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Jeff Tankersley- A Man of Many Talents

It's Time to Man Up! / Nikita Koloff
The Truth Network Radio
February 19, 2022 1:00 am

Jeff Tankersley- A Man of Many Talents

It's Time to Man Up! / Nikita Koloff

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February 19, 2022 1:00 am

In today's episode Nikita speaks with "Jack of All Trades" Jeff Tankersley. Listen as he explains his road of life from being a business owner to his walk with Jesus Christ.

"I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me."

- Philippians 4:13 (KJV)

It's Time to Man Up!
Nikita Koloff
It's Time to Man Up!
Nikita Koloff
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Lee Habeeb
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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. From Lithuania, he weighs 123 kilos. The Russian nightmare, Nikita Kolov. Now, The Devil's Nightmare. Welcome back to another episode of It's Time to Man Up. Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back, and or welcome to the Man Up show when Nikita Kolov, yours truly, wants the Russian nightmare.

Now, The Devil's Nightmare. That's right, storming the gates of hell, and I've got a special guest on the show with me today. I'm excited to have this man. I say that every week, I think, you know, a special guest, but this man is special.

And Jeff Tankersley, welcome to the Man Up show. Thank you, Nikita. It's a pleasure to be on the show. Well, it's great to have you here with me, and I say a lot of times on the show, welcome back, but sometimes I forget that, you know, somebody might be listening for the very first time, so I just got to remember to say, welcome. Welcome to the Man Up show. But this is your first time on the Man Up show. It is.

Absolutely. Let me put you on the spot. Have you listened to any of the past episodes just by chance?

I'm going to say this. I haven't. I follow you on social media, read your posts, but I don't think I've listened to the podcasts already or interviewed yet.

Well, you're going to now because you're going to be on it, or you are on it, so I guess your show will be the first one, and then that will lead you to listen to all the others, right? True, true. Perhaps. Something like putting you on the spot, right? Putting you on the spot.

That's right. Okay. Anyway, well, hey, let's do this, Jeff. Let's jump into – we have some history, just for the listeners out there, because you have a very storied background. I mean, you are – you're a man out in the marketplace.

In other words, you're out there working in the marketplace, but you also have some wrestling history. We'll talk about that. There's a classic story, I think, that we can talk about, of course, and then Johnny Cash. Now, I'm going to let the listeners just – I'm going to let them hang on that for a moment. Johnny Cash, the famous, the legendary country and western singer Johnny Cash, we have a story to tell.

You have a story to tell about that, but we're going to save that kind of maybe towards the end. But let's first jump into telling our listeners, our audience, who Jeff Tankersley is. I mean, you're out there in Tennessee, the volunteer state, right? Yeah, I'm from Kingsport, Tennessee. I'm just – I want to say a country boy.

I'm a mid-city boy. I'm close to the country, so just always had dreams, always been a dreamer. I started my own business when I was 23 and worked that business up until 2015. Started at 93 and worked that business until 2015, sold the business.

It was sort of just out there. I didn't know what I was going to be, what I was going to do. A friend of mine, he's the CEO of Goodwill, and he had contacted me about a loss prevention position that he had available. So I started that department, and I've been with him now for about, well, four years. It's been just a life-changing experience for me, being a business owner to working for someone, but also being able to help people in the process. Yeah, and that is different.

I'm sure there's plenty of people out there listening that can relate in terms of being either one or the other, or both. I mean, you've had – I know as we have talked and gotten to know each other over the years that I would call it that entrepreneurial spirit to where, as you said, at a young age, 23, you launched into your own business, and so you ran that. And it is different, right? It is different, as you said, working for someone else, but it sounds like what you're doing is – in giving back to the community, it sounds like it's very rewarding for you.

