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He weighs 123 kilos. The Russian nightmare, Nikita Kolov. Welcome to another episode of Q&A with Kolov, the devil's nightmare. Welcome back to another episode of Q&A with Kolov and I have a special call today, Jason Hess. Quite an amazing story. Jason, thank you for being on the Q&A show with Kolov.
Thank you for having me. Well, a long time wrestling fan. How long have you been a wrestling fan, Jason? Since 42 years.
Forty-two years. So you go way back. How far back does your memory go to wrestling? Who are some of the names you remember? Big Scott Hall and Kurt Hennig when they were in the AWA, the Midnight Rockers, Jared King Lawler, Pat Tanaka, Paul Diamond.
Wow. Come on, Pat Tanaka. You're throwing some names out there. Who else?
Killer Khan. I vaguely remember him. Of course, Jake the Snake and Macho Man.
Macho Man, Randy Savage. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.
Well, you got a good invitation to the Macho Man, too. That's good, Jason. Yeah. How about any memories of the Russian nightmare?
Just curious. I was actually watching a match with you earlier today. I believe you were the eighth seed.
It was a Nintendo tournament. And you were going against Big Van Vader. And you had Dusty Rhodes in your corner and Harley Racels in his corner. Ooh, yeah. Van Vader brings back memories.
Not so fond, however. I only say that to say he was a big man, a very physical man, and had a tendency or you might even say a reputation of being reckless sometimes in the ring just because of his size, right? And in fact, you may or may not know, Jason, my very last professional match was against Vader in Tennessee. And I got injured that night. He injured my neck. And I didn't know until the next day, but I had a hernia picking him up for body slams and just a big guy, right? And it was after that that I would make a decision to walk away under my own terms from professional wrestling. Did you know Vader was my last match?
No, I didn't know that. I wasn't sure why you shut it down. Yup, yup. He injured my neck. And then I ended up having hernia surgery. And I was rehabilitating from that and kind of rehabilitating my neck.
And it was over Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year's. And I was 33, getting ready to turn 34. And I'd already said from day one, I told Uncle Eiben and Don Curnodle, my first partners, that I would be out of active in-ring wrestling by the time I was 35. So, you know, it was just one of those things, the timing of it.
And I just said, you know what, I'm done. And in fact, some have coined me the Barry Sanders of pro wrestling. You know what I mean by that?
Are you a football fan? By you and the Reader's Choice Awards. Doug, Chad, Benny, Pee Wee, and the team at Clements Carpet look forward to seeing and serving you soon. This is Nikita Koloff, and I want to thank Clements Carpet for supporting my new show, Man Up, Saturday afternoon at 1230 on The Truth Network. You're listening to The Truth Network and TruthNetwork.com You had a lot left in the tank.
There was a lot left in the tank. That's right. I like how you said that.
Now, you mentioned a bunch of names. In fact, the AWA. So, Jason, for our listeners, where do you hail from? Where do you live? Southern Illinois. Basically, Missouri and Kentucky and Illinois hit at the corner. Is that kind of like near Paducah, Cape Girardeau, all that? It's right across the river from Cape Girardeau. Okay.
Hey, you know what? Just make a note to self. In August, I'm going to be doing a four-day revival and a Road Stories one night at a church there in that area. I can't remember the town, but it'll be advertised on all my social media, and since you're that close, you may have to come over and I get to meet you in person. Maybe come over to the Road Stories. It'll be on that Sunday night. Yeah, I would definitely make it important to you.
That would be awesome. Now, so you're there, and you've got a pretty interesting story, too, because I know when you first, I know it was your girlfriend, right? I think first messaged me and said you had watched my testimony. You listened to and watched. You listened to, let me just say, you listened to my testimony on Hannibal TV. Shout out to Hannibal TV.
They did a great job on my interview there. And the reason I wanted to emphasize that you listened to, because that's part of your story, too, isn't it, Jason? Yes.
Which is? Tell our listeners. In the fifth grade, I found out that I had retinitis pigmentosa, and I'm almost completely blind.
