Hi, I'm Joanne Vickner, Memaw with It's Storytime Memaw, an answered prayer for stories that point children to God on the Truth Network for kids. Your chosen Truth Network Podcast is starting in just a few seconds.
Enjoy it, share it. But most of all, thank you for listening to the Truth Podcast Network. This is the Truth Network. Ladies and gentlemen, the following contest is set for one flaw. Introducing first, from Lithuania, he weighs 123 kilos, the Russian nightmare, Nikita Kolov. Welcome to another episode, Q&A with Kolov, the Devil's Nightmare. On the show with me today, not on the phone, but in studio, I have a dear friend here, Angelo Bannister. Welcome to the Q&A show. Thank you for having me.
I'm excited for this one. Well, it's great to have you here, Angelo. Great to have you in studio. It's always more fun.
I enjoy calling people and doing the call-ins and connecting with people through the phone, but it's just more fun just to have somebody in the studio. So great to have you here. And I want to do this before we jump into, of course, it's Q&A with Kolov. That means you get to ask me the questions.
But before we do that, I want our listeners to know who Angelo Bannister is. So just give us a little backdrop on your story. Sure.
Yeah. So to keep it as brief as I can. So I my name is Angelo. Like you said, I ended up here in the beautiful North Carolina from all the way from the Bahamas, Nassau, Bahamas. And you might be wondering how and why did I end up here in the Bahamas.
And it's been it has been since 2008 since I've been here as well. But I came here with aspirations to play baseball, which I was fortunate enough to go all the way to college and play baseball. So, you know, my history, my story is for ever since I was a little boy on the islands of the Bahamas, baseball was was my one of my loves. And so I ended up going to a high school here because I figured out that that might be the best opportunity I can get to be able to be seen by scouts. And then after after playing three years in high school, I ended up getting a few offers from colleges. One of my one of my offers was all the way in Mississippi. And I think if I took that offer, it's funny because it was probably the best offer I had. And if I believe there was something deep, deep down in me saying this isn't the one for me.
And I think if I took that offer, my whole life would have been different. I mean, this, you know, I'm married to Jessica Bannister. She is she's a beautiful lady from from this area, actually born in Hawaii. But her family has a lot of roots here.
Her family are the Bursh Fields in Concord, North Carolina. And they have a gym that's called the Sports Center, which is a 60,000 square foot facility with tons of amenities, pools, CrossFit. So saunas, hot tubs, you name it, a racquetball, tennis ball. Yeah, everything. Yeah, really.
Anything. You name it. Actually, we have we have a salon in there, too. Hair salon.
Not that you need to go to one, but I have to grow my hair out to go to the salon. So, OK. Yeah. So there's a lot of roots there. And currently I run the CrossFit over there, which is another funny story besides wanting to play professional baseball.
My other thing that I always want to do is own a gym. So, wow. The fact that the Lord orchestrated that to me in the position that I am today because I do take ownership in parts of the Sports Center is it's very special.
And it's not nothing that I did. This just happened. You know, the Lord leading and guiding and directing your path, would you say? Yes, absolutely.
Closed doors that I shouldn't go through and open them that I should go through. Well, yeah. To your point, the Mississippi, right? Yeah.
I would venture to say, yeah, if you'd went to Mississippi, it probably would have turned out quite a bit different. Oh, I think it would be a whole. You know, I sometimes I think about it. I wonder what that would be like.
But other times I'm like, I really don't care. Well, and I get that, Angelo, because like like I didn't dream I didn't grow up like you. You dreamed about being a pro baseball player playing in the major leagues. I dreamed about playing in the NFL. OK, playing football. Yeah, right.
I never dreamed about being a pro wrestler. But a door of opportunity opened up and I just took advantage of it. I took a risk and took advantage of it.
Of course, the rest, the old cliche goes, the rest is history. But and so so you had this love for baseball as a child playing there. I know you had shared with me in the past playing night and day as often as you could there in the islands of the Bahamas. What was it like to grow up on the on the islands?