It is. It is, and I didn't know what Goodwill was until I started working for them and seeing what we do do for people and giving second chances and helping people with this autistic and things that are handicapped, that we create jobs for them. It's really – and when you go in and you see – going to the stores and you see these people working and building their future that have setbacks, it just means a lot to be able to help those people. And that's what's enjoyable about being a part of Goodwill, and like I said, I never thought I would enjoy working for someone, but it's been a life-changing position for me that I've really, really enjoyed for the past four years. And I don't think right now that I would jump back into the business world. You know, I never say never because if the opportunity would come up. Of course, the business that I had was the Armored Car Service. I was seven days a week, and it was a stressful business, 25 employees. We was transporting valuables every day, and it's just one of those things you worry a lot.

This job here, the worry is not there, but the benefits are there. Does that make sense? Yeah, it does. And so let me just do a quick recap on that for those who maybe didn't catch that. So an armored car business – I remember when you had that because I visited up that way a number of times. You did. Yeah, and we'd have breakfast, lunch, or we'd have a meal together, break some bread together, and I remember the kind of pressure you were under in that business, rolling up to other businesses and handling large amounts of money.

I won't go into all those details, but as people might imagine, seeing those armored vehicles rolling down the road and knowing what they contain, what's in them, and from armed guards to everything involved in that, I could see easily where that would be super, super stressful. But let me go back to Goodwill for a moment because I'm kind of learning something new here as well. Because in my mind, Jeff, and many of the listeners out there may be thinking you drive by, you see a Goodwill store, and I'm thinking, oh, I can go in and get a shirt for $2 instead of $50 or whatever. I know in fact some of my children love going to Goodwill and finding the bargains and all of that, but what I'm hearing is, beyond getting clothes and other things, you might say at a discount, so you help people restore their life or give them, as you said, a second chance, I'm hearing?

Yes. What we do is, people understand, I didn't understand that donations come in and we can't give those donations away because that's what supports our business. So the donations are sold and we create jobs for people that need second chances, that are artistic, are handicapped, has a hard time out in the workplace.

So we create those jobs and give them dignity to get out and be successful and to provide for their families. And we've had a lot of success stories and it's just one of those things that no one really understands. I think the CEO makes tons of money, which that's not true. And I had rumors all along before I worked there about Goodwill until I started working there, and I always tell people who have doubt, call me, let me take you to lunch, let me walk you through our stores, and that you see what we do. And then when you see it, it makes you a believer, you know what I'm saying? Well, it certainly made me more appreciative of what you guys do, and that you bring up a valid point for whether it's Goodwill or really anything else. I mean, you hear all kinds of things about all kinds of people and businesses and whatnot, and sometimes we just take for granted that what's being said is true without researching, right?

And finding that to be true today, very few people do any research, any homework to really dig into the truth or see if what's being said is true. And you mentioned families, Jeff. You have a family, right? I do.

Okay. Tell us about your family. I've got two daughters, at least my oldest daughter is 28, my youngest daughter is 21, I've got two grandchildren, I've got a new granddaughter, she's a month old, Gianna. I also have my grandson, he's nine, his name's Ryla. My wife's name is Tammy, I married Tammy, we've been married 10 years. My mother passed away a few years ago, but my dad's still living, doing well, and we just try to spend as much time together as we can.

Yeah, which is important. Family's important, and congratulations to you on the grandchildren. I know all about that.

I've got nine, number 10 going into double digits on the way, I'm guessing, thinking number 11's not going to be far behind. My youngest daughter, Colby, just recently got married, and I anticipate getting a phone call any day, any day, and saying, hey, guess what? Well, that's phenomenal. I know you have a beautiful family, and we mentioned, too, at the opening of the show, wrestling.

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I did. I was, of course, a big fan of Nikita Koloff, a big fan of Ric Flair. I won't hold that against you, by the way. You know, I always tell everyone, I never became a superstar in wrestling business, either wrestled or met all my childhood heroes. And I've got, you know, the big honor for me was probably, well, it was a big honor for me, the big break is when I got to work with you in Welch, West Virginia.

They had called me to be part of this event they was having there and said, you're going to be wrestling Nikita Koloff. Well, of course, I'm nervous. And I think the first night, if I can remember, the first night I'm trying to call some things in the match, and you're like, slow down, kid. So the second night we went out and said, let me have this.

