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June 15, 2021 5:00 am
Nikita sits down for a conversation and Q&A session with fan and Florida-native, John Ward. He answers several questions, including: What affected your decision to retire from wrestling?
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This is good Truth Network cuticle all fear questions and answers they would pull off the devil's nightmare. Welcome back today Q&A questions and answers with Nikita goal all the devil's nightmare, gentle, heavy studio today. I just I just met this man for the very first time already.
I sense what it what a amazing fan.
He is to professional wrestling, John Lord, thank you for being in studio today Jaco it's my pleasure. This is the real treatments are really as well. Hey, it's always a treat for me like for real like yours. Here's the tree for me back in the wrestling days for the most part I have a lot of fan interaction, especially as the bad guy.
I had basically zero by choice zero fan interaction. When I became a good guy saw the light went to the other side of the tracks in the head more but now for me to be able to have like conversations and interviews like this go to autograph signings and hear stories from the fans just blesses my heart like a real well you just following your story. What I know and when I was first told about the chance to meet you and thinking stick. I remember on TV was really rough and gruff and I'm not sure you like a lot of people, and then another transformation of what you've done and what you stand for now. I could not wait for this day that it worked out a course at mutual friend Robbie Gilmore, Sir, is is who connected us together and tell you just tell me folk forward came on the show you just tell me how he was mentioning he was going to go to like this man camp thing with the kitty what to what happened to tell us to stop being attractive holiday or a rumor for a bite to eat at night and as he was talking his right middle sentencing system on the cuticle office. We will limit soon again to the cuticle off. I just I sat on the edge my couch and I did not let him go from a conversation about 30 minutes.
Next thing my family starts sitting into the steamy getting aside and saying I know that name is make sure it's the same person.
It was that point on he forgot what your journey is aware your eyes like what an amazing opportunity I could meet him and next thing you know he lined all this up so I am forever grateful to Robin as well roll Robbie as it is a good man to say the least course. He helped you out with all the shows on the reduction in the things in this become a dear, dear friend as well and and others will will hear his story on on one of the podcast.
One of the shows sell of his experience at man Hates to get you there. One I know her love about it is me and I was like oh my schedule allow me I will love to plan on doing that would make you yeah I did. Amanda had to tell Robbie and Kelly get up to speed about what professional wrestling was in Iraq is really Mayo serve them like right now to sit still and talk to her meant indigenous peoples in terms of the people in the names and ended become timeline yes I had a real role in that it is like just listen for second you're talking to.
So it was a lot of fun. Get him up to speed as well give it education of the Russian nightmare. I did absolutely, the Russian God's grace ever got set of soils about you that today will you do the voice of Mike.
You know I can for the right price is John. Here's the reality it's a little harder on my vocal cords now that it was back when I was 20 and 30 years old.
You know, and so very sparingly but I will do it very sparely to hate also look forward came on the show I was like you know what you where were you watching these you set a floor you group in Florida Florida and Daytona Beach was there for about 23 years. Gruff place to grow up and noticed her yeah but I I'm doing when my family was a fan and when it was on I was my time and let me be watching all the old time wrestling in back and adjusted true joy to watch both you and Ivan the dusty roads and all the famous names out there was just a real special time in my childhood. Back in the days of of what is in some of my listeners. My number realizes get you know they know WWEA know of the newest AEW TNA ring of honor NWA power which show Billy Corgan's is a rebooted that I got down and Alanna so there are other organ it back in the day. I mean, it was territories all over the country and around the world and and I don't know if all of our listeners really realize that sit down in your neck of the woods so to speak was what was called Florida championship wrestling us or under the banner of the NWA is arrest alliance in the course. Couple that the New Jersey Nets in one of himself to be probably the best grace everything members yes that's having everyday just because I travel with them for couple years.
It is not hard not to imitate them now course. His son Cody with with a leg up is doing extremely well and owned by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Oh okay.