What was that like? So a lot of people think when you grow up on the island, it is a vacation all the time. And unfortunately, it's not. And also, a lot of people think that that in Nassau it would be a third world country. So some of the things that we have here in the U.S. is kind of foreign to what we grew up with, which is also not really true, because if you've ever been to Nassau, it's very much a a I would say between first and second world country. We've had malls. We have some of the fast food restaurant chains you have here. Actually, we have if you're familiar with the little bird scooters, you can you can rent in metropolitan cities. Yeah, we have those.
So it's not necessarily a third world country. So growing up, growing up there, you know, we did do stuff that, you know, you may have not had the opportunity here, like spearfish. And I think I talked about that at one point. Going out to the beach every day. Yeah, going out to the beach every day.
So it's funny because here now we like to go to the beach, Myrtle Beach or Wrightsville Beach or something like that. You're listening to the Truth Network and truthnetwork.com If you would like to support Kolah 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.kolah.net and donate today. Nikita Kolah here and 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 Kolah Fans, and like it and follow today. You're listening to the Truth Network and truthnetwork.com And I still love, you know, part of me still loves the beach, but my wife and my friends, they want to be on the beach by nine o'clock in the morning. I'm more like, let's wait till one. You know, we don't have to be there all day. You grew up in it.
Yeah, exactly. It's like a pool in your backyard. So I still like it, but I know a little bit of it. So let me ask you a question. I'm curious.
This just popped it popped up in my spirit. So so here's a question for you. So and I've made a number of trips to the to the Caribbean to the Bahamas. We used to do crusades in the Bahamas. Did a big crusade in Jamaica. Actually, the largest audience I've ever ministered to or shared my story with it was in Jamaica.
Seventy three thousand in Jamaica on an outdoor crusade. Wow. But so is this taught growing up for everyone? Like you asked him a question.
They say no problem on the island, man. Is that taught or what? You know what? I think that is so beyond my time.
He's showing his age here. I think that is so. I guess I am.
I am. No, I think it's I think it is. People do say that. And I think growing up in the Bahamas, I know that there are people that are beings that say it to tourists just to make the tourists feel like they're there. They're where they always wanted to be. That makes more sense now.
Yeah, that makes more sense. In fact, I was just there just three, four years ago in in in Nassau. OK. And and Brother Derek had me come in. Man, we did school assemblies. I did awesome shows. I did very cool. Yeah.
Preach some some some different events there for them. And it was awesome. Went over the over to the government center, the minister of of of of the island there. Yeah. Anyway, had a had a great time there and always look look forward to going to the Caribbean. It's great. It's a great place. Yeah.
So so you come to America. And by the way, I know the birds. You made reference to the Birchfield family who, you know, I've I've loved that family for years and years and years. Bruce Birchfield, you know, I you know, he's been like an accountability partner over the years. Now I call him a battle buddy.
OK. He's been like a battle buddy of mine over the years. And we go way, way, way back to when when they came back from YWAM from which for those listening out there, if you're wondering why Jessica was born in Hawaii, that was where the YWAM youth with a mission base was in Hawaii. And her older brothers were born overseas in India, I think. And fun, fun fact about YWAM, I believe one of their first locations was the Bahamas. OK. Yeah, that's that's pretty interesting.
OK, it is. And what an amazing organization that is. If you're not familiar with YWAM, go go look that up.
And that was hundreds and hundreds, thousands and thousands of kids have been impacted in the world's been impacted by YWAM. But and so to love the Birchfield family is Sports Center been there many times. And of course, so are you a hard nosed trainer? So, yeah, so the kind of the kind of trainer I am. Huh? Yeah, I like to I enjoy seeing people suffer. No, that's not that's that's what I'm wondering. I came to one of your crossfish.
How much am I going to suffer? But so I try to read I try to read clients. I try to figure out what they would respond to well. And I think that that makes a trainer really, really good, because some clients may not respond to the yelling at them. And if that's if that's you, then I won't do that. But if you do respond to that way, then I'm going to let out the horse.
