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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 Kolov. It's time to man up. Welcome back to another episode, another show of It's Time to Man Up with yours truly, Nikita Kolov, formerly the Russian nightmare, Shatoita. But now the devil's nightmare and I got a special guest on the show with me today, Chris Chicago. It almost sounds like... What's up, man?
You're not from there, right? No, it's my real name. Your real name. So it's not even a radio name.
It's like your real name. People assume that it's my radio name, but it's my real name. Which the irony is you are in radio.
So that's the irony. I am. I've been in radio for 20 plus years and everybody just assumes it's my radio name. And whenever I do radio in a new city, one of the first questions I get asked is, when are you going to change your name to our city?
It's like, look, Chicago is my real name. Yeah, because just like currently you're in Houston, right? I am in Houston, yeah. So yeah, one of my first questions when I was in Houston was, hey, when are you going to be Chris Houston? I was like, well, unfortunately it's not going to happen. I don't know.
Chris, they might have something in there though. I don't know, right? I mean, maybe, but no, that's awesome. That is so awesome. And I want to jump into that here in a moment, but before we get there to your tenure in the radio industry, we first met. You were broadcasting and doing radio in Nashville, Tennessee, yeah? That is correct, yeah. Yeah, going back quite a few years ago now that we met and really our families met and I was trying to remember how many before coming on air, but any idea?
I mean, it's been, what, 15? Well, yeah, I remember the first time I met you was at a venue in downtown Nashville during Gospel Music Week at a showcase at a place called 12th and Porter. I remember that, yes. I think you were booked to speak or MC or something and I was there, I was doing some broadcasts for my syndicated radio show and we kind of met in the parking lot and I was like, are you Nikita Kolov? And you went into the full stick, man, like you, like accent, the facial expressions, everything. And then you started talking to me like a normal person and I was completely freaked out.
I was caught off guard. I was like, wait, are you telling me you're not really the Russian nightmare? You're not from Russia? This still happens all the time, believe it or not.
Even with the internet, it still happens. So you grew up, okay, so you grew up where? Where'd you grow up? I grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Okay.
I thought for a moment you're going to tell me Chicago, but okay. Albuquerque, New Mexico. Okay. Yeah. Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Wow. And, and so, I mean, I wrestled some in New Mexico, not a whole lot, but, but so were you, I'm curious, were you a wrestling fan growing up then? I was, I was. I started watching wrestling in the eighties when I was just a kid. Um, I would watch, obviously I would watch wrestling, you know, on the syndicated cable, uh, cable networks like PBS and USA. And, uh, I was spending the night at a kid's house when I was a friend's house, when I was really, really little. And I think they had Saturday nights main event on that was, you know, put on by WWS now the WWE. And I remember, you know, seeing that first guy coming down, you know, coming down the range and I just fell in love with wrestling and I just couldn't, I couldn't get enough of it.
Who do you, so, who do you, so, so who would be some of the names you kind of remember from your childhood that kind of stick out for you? Yeah, you know, um, I, I was a, I was a huge Ric Flair fan. Um, I was never a Hogan guy.
I, I, I was never, Hulkamania never ran wild with me, brother. I love it. That's good, brother. That's good. I love it. Yeah.
Okay. Yeah. You know, um, gosh, and then, you know, getting towards the later eighties, I really liked the big characters, uh, ultimate warrior, obviously, um, sting just really, really fascinated me. Um, seeing, um, you know, the, the, the face paint, you know, the road warriors.
Yep. Um, and when the rockers, when the rockers came along, I was a huge rocker stand. I love Shawn Michaels and Marty Gennady. And, um, and then I, I pretty much stayed a Shawn Michaels fan for his entire tenure.
HBK. So, so if you were a rock, if you were a rockers fan, so that would you have also been a rock and roll express fan? I mean, if you are a good tag team, tag team wrestling back in the eighties, how could you not be a fan of the rock and roll express? I mean, uh, they were, they were incredible. And remember the, the Midday express with, with Jim Cornette?
I do remember the midnight express. I mean, we could forget Jim Cornette, you know, coming down to the ring with his, with his, uh, uh, tennis racket, tennis racket. Yeah. Uh, and his loud, his loud mouth, man. No, Jim, Jim had a loud mouth. No, Jim, if you're listening, I love you, buddy.
