my life to Jesus, man, it's... I mean, there's been ups and climbing that if anyone has been on a roller coaster knows that sometimes that slow climb, going up the road, right? And then you reach the peak and like, whoo, down you go, right? Yeah. And then there's turns and twists, and sometimes I've felt like I've been upside down, I'm sure you probably do too.

Absolutely. And so just speak to that for a minute, some of these challenges for our listeners to understand, look, there's still gonna be challenges, even living for Jesus, there's still gonna be challenges. There is gonna be challenges, and you talk about the roller coaster, and sometimes the roller coaster is because of our own doing. Our own choices. Our flesh getting in the way of... You call it a dirt suit sometime.

I do. So yeah, it's our flesh getting in the way, and I realized that I was on fire for a while, and I ended up joining the Marine Corps and kind of surrounding myself with the wrong people. And I live by Romans 12, too, do not conform to the ways of the world, but be renewed by the transforming of your mind.

Okay. So I realized that I wish I'd have been living for that verse early on in my 20s, because I surrounded myself with the wrong people, went down the wrong path, I started drinking, I had pill problems, and just never, never suicidal or anything, but depression problems. I was trying to find who I was without consulting Christ. So I lost that somewhere along the way, but it was still... Even losing that somewhere along the way, I always tell people when I share my testimony, I always remember being convicted all the time. Yeah, holy spirit's inside. Still inside me.

Right. Wasn't giving up on me. Always being convicted about, this isn't you, this isn't your identity in Christ, I have something better for you if you can just be obedient and change your ways and just get in the word, get in prayer, and trust me and walk with me.

Stand in the shadow of my wings. And finally I did, but that rocky road was... I look at it and it was a learning path for me. Luckily, I never hurt anybody or hurt myself, but I look at it and I can use that to teach. I do some youth ministry now. I'm blessed enough to be able to have a platform to be able to do youth ministry at my church, and it's something I can use for those kids to teach them, don't conform to the ways of the world. Don't go down that path. Trust the Lord in the process, and I wish I would have a little more, but that's my testimony.

I wouldn't trade it for anything. That's what taught me. That's what taught me, so... That's what helped you get to where you're at right now. Absolutely, yeah. Yes. And again, that's part of life's journey, right?

You said something really important there, I feel like, life's filled with choices, and even as a Christ follower, we can still bow to the flesh and walk, not away from the Spirit, but drift away, I like to say, drift away, where sometimes fleshly things become more important or grab a stronghold and tell that we have that aha moment that, oh my gosh. And something else you said, too, that really resonates with me is, you said, I surrounded myself, you got in the military with the wrong people. Right. And for you listening out there, understand, I used to talk about this in school assemblies a lot, the law of association. Yes. I used to say, you become like the five people you hang around the most. Right.

And I don't care how strong you are in your faith, if you're hanging around a bunch of people who are not believers and doing all kinds of things that are contrary to the Word of God, no matter how strong you think you are, eventually you're most likely going to be sucked in or pulled into that lifestyle or into what they're doing. Right. Which is what you found to be true. That's right.

Oh yeah, most definitely. And it's funny, last night during the youth, we did a study on friendship and we went into Luke 6, where Jesus chose the 12 disciples. And something resonated with me when I read the Scripture about that, and I talked to the kids about it.

And I do that now, me and my wife make it a habit to pick our friends wisely, because even three years ago, we weren't, and it was affecting our personal life or marriage. Like I have a four-year-old daughter almost that she's watching daddy. So it's very important to me now.

Finally, something clicked. But anyway, Jesus chose his disciples and before doing so, he went to the father in prayer. And I was like, man, dude, so I told these kids, always go to the God in prayer on this behalf. So even now, if I feel in my heart or convicted about something, maybe these people weren't so good for my inner circle, because my daughter is going to be around them. You know, I'm going to be, I'm going to be around them.

I'm going to be around it. I always go to God in prayer on these things. So super important for me now to always go to the father in prayer.

Man, what a great message right there. And you mentioned volunteering with youth, what church? Yeah, the refuge in Kannapolis. You know that well, Pastor Jay Stewart.

I think I'm familiar with them. Pastor Jay Stewart. Yeah, Pastor Jay has been my pastor since the day I really, I got saved in 1993 for a long, long time.

He's amazing, amazing. You have a heart for youth right now and serving. And one other little note as well is you've recently enrolled in a ministry school. Yes. We already got a couple of minutes left, but yeah, talk about that. Yeah.

So that's real quick. I talk about being convicted all those younger years of my life. I always felt the Lord knocking on me, even in bootcamp and Marine Corps, like, I want you to minister something.