I fought it off all the way up until about two years ago, and the last year just fell off a cliff. And so that experience, so for our listeners out there who maybe haven't experienced that or don't know what that, give a little, what's that been like? I've always heard stories, Jason, that when you lose your sight, your other senses are more heightened, like touch and sound. Is that true for you?
I think so, but it's more because of what you focus on than actually a scientific fact, because you realize you can't rely on your sight. And it's weird because sometimes I can tell there's something that's going to be around my head to where I'll put my hand up, like a tree limb or something like that, just like I know it's going to be there. And I don't know what that is, is it just God looking out for me or what it is, but it works. You're listening to the Truth Network and truthnetwork.com. I am excited. Did you hear the huge announcement, the big announcement? Well, maybe it's a minor announcement.
Anyway, Facebook, go look up my new fan page, Nikita Kolov Fans, and like it and follow today. You're listening to the Truth Network and truthnetwork.com. Okay, so I'm just, I'm, you know, like actually trying to visualize that in my mind as you're saying it, you're walking and there's a branch that you might walk into, obviously, you know, those of us who have sight, I mean, they see it, we duck or whatever. But you're saying there's almost like a sixth sense, if you will, there that just put your hand up and, you know, know that it's there, right?
Yeah. Wow, that's, that's pretty amazing, actually. And so, and I know from, you know, from, from that email, so you'd share that with me and so even more amazing, thank you for, you know, being a fan all these years and a fan of wrestling and a fan of the Russian nightmare. I appreciate that. You know, one of the questions I explained to your girlfriend, she said, you know, is your book on audio, and that's actually one of my goals that was actually on my goal list in 2021. And I, it's one of the things I didn't accomplish and or get to for those who are goal setters out there, it's okay to, to actually not fulfill all of your goals, you just roll it to the next year, which I did. So that's one of my goals by the end of 2022 is, is to have both Nikita, a tale of the ring and redemption, which is my life story, inspirational book, and then wrestling with success, which is my motivational book. My goal is to have both of those available on audio for, you know, for those like yourself or others who just don't necessarily like to sit down and read a book, but they'll, you know, listen to it maybe in their drive time or something like that. So, um, but we'll, I know she said, well, if you don't, you know, maybe I can just read it to them, which, which would be good too, because then you both get to hear my story. Right. So, so, well, awesome.
Well, that's, that's pretty amazing. And, um, and I know you were asking me about some, some of the others staying and, and Ivan, Lex, Road Warriors, Shawn Michaels, and others. And so have you followed some of their careers and or their, their path into, into becoming Christ followers as well? Um, some of them other, other than just knowing whether they are or not, just some of them I only know by fact, but others I follow. Did you get a chance to catch Undertaker thinking of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?
You know, I did not. I heard, I heard, and I knew his wife was a believer and I saw an interview in a church in Texas where there, where he was sharing some of that testimony, how his wife was very instrumental in leading him to the foot of the cross. And I think many come to realize when it's all said and done that you can pursue success and all that life has to offer, but without that personal relationship with Jesus, it just still leaves you empty inside.
I don't care how many WrestleMania, WrestleManias you've won or, or how many championship belts or whatever else you accomplish without that personal relationship, you know, it just still leaves you empty inside. And I know you had an interest too, and maybe, maybe someday even come into your church and just, you know, let your pastor know that he can reach out and connect with me through just right through my website, right through Koloff.net. And, and by the way, that's where others can get, get my books too. And I do personally autograph those when they're purchased through my website, but we're here today for you, Jason, to be able to ask me some questions. And I know I've already asked you a few, but let's flip the table here. Let's give you the opportunity to ask a couple, three questions and, and for our listeners.
So fire away. What's question number one? Did you or Joseph Laurenitis or his parents have anything to do with each other's salvation? So, yes, no, a little back, backdrop on, on the Laurenitis family, a Catholic background. And interestingly enough, when I, when I literally recruited Joe out of high school, Irondale High School, New Brighton, Minnesota, he was a standout high school football player. I was part of the recruiting college recruiting team and, and invited him and his parents. I still can remember the day they toured the campus and we took him to the cafeteria, gave him a, fed him a meal. And we went to the basketball game that night and entertain him there at the basketball game. And we just clicked, we just hit it off.