I like for real. You know, um, and I'll tell you one quick story. I was, I was picked on a lot. I remember when I was in middle school, um, I was getting bullied a lot and I saw this segment with Roddy Piper and I became and I became a pretty big Roddy Piper fan too. Um, uh, back in the day and you know how Roddy, he would just kind of lose it and he'd kind of just go crazy and he would talk crazy and kick his hair.
And like, he just didn't care. I was getting bullied and, um, by, by the big, this big kid. And I remember, you know, he was, he was trying to fight me in the park and, and I had never won a fight before in my life. I'd always lost to the bully. And all of a sudden Roddy Piper just came to my mind. And, uh, and, and in that moment I became Roddy Piper and I went ham on this bully and I was never picked on again for real.
Um, yeah. And you know, I had, I had a rough childhood, man. I remember even seeing, um, seeing some psychiatrists, you know, that my school made me see because I had problems with my behavior and I wouldn't listen in class. Um, I had a very abusive, uh, uh, uh, situation at home with, with my dad. And I remember the psychiatrist telling my mother, he said, I think that, uh, the reason your son is so obsessed with wrestling, I think that he looks to these guys as their father figures.
And those are the minimum of life. Um, and at the time I thought it was ridiculous. But now as I've, I've grown older, I look back and I'm like, yeah, like, man, I really looked up to these guys on the screen and in the range. And they were kind of my father figures because I didn't have that at home. Yeah.
It just made a real connection for you. And, and, you know, and you're not, I say this, Chris, you're not the first guy, you know, uh, that whether it's, uh, you know, I'm out doing an autograph signing, uh, uh, a conference. I do these conference called man up conference, man up conference, Lex Luger.
And I do these camps called man camp. And, uh, in, in, uh, so I hear lots of guys stories, right. Or people will email me or they'll message me on social media or, but, but man, I've, I've heard that story one time. I can't tell you how many times I've heard a similar type story, how in their childhood, rough childhood, or not the best childhood ever. And, and, but yet they could look up, uh, the wrestlers inspired them or motivated them. But I have to tell you for the record, you're, you're the first to, to, to imitate Roddy Piper in a bullying incident and overcome that, that situation to never be bullied again.
I was going to ask you like, Hey, how did you overcome it? But you already, you already gave me the answer. You just, you were Roddy Piper for a moment. And, uh, yeah. Wow. No, that's you and I have, you know, have a little bit in common there now for me, it was, it was elementary school that I was bullied in elementary school that in a sense, really, um, the Lord showed me, the Lord revealed to me that plagued me.
I say plagued. I mean, it was an underlying current. Uh, it, it instilled this, uh, a level of fear for, for 50 years. Um, it was only recent in 2017 that, that, that I got revelation of, of how that bullying incident impacted me in, in elementary school and, and, and, and was set free of, of all that in 2017, just in 2017. But, um, well, I'm glad, let me just say, uh, I'm glad that, that wrestling could be an outlet for you and, and, and help you. And, and we provided a, that sense of, you know, motivation or inspiration that you could look up to and, and help you overcome all that, like on a serious note, that's, that's pretty awesome. I guess even on the negative side, though, you know, the, the bad influence for me is, is I always gravitated towards the hill, the bad guys.
Well, it's, yes, you're not a wrestling fan. That's, that's what we call the bad guys. And so, um, and so I would, I would kind of, you know, mimic my character in real life as a bad guy. And I remember, um, you know, then I would do in middle school, I would do sneak attacks on, on people.
And, you know, my, my friend would do the commentary as I would sneak attack somebody. And then as I, you know, as, as heartbreak kid, you know, really got into his, his gimmick, you know, I, I tried to play the heartbreak kid in, in real life as well. I remember being, uh, being at church camp and this is something I'm very, very disappointed, um, in myself with a story that I, I regret and I still wish I could go back and have a do over. Um, I was at church camp and this girl, um, you know, had a crush on me and, uh, you know, why did, why did it be my girlfriend and, you know, playing the part of Shawn Michaels, I led her on and made her think that I was going to be her boyfriend at this church camp. And then, um, and then I, I went in to give her a hug and right before she went to hug me, I backed away and I said, eat your heart out girl.