It's both be safe. And we had a great match. And it's one of the, today, it's one of my highest, best memories of wrestling business is working with you. And I think we did a back to back shot. We did Welch, West Virginia. And then we did Williamson, West Virginia.

It's on Friday or Saturday. And then went back the month after and did it again. And it just, it was an awesome time. I remember calling my dad, you know, the four cell phones. So I remember getting back to the hotel and had to call my dad. I said, Dad, I wrestled Nikita Koloff.

I was so excited, you know. Well, which is such a, that's a cool memory for sure. So how old were you when, okay, hold on. How old were you when you got, when you started watching wrestling, got intrigued by it, and you see all your childhood heroes. And then at what point did you decide, I want to be a wrestler? Oh, Nikita, I watched wrestling from the early age of 10, 11 years old. I remember watching it with my dad. Blatch, Jake Mulligan, John Studd, worldwide wrestling, you know, and I'm old school. I'm still old school.

I'd rather watch the old school than I would what they do today. But when I first decided I want to get involved in wrestling, I actually worked at a grocery store and he was a wrestler, used to come in there. And I'd always ask him, how did I get in wrestling? And he kept looking at me.

I was a little skinny kid, you know, I probably didn't weigh 170 pounds, you know. And he said, well, when you turn 18, give me a call. On my 18th birthday, I called and he said, well, let's get together.

So I got together with him and the rest is history. I started training to wrestle in 1986 and a little history about myself. When I was 10 or 11, I had surgery. They put a wire in my neck out of a nine-tumbler and the doctor said I would never do any kind of contact sport.

That's basketball, football, or anything. But I was determined to be a wrestler and with God's grace, I did it. I did it and I'm not having any injuries and the independent scene was good to me and I did go down to WCW for a couple shots with them. And I just, when I got there, I don't know, the atmosphere and just what I seen wasn't what I wanted.

My oldest daughter was just born when I first got down there. I think Jody Hamilton, remember Jody Hamilton? Oh yeah, Jody Hamilton. Mr. Assassin.

Mr. Assassin. And so I got there and I remember working with, you know, Gene Anderson was doing the matches together and I just, what I seen was just too fast paced for me. My daughter was, she was just born, probably wasn't three or four months old and they was talking about the schedule and all this. And I thought, I just keep leaving my daughter for this schedule, you know, so I just decided to stay on the independents and I started my own promotion for a while.

And worked with, gosh, Sherry Martel and Tony Alice Yu and just all the names that I got to work with to bring into my own organization. And just filmed, I've just started, I've got the, I think 12 shows filmed now for a network that I'm putting together. And I'm going back to all my archive VHS tapes, converting them over to the computer and we're going and we're pulling matches out to show that fans hasn't even seen before.

You know, the only fans that seem to show is the ones there at the event. So I'm excited about getting this put together and hopefully next month I have it ready to go. I hope so. Well, that's, see, you still got that entrepreneurial spirit, but that's some great, great history though. So, and a great story. So you thought, well, hey, here's my chance.

Here's my shot. WCW, you get down there, it's a little more fast paced than you thought. In fact, I help people. You broke in at age 18 in 1986. You know, I tell people in 1986, I had 454 matches. You want to talk about fast paced, Jeff, right? Do the math on that. You know, right now, everybody listening goes, oh, that's more matches than there are days in a year. That's right. More than one match a day. To Jeff's point, that it was fast paced back in those days.

A much, much, much different business than it is now. And so, age 18, man, you have this career. Just real quick, so you mentioned wrestling all your childhood heroes, and of course I'm honored that you told the story about wrestling me. Who are some of the other guys that you wrestled then? Oh, Rock and Roll Express, the Midnight Express, Roddy Garvin.

Hands of Stone, yeah. Yeah, Dustin Rose, Terry Funk. Oh, there's so many. Tim Horner. There's so many out there that I've worked with.

White Lightning, yeah. Sharon Martell, she amazed me for a while toward the end of her career. Medusa, I worked with her. So you've been in the ring with a lot of big names of wrestling.

Yes. The Atlas, Larry Zabisco, you know, a lot of them. The living legend, Larry Zabisco. Just seeing Larry, last summer we went to Florida and I went visiting for a while.