You know, so that's an interesting expression. And do you have clients of all ages? I do. So, yeah, I have I have clients as young as my youngest right now is 18.
And I have over 20 clients, personal training clients. But my youngest is 18 and my oldest is 76. Wow. Yeah. Seventy six.
So quite a variety of age range. Yeah. And the lady that I train at 76, she's from the mountains of Tennessee. So I enjoy training her because I get to sit there and and talk to her about the difference that things are today.
You know, because you can you can imagine what what it was like with the turmoil between African-Americans and Caucasians back in the day. So, yeah, it's pretty, pretty cool. Yeah.
And get a mountain experience. Oh, yeah. Yeah.
She had no electricity up there or anything like that. Wow. Yeah.
So it's pretty different. You're listening to the Truth Network and Truth Network dot com. Nikita Koloff here.
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You're listening to the Truth Network and Truth Network dot com. I mean, no indoor plumb. If she didn't have electricity, probably probably not. Probably not.
Yeah, I didn't ask that. But I would assume. Yeah, I would imagine. Yeah.
Mountains of Tennessee. That's amazing. So so and your family, Jessica, you've got you've got three beautiful children. Yeah.
Yeah, I do. I have a six year old. She's very, very sweet. A four year old who is is pretty much my personality wrapped in one.
And then a one year old that has me wrapped around her fingers. Go figure. Yeah.
Yeah. So three girls, three girls. And what are their names? So Ella May is the oldest. Reese is the middle child. And then Arrow is the youngest, the one year old.
And hopefully in the future we can have one that's going to take my name. Right. But who knows?
Who knows? All in all in God's plan. I've been consistent so far, though. Well, I get it. I raised four girls.
So so I get that. And no regrets. No regrets. Not having a boy. And not at all.
And or not raise. Not at all. So and of course, your your your bride, Jessica's dear friends with with one of my daughters, Kendra. Yeah. And actually, Kendra, Colby have both spent lots and lots.
All my daughters spent time with the Burchfield family. And they're all they're all kind of almost kind of different parallel ages. Yeah. Yeah, you're right. Yeah. Yeah. So we spent a lot of time together. But hey, we could talk quite a quite a bit.
Well, let me ask you before we before we flip the switch here. So if people want to find out, get more information on the Sports Center, how how would they do that? So the easiest thing to do is to just go on Google and type in Sports Center NC.
Or you can just search the Web page. Sports Center NC dot com. Sports Center NC dot com.
Sports Center NC dot com. Yeah. Well, this is the Q&A show.
Questions and answers with Koloff. And so let's let's flip it around here and give you the chance to ask me a few questions. And so fire away. What? All right. First question. All right. Well, you know what?
I think I think I'll start easy and then maybe we can get harder as we go. But I guess on trainer, my first question is, would you go back into wrestling with the uniform you wrestled in? That's a short answer. No. People ask you all the time. Are you going to come out?
You can be like everybody else and do a one off or whatever. Yeah. And I mean, what am I what am I staying, staying who is 11 days younger than me. OK.
It's still jumping off of railings. Oh, my goodness. Yeah. I'm like, dude, what are you thinking? I'm praying more intensely for you now.
Stinger, if you're listening out there staying, I'm praying for you. But it's awesome. Yeah. No, I've realized at my age, it's more fun to go to comic cons and legends, autograph signings and meet all the fans and hear all of their stories versus me getting in the ring.
Now, I will say for the record, because I work with a couple of a couple of guys. I've christened them Alexander Koloff and Neil Koloff. They're like my adopted nephew.
OK. That's kind of part of the story. Occasionally I'll show up at a show with them and you may see now my finishing move is called the Russian sickle. OK. You might just see for posterity's sake, a Russian sickle.
What's funny about that is all the guys who are in wrestling now who grew up watching me, every one of them standing in line to take one of those sickles from me. Oh, my goodness. Yeah. Like for real. Really? I'm like, yeah.
So every now and then in a special situation. Wow. But that's the extent of it.