Um, because I saw Shawn Michaels do that on screen. And I remember it just breaking her heart. And I was back at that now and I'm like, why did, why did I do that? You know, and I remember later on in high school, I was walking around giving everybody the crotch chop and just, you know, the whole DX or DX. I was just an obnoxious person, you know, emulating these, these bad guys characters in real life.
And it was just ridiculous as I look back at it now. Well, hopefully she got her heart mended at some point along the way, Chris, even though you broke her heart at church camp. So, so, so Chris, so now I got to ask the story. So how did you come out of that? What did you transition from mimicking the bad guys to becoming the good guy that you are now? When did that transition take place?
Tell us. Well, I think I've always been a good guy. Um, you know, God, God had plans for me all along, you know, God's in control and, and God knew ultimately what he was going to do in my life and how he was going to use me to, to reach his people. But, uh, it took me becoming a bad guy in real life, um, to really come to the realization that I wasn't a bad guy. Um, and, uh, I went to church my whole life, went to youth group all through high school, but I kind of, you know, I liked to be on both sides of the fence. I liked to go to church, but I also liked to party.
And so when, uh, uh, when football was done my senior year, and I had no, uh, real reason to get to class on time or keep my grades up, I started partying, partying really hard. I started going to, to rave. I started doing drugs.
And then I, you know, making friends comes really easily for me. And so I befriended the drug dealers and they started having me run some drugs for them. And then I decided that I wanted the money aspect of the drug situation. And so I became a drug dealer. And, um, when I get into something, I don't like to just, you know, dabble in it.
I like to, to go all in or, or not in at all. So, you know, here I was here, I was this naive, uh, teenager, um, wanting to be in the top of the in the top of the drug game in Albuquerque, New Mexico. And I started, you know, getting in with, uh, some pretty rough dudes and getting myself in some situations where, um, I could have and should have died. You know, we're talking, uh, you know, gun, gun situations and, you know, situations where I had to be rough with some people.
And if you're going to be not treated like a punk in the drug game, you have to play a certain character. You have to be rough and tough. And, um, and that wasn't me. It just, it wasn't me, you know, inside I'm a teddy bear. I'm a big dude. I'm, um, six to 300 pounds. Um, I've always been big, you know, I was a football player in high school, you know, at the time I was, you know, mentioned three 50, 400 pounds, you know, so I, I w I was a tough dude, but I'm not a tough guy. I'm, I'm, I'm, I'm a teddy bear.
I love people. And so I was doing these drives. I was, I was getting myself in situations that I wasn't, I wasn't, uh, happy with. And I remember just coming to a point where I didn't want to live anymore, especially the life that I was living. And I remember crying out to God in a parking lot. And I said, either you saved me from this or tell me what to do, or I'm just going to end it right now, because like, I know this is not who I am. Nikita Koloff here.
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This is Nikita Koloff, and I want to thank Clemens carpet for supporting my new show, man up Saturday afternoon at 12 30 on the truth network. And I remember the Holy Spirit speaking to me in that moment. And the Holy Spirit simply just said, change your number, change your phone number.
And I'm thinking what? Like that's my whole, like, that's my whole world. Like that's how everybody, that's how they get a hold of the Holy Spirit said, change your phone number. And, uh, and the next day, man, I changed my phone number. I quit the drugs, cold Turkey, and I never looked back.
How old were you? God quickly, quickly put people in my life to replace all the friends and community that I lost. And in that world, and he surrounded me with people that, uh, that knew him and loved him and would disciple me in a sense. And right away, you know, put me in, you know, the Christian radio world, which ultimately changed my life. And from that point, you know, you hear these stories of people that are on drugs and addictions and in these rough world, but man, when, when you cry out to the Holy Spirit and you ask for that strength and you ask for that answer, and then you're obedient, man, God plucked me out of that world. And I never looked back. I was going to say that you just said the key word there, obedience. Um, you know, God says, do this. And, and, and if we just say yes, Lord, um, then, then the miraculous, in my view, what you just described, how you were instantaneously set free, um, certainly can, certainly can, doesn't, can and does happen.