I don't know what that means. I don't know if I'm supposed to pastor a church, evangelize, don't know, but I knew that God was calling me to pursue ministry school, to pursue ministry in some way, some form. So finally, after, I don't know, 15, 18 years, God never closed the door. He kept knocking on my heart and I started Fire School of Ministry, Dr. Michael Brown. So I started that August 4th. And it's good because Dr. Michael Brown's kindly taking me under his wing. He said, all right, listen, I'm a busy man, but I would like to mentor you a little bit. So what we're going to do, we're going to meet an hour a week, and I'm going to pour into you what I know, and you're going to train me and you're going to teach me to lift some weights. So the other day we got the lift, I did some shoulders with him. So yeah, so just, I'm so thankful for that relationship.

Jason and David Benham, who I know real well, connected me with Dr. Michael Brown. And so I started Fire School of Ministry. I'm doing a prayer course right now and in a doctrinal class. So I'm super excited about it. Yeah, man. And you and I are part of a men's Bible study together.

Yeah, man, which is amazing. You've got to surround yourself with that. Fellowship is so important. And to the extent of this day and time it's being missed out on.

And I love it because there's so much knowledge. Like you got to have, I heard a pastor tell me one time that you got to have a, it might've been you. I don't know. Maybe you said this to me, but you got to have your Paul, your Barnabas, and your Timothy. Is that what, was it you? I am known for saying you need a Paul, a Barnabas, and a Timothy.

That's where I heard it. And it's true because you need that person who can mentor you. That one who is your Barnabas, who you side by side, they talk to you about, hey, you need to change your ways. And your Timothy, the one you get to teach and instruct and lead. And it's so true.

I mean, you got to have, you got to surround yourself with people that they're more knowledgeable about you and more close to the Holy Spirit. I don't know. Well, that's pretty cool. Let me just, I'll just say this, a pretty good trade off. Hey, you teach me to Dr. Michael Brown, you teach me to lift weights and I'll pour, I'll build your spiritual muscles. You build my physical muscles.

That's a pretty good trade. I will say this. He, yeah, he's no slouch though.

The man can kill me in cardio. So he's good. That's pretty impressive. And, and you mentioned, you mentioned your wife and child, tell us their names. Yeah. My wife's name is Stacy and my daughter, Ava, she'll be four on September 13th. So. And I haven't met her yet, but boy, she, she looks like a spitfire.

Well, my daughter and my wife, both. They're both. Yeah. They're great. Well, it's been amazing to have you on the show today and I hope sometime you'll, you'll, you'll be willing to come back.

Absolutely. Well, thank you so much. Jackson Ryker, WWE superstar from, and I don't know if you picked up on that, but from, from the trailer park to a WWE superstar, but, but God was all the way along the journey in between. And you hear how fired up he is, is about the Lord. One, one story real quick, as you know, I love to end the show with it, with a story and an ultra, uh, as an ultra shy kid, who was a good basketball player, I learned confidence, determination, dignity, taking pride in what I did. Um, because I watched you Nikita, although you were a wrestler in an unusual world, I learned all those things watching you every weekend. I cried when you lost the U S titled Lex Luger. I did too. Nobody just, nobody saw it. I cried on the inside. I'm kidding.

I'm kidding. I learned, I learned by watching you Nikita. I learned, uh, or I earned, excuse me, I earned a junior college basketball scholarship and the chance to go to Boston college, Cincinnati, South Florida, or wake force. I wish you had become world champion at least once. I had a couple of opportunities. That's another story for another time.

I turned it down. Uh, probably the only guy in wrestling ever to do that. Uh, anyway, most of all brother Nikita, thank you for, for, um, thank you very kindly for being an inspiration to a very shy 17 year old kid in high school who was always working on his individual game. That led me to going to college, Charles C. And if you have a story, man, email it to me, send it to me, coloffforchrist at gmail.com. I would love to share your story on air. And, uh, maybe it's a story about a, maybe I ministered in your church some one time sometime and, and, or, or, you know, we had some conversation at an autograph signing or you have a favorite memory of me in wrestling, or if in some way I was inspiration and inspiration or motivation for you. I'd, I just love to hear your story. Um, you know, and, and, um, it encourages me, it blesses me many of these different stories and, uh, I'm sure, uh, I'm sure Jackson could probably relate to this.

I'm sure there's, there's tons of stories. He's already getting right now, uh, from, from the inspiration he is, uh, in wrestling with WWE, but even more important as he's now mentoring youth, his Timothy's, and now he's got Dr. Brown, his Paul, and he's linked up with people around him, his Barnabas. Hey, if you don't have that, if you don't have a Paul, a Barnabas and a Timothy, someone who can mentor you appear, who can call you out when they need to. And then a young person who you can speak into, Hey, you need that. Hey, just remember this it's time to man up.

It's not about your duration. It's about your donation in life. See you next week. 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, 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. This is the truth network.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-05 20:28:12 / 2024-02-05 20:41:08 / 13

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