That's awesome. And that's one good thing about wrestling business. The people that I've worked with, I have remained with the friendships that I can call and we'll talk. And David Flair, Rick's son, David and I are probably best friends.

We talk about every week. I mean, he's a good friend of mine. Yeah, it's like a sorority, right?

People don't understand. Wrestling is like a sorority, right? In a sense.

There's a close-knit camaraderie, a cauliflower alley club. There's a lot of the legends, a lot of the old school guys and some of the newer guys. There's just a different connection between the pro wrestlers, right?

Yes, true, it is. Well, pretty phenomenal. So you're a marketplace guy, you're a successful entrepreneur with your own business, now you're working for the Goodwill. But you get into wrestling at age 18, you have a run and a career in wrestling, even develop your own promotion. It's quite a story, Jeff, and I'm excited to see what you produce here with all the footage and all that you captured back in those days and what you produced. I know a lot of old school fans out there, because I'm out there doing autograph signings and legendary, you know, the WrestleCons.

And man, I meet a lot of old school fans who say, I wish it was like it was and don't know that it will ever go back and not taking anything away from the talent today. But pretty amazing, pretty amazing career. You mentioned this, I want to shift gears here just for a moment before we talk about Johnny Cash. But you mentioned, you know, you said the good Lord. So have you always been a man of faith? And how has that translated into both business and wrestling?

Well, yes, you know, as a young child, my parents took me to church and I kind of fell away from that at one point in my life. As many do, right? As many do.

Yeah. You know, I had a lot of circumstances. You know, they say God speak to you. And he spoke to me in some circumstances and I had to do a little legal battle.

I had to go through with my business and my ex-partner. At the time, I didn't know, you know, you're weak and you're down and you don't know really how to get back up. And I had a friend of mine. He always asked me to go to church. And I'd always say, I don't know. And really, I didn't want to go, but I just say, hey, I just didn't want him to keep pestering me to come to church. So one night, I'll never forget, I'm at the bar and he was there watching karaoke. He goes, go to church with me tomorrow. And I said, well, call me in the morning. I thought, well, I'll just give him, I'll say call me and that way he'll leave me alone. And he calls me and I just didn't answer the phone.

And the next thing I know, I've got to knock at my door. And he came to get your clothes on and he's going to church. So I went to church with him that morning. And I listened to the message and something just hit me. And I haven't missed a Sunday.

This was 2008. I haven't missed a Sunday at church unless we're on vacation and then we watch it online. So I've been every Sunday. I'm not perfect by no means. But none of us are, Jeff.

None of us are. It did change the way I thought about things. And I wish I was thinking the way that I'm thinking now 30 years ago.

But, you know, sometimes, you know, life just gets to fast for you and you make decisions out of emotion a lot of times. But going to that church, I'll never forget, I went to speak with the pastor and told him, you know, I had this business and things are not going so well. I had this, this. And he looked at the little album that I had with pictures and he said, can you get this back? And I said, well, I don't know. He took it.

He snuck it across the room and said, that was yesterday, this today. When he told me that, I thought, wow, you know, he's right. I've got to get a whole new vision.

And I've got to rebuild, you know, and put God first and figure out what's next. And I did a little documentary that they, and it tells about the story. I think I sent that to you. And wanting that to be able to reach out to some people that may be going through situations. And if I can be a help and reach one person, that's worthwhile for me. So I wanted to tell my story and I have had people reach out to me that have seen it, that has God's blessing from it. That means the world to me.

Well, and that's an amazing story too. I mean, in 2008, you encounter Christ. I guess in my mind, what I'm seeing is a shift from religion to relationship, right? And you encounter Christ and everything changes. Your whole perspective on life changes. And I found even for myself, 17 October 1993, 11 months after I left wrestling, you know, that I went to the altar, God almighty surrendered my heart and life to Christ and everything changed. My motivation, my motives, my perspective on life, everything.