Got all hello yeah this nonfamily Jaguars pretty deep pockets. By the way that they own AEW okay and I did not know that so. However, Tony con got somehow Cody got linked up with Tony Connor like let's do this and created their own wrestling. I watched the assault she can pop up every once in a while so I see now I remember back from when I just watched yeah I'll all stop and watch for little bit but that's such a special time my childhood okay so who are so hoarse of other from Florida championship wrestling who would be some other names that that you can recall from the child. Well, grace is theirs. Dusty bricklayers around during the time we see him when he will come in as the as the Ndebele champion again to all these other territories to represent the NWA to like that the local champion for Florida for exam right or Midsouth or the Northeast Northwest so okay another one of my brother tried to imitate with me was what was a master assassin. Okay, never him wrestling to armor them gel one tagteam the rock 'n' roll express. I don't think was NWA but that's part of the sum of network-based what rock 'n' roll came into the mid Atlantic which is part of part of again part of the NWA, then to be a covered with had worldwide organization.
What about blackjack dockside mother in Mulligan for certain I have family matches against the Dean and had you ever used wear gloves or that's what they right now the claw that he would put like on your four head yes that would knock yelp with the smell of his glow all like in this for real. I like to kid you not watch that I don't guess you can.
I don't know how many four heads that global was on what it re-what I cherish. I got faded from the ideologist rate you just pinned me. You know like this anyway. Blackjack Mulligan. There were couplers down there to Black Bart. I remember that name.
Ronald asked Rhonda a couple cowboy KinderCare artist was Terry Funk in the VA to Terry Funk and his brother Dori Foley from Junior yes, are you absolutely. How about that well and in Eddie Graham who was kind of good that the, the father of Florida championship wrestling. Once he passed his son Mike Graham my ticket over the okay from Eddie okay and so anyway Florida championship wrestling and then eventually Dusty would make his way to the mid Atlantic okay and where we would have some matches against each other and then eventually you know we reformed the throughput power though it's great anyway so I saw dusty rose in a airport in Las Vegas. They're coming for the tournament. Okay, my wife knew that was something she would talk to me about not getting near yeah I said the dusty rose I said I got to shake his hand so I'm running down the concourse disease away is always moving sidewalks yet walked upon us and Mr. Rosie turn rancid just like not a big fan. I shook his hand and it was such a thrill for me. My wife has no clue what it meant to me, but I got back I said this and will not be washer with no I love hello I tell you what I like for real, it's, it's always a thrill for me is that I did.
You probably have some questions to do. After all, this is called questions and answers. I'm hope like you and I and this is totally spontaneous because I've not seen your questions lifetimes.
Bill submitted to me at least get an updated glance over him if if if nothing else, so this is 100.
This is hey John, this is like old-school wrestling seekers like our interviews. There was no scripts handed to us. Did you know and I did not talk about them easily.
Grace you let me just say that before we jump in your questions. So, again, for the viewers to understand the difference between today's product which which you know kudos to the athletes and those guys you performed today but back in the day, every interview like we saw dusty use of the Russian nightmare cutting and that was that was 100% spontaneous is off-the-cuff off-the-cuff. There no scripts, not a nun like zero so you know so so from an interview perspective and even the matches themselves. Just again I just say if I was resting Ric flair, you mention flair. There plenty time to wrestling for an hour. Well I'm either a genius if I'm able to memorize in our match or somebody else has to figure something else out. So here's the other part. You figure out.
There might've been a what we would call a predetermined outcome that might be to three minutes to the outcome, but for 56 or seven minutes were spontaneously telling the story in the ring with both verbal and nonverbal communication conversation typically but before match until you actually got in the ring you met some really something else. I did not know that that's that's what makes it special to me going lasted that long, but that's just tremendous, and then I like what you want to go on YouTube watch old videos like even fan reaction which even much more organic much more real than the reactions you see today absolutely.
For that reason I let off the old fans and the elderly ladies that were just really into in their thirst scream and holler with homeboy a couple stores and stay there.
But let's jump in your quest… Yell is flying to your question will think I got a few down grandma my daughter said those are fine that's good so he retired in 1993 from wrestling yes can you share with me what made you make that decision.
Okay, great question.
It was my last match was against the guy member of Big Bend Bader sure the name Vader betterment while Weiner had he had a reputation for being reckless. You know, he was big. I was born 5500 pounds somewhere in that neighborhood Seesmic guy goodness and industry had this reputation so I always try to protect.