I fell in love with his parents, his mom, Lorna, really kind of fell in love with me. I became like a prodigal son. You know, there was, there was a Joe, Joe, Johnny and Mark, three boys, and I became like the fourth son, the prodigal son. And of course, all three of them ended up, you know, getting into wrestling, Johnny Ace and, and the youngest brother, Mark. And of course, Road Warrior Animal, Joe would become Road Warrior Animal.
And, and it would be years later, fast forward years later that we were in New Mexico. I was doing an autograph signing, the animal and Hawker on the card, wrestling. I wrote another book. I'm going to bring it back into publication.
It was called Breaking the Chains. It was the very first book I wrote, self-published. And I gave a copy to every guy in the dressing room, like 25 wrestlers on the, on the, on the card. And I felt the Lord just prompt me to say, give every guy a copy of your book. And of course, I handed one to Joe and he's like, did you sign it? And I'm like, yeah, I signed it.
You know, I personalized it. And he sat down, Jason, that night in the dressing room. It was a very simple read. I mean, you could read it pretty quick. He read the entire book in the dressing room that night. In fact, he came back in the other dressing room. He's like, oh, I haven't read a book since college. You know, you know, he read the whole book and it would be only a few days later when he flew back to Minnesota, the him and his family went to an event called the power team guys who would like break bricks and roll up frying pans and all that. Right. And and that's where his son, James, who ended up playing eight or nine years with Los Angeles Rams.
Well, St. Louis Rams at the time and was a standout over to Ohio State. James was 14 years old, went forward to the altar with the rest of the family, followed suit. And they had an encounter with Jesus there.
So that was the influence I had on the Laurinaitis family. You're listening to the Truth Network and truthnetwork.com. Nikita Kolop. And I am here with a huge announcement, like like big, big announcement. Man Up Men's Conference Morningstar Ministries, Fort Mill, South Carolina, August 25th to the 27th. You're thinking that's a ways away.
No, not too soon to sign up. What a lineup of speakers we have. The Benham brothers.
David and Jason Benham. All Star NBA All Star Al Wood is speaking. World Wrestling Champion. The total package Lex Luger. Chris Reed. Rick Joyner. Delta Force Commander General.
Lieutenant General Jerry Boykin retired. Yours truly, Nikita Kolop, world renowned evangelist Frank Shelton. Register today. It is live. M Star Events, mstarevents.com slash man up. Go get registered. You will not want to miss this event.
You're listening to the Truth Network and truthnetwork.com. Awesome. Yes, sir. Who was Mark? Mark was the youngest brother. He wrestled as a number of different characters and he was in WCW for a while and he didn't make it as big as Johnny Ace, a road warrior animal, but he had a decent career. He just wrestled as a number of, almost like a Terminator character and just different characters. Yep. All three Laurinitis boys made it into professional wrestling. Did you have a hand in Hawk getting saved too? You know I did.
Yes. And so I'd heard that Animal and his family had given their life to the Lord and so I reached out at one point and heard his story and I said, you've got to come out to this conference in Arizona called AIM, Athletes International Ministries. It was a special weekend conference by Larry and Wendy Karachuk, every year they would have this conference for Christian athletes, professional and collegiate athletes.
And from every background, I mean guys like Chuck Norris came out, I mean just one name that comes to mind, David Robinson of the NBA, I mean I could go through the list, Deion Sanders, I mean just go through the list of athletes who attended this conference whose lives were impacted through this conference. I'm like, Joe, you've got to come out to this conference. And he goes, hey, could I invite Hawk? And I'm like, ah, I went silent like for a moment.