I have no desire to get back in the ring. And yeah. And I'm one of the few, maybe the only one who's actually retired and actually stayed retired. Wow. So, yeah.
Go figure. I think Hogan's had like seven retirement matches or something. Yeah. Flair's had about 20. So you and Hogan and Flair, you guys obviously knew each other personally.
We did. Yeah, obviously in the same. I mean, I probably had 200 matches against Flair.
Wow. In the ring. And Hogan, we were although we were never he came over to WCW after I had already retired. OK. We actually went head to head when he was with WWF.
I was with NBA slash WCW. But our paths would cross. Yeah. Yeah.
So we knew each other on a on a personal level. Wow. That no.
Go figure. Cool. That's awesome. So I guess my second question, as we ramp up a little bit, would be what is there a moment that you can remember that you've had a major parenting fail?
Or even even if it's just something you can laugh at today, you know, for example, the other day, my oldest was was doing something that she should not have been doing. So it required me to to kind of get a hand, get a pulse on it. So I sent her to her room and and then she started to kind of ramp up in her room where she's starting to get a little louder and start banging on the door and all that stuff. So then I bust in there and I'm like, you better stop right now before you get in trouble. And she obviously looked at me and and my my daughter said she looked at me and said, you're breaking my heart. Oh, I know.
I know. A six year old. So so then you're like, oh, my goodness, I'm going to mess her up. I'm going to mess her up as a parent. But is there a time that you can remember that it was a parenting fail for you?
Man, that's a really great question. And we could probably do an entire show just on that topic alone of parenting. Yeah.
I mean, you know, because there's no really no book out there on I mean, you become a parent and then it's trial and error along the way. Right. And I think what's the funniest thing is from the oldest down to the youngest, you know, you always hear the the oldest complain that the youngest got away with so much. But as a parent, you realize how strict you are with the oldest.
Right. And things you learn that did and didn't work, you loosen that you seem to loosen up as they come along. And so it does appear as though the younger one gets a quote away with more.
But essentially, you attributed to things you learned along the way of what to do and not to do. And so I guess I look back and say I was super strict with our oldest, with Taryn, and much less strict with with Colby. And as I grew as a person and I grew as a parent, I saw where I could, if you want to say, loosen the reins and just not be as strict with Colby as I was with Taryn.
And to Colby's benefit, but not to Taryn's. Right. So, I mean, at the end of the day, you do what you feel is best for your child in making that decision. I've had those conversations with all of them. Look, you know, some of the decisions I made over the over the years looking back.
Yeah, I was probably too strict on just some of the discipline as you're dealing with right now. And I like to think, though, that that I learned through trial and error over the years. So no, no, no.
Any one answer on that. Yeah. But for me, I kind of generalized the answer that way. If that's. Yeah. Yeah. No, that's helpful. That is helpful. That's good. Yeah. And I think what I'm realizing having three three kids is obviously the one year old doesn't require a lot of discipline. Right. But, you know, the other two.
What works for one may and probably not work for the other one. So having to realize that's that's a good point, too. Let me I'll interject this real quick, too. I'm just thinking. So my daughter, Kendra, just recently had their second child. Yeah. So their oldest child, you know, is three. I hope I got my math right here. I've got 10 grandchildren.
So trying to get all their birth dates and all. But so she she asked for prayer recently because. Monroe is used to just having mom. Yeah.
And now there's another child in the picture, a little sister. Yeah. And it seems like Monroe is maybe having some challenges adjusting to not being the only child now. Yeah, I can see that. And so Kendra and Brandon are saying, hey, pray, pray, pray that God gives us wisdom on how to navigate that.
How to, you know, with with Monroe. Yeah. And help her understand. Because at that age, it's so hard for them to communicate that how she truly feels. It is. And, you know, especially with a three year old and a child who's been used to being the only child.
And now she's got a split time with mama and daddy and all that. Yeah. So, yeah. No, no. It's all trial and error, my brother.
But well, another question I have for you is tell me about when you got saved. OK, so I'd say the elevator version on that is, is that so growing up in Minnesota. OK. I did not know that. Oh, you know.