That's one thing about the ring was there's a lot of trust involved there mean you let the guy you know turned upside down and the driver headed to a man called a piledriver or slamming you on a concrete floor soup flexion you would these different different moves in his case. Yet I think was called a power bomb or something okay and knowing he was reckless up like dude just for the record that will be happening on the conversation I had a screwdriver to the bad life you can use that another guys it ain't happening on the on the nightmare I value my body. Okay because injuries even though wrestling is entertainment. The injuries are very very aptly believe that you can see it yeah and I've had I've had my share all that to say my very last match was actually right here in Winston-Salem North Carolina were truth radio network is is is home to and and in it wasn't a career ending injury but it it gave me reason to pause and reflect on my future and that neighbor fight on the floor. He clotheslined me back to have my left arm went limp for about three or four minutes. I just dangling there and then pinched a nerve and eventually I got the feeling back as we finish the match. I finished it with with one arm and eventually to and had that had that looked at the next day, but also like some pain in my lower abdomen like what's up with that the doctor was all you you got a hernia but for 55 pounds hernia lift the behemoth up right guy had hernia surgery okay rehabilitating my knack over Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's and and I had set a goal when I first got in that I be out of active in ring wrestling. By the time I was 35 was 33.
Getting ready to turn 34 and I just made my own executive decision, said I'm done and and walked away under my own terms.
No fanfare, no, no hoopla, just just walked away and and then Jan then in the 1993 him him on this path of this quest if you will, of what this life hold next for Nikita: so the injury wasn't career ending was more goal I had for myself to walk away from wrestling as a main event wrestling if you want to say on top of the business yeah and I'm one of the few I think that retired actually held true to my route retired 10 times. In other words, no doubt I can retire and come back and not name any name all the listeners of anyone itself that Z and I just think I'm Vader was a little very large person.
You see, yet I imagine I've been like yes so had a chance look at YouTube video. If you like slivered recent service and it is so amazing to see both of you in this new life that you have with the way Lex looks up to you and what you both there with your lies really something. How did you to connect after wrestling to be followers of Christ. Well, it's a tends to another great question.
The interesting thing is the last time I saw him during the wrestling days was at this and matches in Charlotte and Carolina December 1995 and that was kind of my last like the last time is really kind of around any any live shows at that point and I had already given my life to the Lord at that point about a year and 1/2 early 17, October 1993, 11 months after I left wrestling. You know, again finding finding or realizing I'm successful but unfulfilled and into a Christian couple admitted in business in invited me to their church went one Sunday and they met me there and and that was my aha moment when when I realize what was missing in my life was a personal relationship with Jesus.
I grew up in church is getting rough in Russia. For the record pace. John you are still wondering I did. I find that you're okay this is your is right just outside of Moscow, Minnesota Minneapolis this is cold right at it. This is called the Siberia absolutely spell but try to grow the church, but I knew the story right and it was it was in my head, but it never made the 18 stripped down to my heart on something October 1993.
It did it and it was like you here so I wasn't in my life is completely different now and the only thing that that was different was who I met him when I meeting him in between.
I change my life cited seal lacks from December 1995 Intel June 2006 was about 11 years plus or minus, and I'd heard that that he had given his life to the Lord and and it was a jail chaplain after, and that's a whole string itself, after Lex's last stint in jail in the Cobb County jail. There, in Marietta, Georgia jail chaplain had befriended him eventually led him to the foot of the cross and it April 23, 2006 and then he was invited to a conference at me and and a number of other wrestlers would attend out in Phoenix Arizona called athletes international ministries and he showed up at June 2006. Just a couple months about six weeks early after he had given his life to Jesus and so we reconnected and instantly now spirit bears witness with spirit right. There's an instant connection that I had the privilege of beginning to help along with pastor Steve chaplain Steve discipling lacks over the years bring them on the road with me share his testimony, powerful testimony, I would preach and and we just just created God just created a love and a bond between the two of us. Do I have to live with me in in 2015 for about 10 months and in actually out of that birthday conference one-day conference call man up and it ties in with the man up show here on but up a map conference one-day conference in local churches around around the country and that eventually that led into a full-blown man camp that he called facilitates with me at the man camp and him and I in part what what experiences we've had spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically, into other men who attend and it's been amazing, actually amazing to call my my 3P my peak performance partner NICs 3P. Yeah, I saw the genuine love to y'all and the wheel at each other's house last thing on my now so yeah, the question of what advice would you give to anyone in leadership in business that is surrounded by very young leaders that are very hungry to learn about becoming great leaders, but also just good people while that's that's a stellar question that the shortness that is going to call ALT.NET and by wrestling with success. My book is that will answer all of that, no, but I know I on a serious on a serious note though that's that's part of the reason I wrote that book with the dear friend Jeffrey get them or who is really one of the top trainers to talk business trainers with the National speakers Association in the country really traveled all the world to forget them or dollars and and we co-labored on that I wrote about 75% of it. He wrote about 25% of it is done in a very fun format but it's it's very, it was very intentional for for people and in business. Those who are aspiring to be leaders or maybe who already are leaders. There's actually contained within that book are our some some self evaluations of like okay where my hat personally to be able to show an individual if there is certain areas where they maybe need to focus on or improve those skills to become a better leader or how to even lead others better.