I'm like, uh-huh, because you know anyone who knew Hawk's story, I mean they knew, you know, he wasn't bashful about being a partier and could put you under the table, you know, whether it was drugs or drinking or whatever. And I'm like, uh, Joe, you know it's like a Christian event, right? And I'm like, yeah, but I just feel like I'm supposed to invite him. I'm like, yeah, okay, yeah, invite him. And he called me back like a few hours later, he's like, he wants to come. And I'm like, I'm silent again.
I'm like, you're kidding me, right? He goes, no. I go, is he serious? He goes, no, he's serious. I'm like, okay, I'll let Larry know, you know, the pastor. I call Larry Kerchuck right away. I'm like, Larry, the road warriors want to come to the conference. He's like, oh, that's amazing. And I remember, Jason, I remember getting there the day, you know, the day of it. And I'm like, Larry, have you seen Hawker Animal yet? He's like, no, I hadn't seen him yet. Cause I have to admit I had my reservations as to really honestly, whether either of them would show up and all that to say they did man.
And I was like, just elated, right? And I know Larry was excited. And a lot of guys attended that conference, Sting, Shawn Michaels, Big Boss Man, George the Animal Steel, Vashon, Vivian Vashon of the Vashon family. So many wrestlers over the years attended that conference and many of them got saved out there. Well, on that first night, a preacher by the name of Jensen Franklin out of Georgia was preaching. And Hawk was the first one to respond to the altar, encounter Jesus. We baptized him that weekend in the pool right there at the resort. And then I brought him on the road for a year and a half with me and began to mentor and disciple him up to his passing where I was then asked to be the keynote speaker at his service when he went home to be with Jesus. So there you go.
You're listening to the Truth Network and TruthNetwork.com. Oh, that's awesome. You're able to put your hand on people that you know that you've made a difference in their life. Well, and for all of us, right? Anyone who's a Christ follower, I think is part of the Great Commission, right?
Go out into all the world and disciple and baptize them in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, right? So great questions. You got one more?
Got another one for me? Well, I have kind of a dual question. Okay.
There are two different questions, but they're both about wrestling. Okay. Can you watch wrestling and separate yourself from the wrestler to where you can actually look at it like a fan that's excited?
Or do you look at it by critiquing it by the moves that you know? Okay, guys. I just had this conversation earlier today. It was very rare that I would watch myself wrestle in the ring. Well, not necessarily you.
Anybody. Oh, I got you. I got you. Yeah, that was part of the process of learning. And of course, for me, it wasn't even like when I broke in, for those who know my story, you know, no amateur background, no professional training, you know, on my debut. Yeah, that was awesome.
Yeah, the Dorton Arena in Raleigh. But how, for me, how I learned in a very rapid way at a rapid pace was Ivan would sit in my corner, Uncle Ivan, and watch my very short matches each night. I would then sit in their corner, him and Don Cornotto were the World Tag Team Champions. I'd literally sit in their corner and just study everything they did in the ring. Now, prior to that match each night, we get to the arena two or three hours early and they would, Don and Ivan would bump and thump all over the ring, teaching me the mechanics of wrestling. And then on the way home, we would discuss and talk about the old school psychology of wrestling. And there were other matches. If you ever were in an arena and watch Ric Flair, the reason he was one of the best of the best of the best is he watched a lot of the matches every single night. Even as a world champion, one, to see what others were doing in the ring and kind of, I think, in his mind to set up what he was going to do in the ring. And the guys who really have excelled, I think, really did that, Jason. They really studied other wrestlers, guys of the past, and that's what accelerated their careers.
That's a great question. Well, aside from the fan part, I mean the learning and moves part, can you watch it and get lost in the moment still? Well, I don't watch it. From the time I walked away, I stopped watching it, like, truthfully.
I've caught bits and pieces and little clips and that sort of thing, but actually watching it to watch it, I haven't done that since 1992. And so, you know, I'm still a fan of wrestling, obviously, because I was one, and what I love more than anything now, than watching any of the matches or even an interest in watching them, is going out to all the autograph signings, you know, the legends, the comic cons, the legends signings, and hearing your stories, hearing the fans' stories, your favorite moments, you know, a phone call like this, you know, the Q&A show, and hearing, you know, answering your questions and hearing some of your favorite memories is more important to me now. So, we've got time for one more question, Jason, then we'll have to cut you loose and maybe do another one, or meet you in Missouri. Yeah, that would work. One more question. Man, is there a way I could pop in two?