Everything changes as you're testifying to today as well. Well, that's a powerful part of your story, but I do want to, before we run out of time, I do want to talk about Johnny Cash. So, in addition to everything else you've done and are doing, and as a man of faith, which Johnny Cash, right, is pretty well known that he ended up being on Billy Graham, Reverend Billy Graham's platform many, many times.

He had had in his own encounter that set him free from past addictions and the latter part of his life, which was outspoken about his relationship and his friendship with Jesus Christ. But you have a band, right? Take a minute or two, just be brief, but share the Johnny Cash story. Come on.

Let me tell you, let me go back. I started doing a little karaoke and everyone kept telling me, you sound like Johnny Cash. So I had a friend of mine that had a band and he called me up on stage and I sang a couple of Johnny Cash songs. So I just started doing Johnny Cash with him quite often. And another friend of mine worked at Legends in concert at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. So I went and saw one of those shows and I thought, man, this is neat, maybe I can do this.

And you know, being a wrestler, you've got this showmanship, you want to do something, which is a lot easier to sing than being a wrestler, you don't get hurt. So I started my own band and Cash revisited. We're on Facebook. And I've had the honor to open up for Johnny Cash's brother, Tommy Cash. Got to meet him. I've opened up for Sammy Kershaw. I've opened up for Merle Haggard's sons, Marty and Ben.

Also Ashley Campbell, Queen Campbell's daughter, opened up for her. And I think right now we've got the tightest band that I've had and we've got a lot of festivals coming up this coming year. I've also, we kind of transitioned into a gospel show. We're going to be doing a lot of gospel music with Johnny Cash and William Nelson.

I've got a guy with me that's William Nelson and he's outstanding. So if you get a chance to get on my Facebook page, it's Cash Revisited. You can see videos and a little bit of a bio about what we do.

Okay, Cash Revisited. That's where they can find you on your Facebook page. Yes. That's amazing. I haven't seen it live yet. I want to see it live, man.

You're going to have to come out and see it, yes. I know, I know. Because you sent me some video and I'm like, that's amazing. And what a life you've lived, Jeff. What a story. I'll tell you, we've got a beautiful friend too, Brad Joseph. Yes, Pastor Brad Joseph. I'll tell you a story real quick about Brad. Brad was living with Ricky Morton and this was back in 2005 or 2006. He ended up coming to work for me at my company and living with me for a while.

And Brad is an excellent, excellent kid. And I remember he came to me, he was trying to break into the wrestling business so bad. And he was so depressed and so discouraged because I think he thought at the time his size was, you know, he's not a real big guy, but he's just, as far as wrestling, he's one of the best ever. And he asked me my advice on what he should do with that on the business. And he said, he wants me to come work for him, but I want to get into the wrestling business. And my advice to him was, Brad, go work for your dad, put wrestling on the side here, keep working for it, but get you a Plan B for life. He got there, got involved in church, now he's a pastor, and I'm so proud of him.

He's a great, great, great, great kid. He is, he is. In fact, you know, we've talked about, you know, people have heard all about Man Camp.

He actually came last... He told me about that. Yeah, he had an incredible encounter at Man Camp. If you're a man 18 years old or go to, Lex Luger and I co-facilitate. We didn't talk much about that today.

But, yeah, Brad came and was greatly impacted at Man Camp. But, Jeff, as always, man, we're out of time. What a phenomenal story you have. And I can't thank you enough for being on the Man Up show today. You are, you epitomize, you could be the poster child for Man Up.

So, because you have certainly done that. Well, thank you so much for having me on the show. It's an honor for you to call me. You know, I tell everybody, you know, Nikita and I was good friends, man. I'm Nikita Koloff.

They still remember Nikita Koloff. You're still on top, brother. Well, to God be the glory. To God be the glory.

Jeff Tankersley, the Man Up show. Tune in again for another great episode of Man Up. God bless you.

Have a wonderful day. PSA public service announcement coming soon. It's coming. It's coming. Hey, if you have enjoyed the Man Up radio show and or the Man Up podcast, tune to to catch the new Man Up show on TV.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-03 02:17:10 / 2023-06-03 02:29:12 / 12

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