Nice it in. I never address it was success. I will look into that us exactly those things I you think I'm as a leader in the role women right now. I've been through it or been through so many years that I was down but there every day should be a learning moment so I want to be able to inspire other language.
There's always something.
Learn I I've I've said you'll see it on my social media use ever that you'll see as I'm alive. I am a lifetime learner whether it's Weathers developing a deeper, passionate, more intimate relationship with Jesus or out in the marketplace wanting to improve my skills to be able to so into or invest in others and in all aspects of their life always looking to lure him always redye I just read just last week I read two books from halfway through the third book in and asked us to who I've read reader leaders are readers leaders. There you like that. So if Allen Iverson returned going to your home church of the members of her 20 years we gone through several efforts transition interim pastors now call young man back that we knew growing up in the church and I'm spiritually or my family and I would like to know some things are scriptures that you recommend that I can refer to remind me of my role and importance of and my family and that's cool that's that's I don't have enough time on the show for that one, but no it, it's I say what's what's been foundational for me I just say listen if I just say for keys to toot my own personal growth as it as a leader and and I like that your serving others to others serving serving my own family, or serving others just in general I is to focus on four areas. One, the word, the word of God can never get enough of the word of God.
I know we just on what different books might you know when I wrote know that. But the more they think the Bible first and foremost, you know scratcher comes to mind is that I think Psalm. I think one 3913. I think you and I will hide God's word in my heart that it so that might not sin against him. You know so there's a key to overcoming sin in our life hiding God's word in our heart a Baha'i God's word in my heart so I might not sin against him and and so that's one that comes to mind are obviously Proverbs 1 of things anchors laxity early on in his walk was read a chapter. Proverbs every day.
So whatever day of the month.
It is read that chapter mean if it's the 26th of of August read chapter 26 actually did that for eight years chapter day every day consistently and I might've missed a day or two here there and I'll get legalistic on this but but a chapter of Proverbs this is the greatest book on wisdom ever written by the wisest man next to Jesus, God himself on the planet. And so the book of the book of Proverbs, he offers you 356 of the property value of trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your understanding all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path.
One of the scriptural quick that's really become like a life scriptures Colossians 110 and closet 110 is four parts to it. I will want a little like today it's worthy of Jesus pleasing him in every way bearing fruit for every good work and growing in the knowledge of God's of you break that down real quack in it. Just meditate on that one every day okay today. Lord, I want to do my best to live a life that's worthy of you. I don't want to Mark. I don't want to mar your name or muddy your name want to leave a mark at the end of the day, not a stain right right and I want to do my best to fully please you in every way. Today Lord, mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually and in that I want to bear fruit.
Not just any kind of want to bear good fruit is bringing glory.
And last but not least, Lord help me today to grow in the knowledge of God and so those would be use just a handful of the Scriptures that the and and or thoughts regarding my question as I just went on up :-) most you have through three always keep close to them not to reside in the know me liniment. I have a couple extra people are going through some hard times but got wanted to assure that those are done. I also do we realize every day to his as leaders in the world and confessing business place. It been watching you being listen to and always behavior your tongue every thing is good to be heard and seen. I will make sure that what's coming out of me what people see.