You're, you're a testimony of that. And how, how old were you? How about, how old were you?
Yeah. So when I was, you know, when I was a teenager, yeah. So when I was a younger teenager, you know, 15, 16, 17, uh, I was, you know, uh, volunteering at the Christian radio station, but I wasn't walking the walk, but I still liked Christian music and I still wanted to be around Christian radio. Um, but then I was 18, uh, 18, 19 years old when, uh, when I turned my back on the world and gave it all to God. And literally within months, you know, I was, I was, uh, working at the Christian radio station. Um, I had a Christian hip hop show, um, and I was being surrounded by, by other believers that were, that were really pouring into my life. That's awesome.
Yeah. So you made that, you made that transition. God starts bringing the right people into your life. I want our listeners to hear that too. You made that a serious decision and a commitment there.
God brings you in this period of transition now, bringing the right people, uh, into your life that you embrace that opened up new doors of opportunity. And in fact, I remember, uh, we did, we did a little, kind of a little wrestling stick at one of your hip hop. I got to tell you this, Chris, I might've told you this before, but I think it was, was it in Florida? Do you remember it was Florida?
Um, Tampa, Florida. Yeah. Yeah.
We did this. You brought me down to be like a guest speaker at like this hip hop, whole hip, which the whole hip hop was a new world. It was all a new experience for me. Right. And I remember, yeah, we did this thing in the ring and this whole thing.
We had so much fun with it. And I, you know, I believe people's lives were impacted, but I got to tell you, I slipped inside to some of the hip hop artists. And I don't know that I knew three words of, of the plethora of words that they were saying from that platform, just for the record. Uh, I'm trying to hear what I'm trying to understand it. So that whole world, I, I, I just marvel, you know, at that whole world.
And, and cause, and, but, but that said God can use anything, man, in any one. And so whether it's hip hop music or classical music or, or whatever else, you know, uh, I know God can use it and you got such a, uh, an incredible story. You got to, and, and, um, uh, a beautiful family too, right? Tell, tell us, take a minute and tell us about your family too. Yeah, I've been married, uh, uh, 18 years and, uh, I have four beautiful kids.
Um, age ranges all the way from a 13 year old boy, all the way to a two year old boy with a nine year old girl in between, um, and a six year old boy as well. And, uh, man, they're fantastic. I'm, I'm super blessed, super blessed. Well, and, and, and so you're out there in the, in, in the music world and, and so you, you're, you're at a station that you're at a station there in Houston, right? What's the station? Yeah, well, I was at a station in Houston. Um, I actually came to Houston to help put on the air a Christian hip hop station.
Okay. And, um, and I did that for five years and the ministry has actually, uh, changed the signal to a Spanish station, um, which I feel is going to be tremendous out here in Houston. And, uh, and then so I've transitioned now and I'm still in Houston, but I worked for a radio network called way FM. And we have radio stations all over the country, uh, heard in, in, in a lot of great markets and I'm on every single night on the way at them. And they allow me to broadcast from, uh, from right here in Houston, which is fantastic. Cause I love, I love Texas. So, so if, if people wanted to hear Chris, Chicago, um, uh, how, how do they do it, Chris?
Where do they, where do they connect? Yeah, yeah. So way less than.com. Now there's also a way of an app. I'm on the air every single night from 8 PM to two in the morning, Monday through Thursday, uh, that central time. And then on Friday night, someone from 8 PM to 11 PM on Saturday nights, 18 to 11 PM on Sundays, 7 PM to 11 PM. So I'm on seven days a week on way at them, uh, that the app is fantastic. You can just search way up into the app store and coming soon Nikita.
This is actually the first you're the first person I told this to publicly. Um, I'm actually starting a Christian hip hop radio station. That's going to be online and app based to start called so flow radio. And I'm fully engaged in, in building that radio station currently. Well, you are, you are the man for, for that task. I want to tell you a lot because it's been fun to, it's just been fun to, to, to watch you and, and, and, you know, perfect your craft and, and do what you do.