Throw them out there and I'll see if I can give a short answer. Have you ever had a chance to try and witness to Ric Flair, and does he have any, is he open to it at all? You're listening to the Truth Network and truthnetwork.com. If you would like to support Koloff for Christ Ministries, for a gift of $25, Nikita will send you his two CDs, Adoration and Declaration. For a gift of $50, Nikita will include his book, Wrestling with Success. And 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.koloff.net and donate today. You're listening to the Truth Network and truthnetwork.com. Rick has heard, let's just say, only God knows the true heart of a man, right? It seems like he's determined to go down in a blaze of glory, so to speak. I've heard recently, and he's not, I know the last time he was in the hospital, they said, if you drink again, you're done.
I mean, he had like a 15% chance of living, and he lived. And so, I don't know, honestly, where he stands, whether he has a relationship with Jesus or he doesn't. I mean, his actions wouldn't necessarily illustrate that, perhaps.
Again, not trying to be judgmental, but just, you know them by their fruits, the Scripture says, right? So, I say that to say, I know this for certain, though. I mentioned about speaking at Hawk's funeral, and there were several others I've spoken at.
A legendary man named Johnny Weaver, and Uncle Ivans, and I was at Road Warrior Hawks, and others. And I'll say this, that he has clearly heard the Gospel message, because I presented it at those services, those funeral services. So, I can say he will not stand before the Creator of the Universe, God Almighty, and say, I didn't know there was a plan of salvation.
That part I know. Now, whether he's ever made an actual bonafide decision to truly surrender his life to Jesus, I want to say only God knows that answer, right? So, okay, so, all right, was that, was there one more, or was that the two-part you said, can I slip two in? There's one more, it was just, I was wondering what some of your favorite verses were, passages, and how you got saved. So, how I served my life to the Lord, I'm going to tease everybody and say, go buy the book. The story of the Ring of Redemption, go to my website, Koloff.net, and buy the book.
You read the full story from start to finish, as far back in life as I can remember, to newly being updated in 2021, with about seven or eight new chapters. And just realizing I was on an empty chase. I'll condense it to say I was on an empty chase, I was successful, but I was unfulfilled. And the only thing that fulfilled me was October 17th, 1993, when I surrendered my heart and my life to Jesus on that night.
And so you asked me that, and I forget what else you asked me. Oh, some of your favorite verses, September 22nd, 1994. September 22nd, 1994. At Liberty University. At Liberty, that's amazing. Well, praise the Lord for that. And I'll end with quoting what's become a life verse, Colossians 1, 10.
And I say quoting, I'm just going to give you the concept and how I receive it. So, I'm going to live a life that's worthy of Jesus, that honors Him. My goal every day I wake up now is to live a life today that honors Him, that's worthy of carrying His name. And I'm going to do my best to please Him, fully please Him in every way through thoughts, words, and action. And my goal is to bear fruit, good fruit, love, and joy, peace, patience, and kindness, and display that to people.
And then last part of that scripture is to grow in the knowledge of God, Colossians 1, 10. So, awesome. Jason Hess, thank you for being on the show today, my friend. I appreciate it. And thank you all for dialing into another episode of Q&A with Koloff. And if you'd like to be on the show, email me.
Email me like Jason did and I'll get you on the show and you get a personal phone call. Jason, God bless you, man. Thanks for being on the show. Yeah, you too, brother. All right. Have a wonderful day.
I look forward to seeing you in August. All right. Likewise. Bye-bye.
All right. God bless. This podcast is made possible by the grace of God and your faithful prayers, support, and generous gifts. May God bless you for your continual contributions. Go to koloff.net and donate today. Nikita Koloff here.
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