I do is reflect the evening, even if they even if they are not making you aware of that people are watching to see if you're in… Say the real deal or you just you know with their lips, they then praise me, but their hearts are far from exact, I here's the lesson had coworkers or friends or family expressing difficult situations or hard times. I think you may shared in the what are some of your favorite verses you share with others that are facing some very difficult times in life to be lost a family member yeah employment.
The sky things that I'd like really encourage people yet one scripturally mean comes mine is that asynchronous chapter 1, which is the God of all comfort comforts so that it and in our time of need that one increment chapter 1 verses three that said that he he comforts us in our time of these okay were on the same page here. Yeah, yeah, he comforts us so that what the we can comfort others.
Lots of things we go through really are really more. There's more intent and purpose behind even though we sometimes don't want to go through it is more purpose and intent, and it's not even really sometimes I find time for my benefit is for the benefit of others, so is he comforts me through my own personal challenges. I can then one day somebody crosses my path that might be going through something similar that I can then comfort them because I've been through a second share empathy with them, not just sympathy right so I itself Holland here. We got a few minutes (Robin extended just a few minutes US a lot of great questions but your wrestling fan jotted, you asked that you know wrestling questions come on now, I asked. I ones I really want to but what was so I did have what we don't know what was your highest title you attained and who was it against okay give you couple highlights so without one of the holes.
That's it. That's a different book actually actually for our listeners out there. I just updated my last book Nikita a tale of the ring redemption was several new chapters and more pictures in my my time last year, is able to sit down and into that.
I just got was a hot, hot off the press and but it in it. So some of the highlights would be, you know, 13 months limitless assay from the time I broke into russet without the whole story itself. Some of her to put many are not within 30 months arrest a guy name Ric flair, the nature boy for the world heavyweight title and I didn't win it that night but already had become the world tag tent champion the world six man champion non-Russian flair for the world heavyweight title just 13 months into the business so that the highlighted to the to the career the best-of-seven against Magnum TA member that naming Megan Jerry.
That's why the most mention is that the US title best-of-seven against Magnum TA that that was so many guys before me. Wahoo, McDaniel and Roddy Piper really is so many others that that war that built prior to me so this is quite quite a list of who Sue that it was an honor to have the United States heavyweight championship eventually merged it with the national heavyweight title match against while McDaniel and was fortunate walk with both belts will TB title against Terry Taylor unified that with you.
WF walked away with both belts come on my way out of my mind is completely scrambled right now I just one other one. Other than that all mention was the very fruit had nothing to do titles but the very first ever wargames is most memorable to my career.
Not to mention turned the turn in in teaming up with Dusty, so feel a highlights of my career I left question okay from my memories for me correctly. Did you have a chain that you swear on your neck.
I did and you still have it I do I have the original one. Yes, there's others that have since the have been passed on but I have the original one that Ivan gave me and I don't know how long Ivan had that one, but it and I'd it's in the attic somewhere, people continue to try to buy things from me, but I don't know that I'll sell that thou my little hands down a lilting grandchildren. Whatever yeah that original one you see in picture with the old dark brown strap is it is still within my possession and probably always will, that way if you don't know. I mean it was it was real deal of Israel, chain and and add those chain matches just by the way, were were were brilliant and on of them. So whether was Wittgenstein or the road warriors or others because no matter how much you try to control the links and throw a punch. Those little legs would hit hit the enamel of your teeth like I had cosmetic surgery after the fact it to fix a bunch of chips in my teeth. A wrap around to me to wrap around through their mouth so anyway great. I still have that so that time is like flow by here already met Mrs. that this is the highlight of my life with you. I can't tell you how much I appreciate well I can't tell you and everyone that too tinted to the amount of show and also Q&A with questions and answers: what a thrill it is for me and in all sincerity to talk to fans like yourself that I see all the time you guys are the most I feel the most loyal on the planet all these years later you and I have a conversation like almost 30 years removed from the ring, but were still having absolutely guys like me go go man, I feel like I'm 12 again you know and doesn't have as a preteen and early teen memory for me.
Users must rewrite their well thanks for coming in the studio.
Thanks for being a long time. Blessings to you and you a very great question.
Thank you so much John here on call law to it again next time for another rated government. This is the Truth Network