It really is. So you're a great on air personality. Um, there's no question about that. And, uh, and of course, you know, I know you're so you're so well connected, not just in the hip hop world, but just in, in, in the Christian community as at large now, uh, ministry wise, you, you made a reference to, so are you engaged and or outside of radio engaged in any type of, of ministry there in your local community? Um, I want to be more when I was in Nashville, you know, I worked with the youth. I was a youth leader, uh, at my church in Nashville, a funny story. Uh, a lot of people know the name Levi Lusko. Have you ever heard that name?
Yep. So me and Levi were actually youth leaders together back in Albuquerque, back in the day, Calgary of Albuquerque. And, uh, I remember we were, we, we took a bunch of students to Colorado on a, uh, a youth trip. We were staying in these cabins and I remember, you know, me and Levi, you know, both young dudes being youth leaders and Levi was preaching the word, um, by the river to a handful of students. And I remember standing back and thinking, Oh my goodness, this guy can teach the word of God. Like I hadn't heard before, like, he's amazing.
And he was probably, you know, 21, 22 years old. And now we see Levi Lusko and what God's doing with him, um, is just incredible. And it's, that's a fun story, but, uh, but yeah, you know, um, now in Houston, I haven't gotten involved in, in, in youth at the church that I go to, uh, I think I want to eventually, I think I'm more just focused on, um, being a good husband and being a good father and making my family my first ministry.
Yup. And, uh, in, in once, you know, God, you know, says it's time, uh, to go back and, and, and serve in some other ministries. I'm, I'm definitely going to do that. I've spoken at some churches here in Houston. Uh, I've, I've volunteered for, I try to get out in the community and do what I can. Uh, but like I said, uh, there's more of that to come, hopefully God willing. Right now, my family's my first ministry and I try to devote as much time as I can. Well, and to being a father and a husband.
Yeah. And I commend you on that. And it's much needed, hence the, the man up show, challenging man, Lex Luger and I, whether it's at a conference, a camp or wherever, you know, this radio show, the TV show, we're challenging men to man up and, and you have done that and, and certainly said the right things. And that is your family is your first ministry and for every man out there listening and, and, uh, for all the ladies who listen into this show, cause I know there's a lot of you, uh, uh, hope you were inspired by Chris's story today and, and especially what he, he just said that his family is his first ministry and, and referencing obedience. And the other thing, Chris, I heard is, is when the timing's right. So don't get ahead of God. You heard what Chris said and don't get, don't get ahead of God.
There may be some other things that God leads or guides you or directs you into doing, but, uh, don't put it on your own timeframe, your own timetable, uh, be obedient and, and listen for the Lord's clear direction on that. So Chris, man, it has been great to have you on the man up show today, bro. What an amazing story you have.
I wish we had hours, man. It's been so fun. Well, and, and I know I'm confident our audience, our listeners are going to be inspired by your story of overcoming, uh, not only overcoming, uh, the bullying, but overcoming, you know, the, the world of, of, of drugs and all of that. And so I can't thank you enough for sharing some of your story with us today. And, and I just want to encourage all of you out there.
If you're struggling with something, whether it's a drug addiction, a porn, um, you know, struggling from, from a bullying incident from maybe years ago, there is help available. Chris thought about ending his life, but God stepped in and miraculously, miraculously, uh, set him on a different course and a different path. Tune in again for another episode of It's Time to Man Up with Nikita Kolov. God bless you. If you've enjoyed the Man Up radio show and, or the Man Up podcast, well, guess what? It's time to Man Up TV style. That's right. You heard me. 2022, the Man Up TV show, the Man Up show on MorningStarTV.com.
That's right. Tune in, dial in to ManUpOnMorningStarTV.com. For a gift of $100 or more, Nikita will include a signed copy of his newly updated life story, a tale of the ring and redemption. Go to www.kolov.net and donate today. Nikita Kolov, the Russian nightmare here for Crescent Automotive. If buying a car is a nightmare for you, my friends, Brian and Jamie Johnson at Crescent Automotive make it simple to find your pre-owned dream car with no hassle, affordable windshield pricing. No matter where you live, they will get your American dream car to you, baby. DriveCrescent.com is all you need to know. Their whole inventory is right there with the right price. Everybody drives a Crescent. You should too. DriveCrescent.com. This is the Truth Network.
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