Yeah. I'm a Minnesota guy. Not Russia. I'm not from Russia. OK. Yeah.
I'm not from Russia. Grew up in Minnesota, but we didn't really grow up in church. You know, I was the youngest of four, raised by a single mom, starting in the projects, the ghettos of Minneapolis, later to move out to the suburbs. And but but never attended church really. Maybe a handful of times at Christmas or Easter. A couple of special occasions. Right. God called me. I think we were CEOs. Christmas and Easter only.
Right. And and and then, of course, through my wrestling days. I mean, you know, God, Jesus, that wasn't on the forefront of my thoughts.
I mean, my wrestling career, my success was and it wouldn't be till after I left wrestling. You know, I turned 34 and met a Christian couple through business ventures invited me to their church. And in October of 1993, you know, which is where I actually met the birch fields.
OK. At this church, at First Assembly Church in in in Concord, North Carolina. But it was at that church, very first service ever walked into that I had really what I call an aha moment. By that meaning, I was successful. I was a world champion in wrestling.
I traveled all over the world, experienced life like like not many people do. Right. And and yet something was still missing.
I couldn't put my finger on it. But that day, when an invitation was given, hey, if you're here and you've never surrendered your heart and your life to Jesus. We want to give you that opportunity. It was like, man, I've never done that. Yeah.
And so it's just a stirring in my heart and led by the Holy Spirit down to that altar on my knees. Surrender my life. And life's just never been the same since 1993. Wow.
That's 11 months after I left wrestling. Oh, that's awesome. Yeah. Yeah.
Yeah. So tell me about this man up this man camp. How did this start?
How did this become an idea? So so Lex Luger and I, another wrestling peer. He and I, in fact, he at our last man camp, he made a very vivid drove home. A very vivid point of his first major title was when he beat a guy in greens in a cage in Greensboro, North Carolina, named Nikita Koloff, who made sure all the guys knew who he beat for the U.S. heavyweight championship.
And so we were peers in the wrestling industry. We got reconnected in Phoenix, Arizona, at an athletes conference in 2006, almost to the day, two months after he got saved, gave his life to the Lord. After a series of drug and alcohol battles that he had in and out of jail.
Now, all the fans saw was the glamour and the glitz on television from the as he was known, the total package Lex Luger behind the scenes. His life was a train wreck and falling apart. In fact, eventually his marriage fell apart, his whole family and all that. We were reconnected, reunited. And then we created an instant bond now with the common thread of Jesus in both of our lives. And we did a lot of ministry together, speaking at churches and things at schools and all that.
In 2015, he came and lived with me for 10 months. OK. It was during that time that was birthed the man of conference. It's a one day conference that we do in local churches around the country. And that feeds into it's like an appetizer into the entree, which is the man camp. Yeah. Which is a five day catalyst.
We do it in North Georgia, a little town called Royston. And the goal, the vision God gave us was to take our experience, him and I with with being bodybuilders, professional athletes, lovers of Jesus, and combine all that together and teach and train men who come in, teach and treat no matter how healthy you appreciate this. You work in a health industry, right? No matter how healthy they are right now, physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. Our goal is for them to come into camp and teach and train them, equip them and empower them, and then deploy them back home to be even better than they already are. Godly men, godly husbands and godly fathers.
And to put some, if you want to say some tools in their tool belt or tools in their toolbox that can help them walk that out. Like even your question about parenting, you know, especially married guys, a lot of married guys come. Guys come from all different backgrounds from 18 up. The oldest one has been 73. Wow. Come on. A retired pastor of 50 years.
And so men of all walks of life come and we hear wonderful, wonderful stories upon them returning home. One last thought. Last fall, we had a guy named Rick Pinion who came. OK.
He came at 248 pounds. You're listening to the Truth Network and TruthNetwork.com. Hi, Nikita Kolov. Be sure to check out the Man Up show now available on television, broadcast and podcast. Go to MorningStarTV.com or the Truth Radio Network.
Check out your local listings or better yet, download the Truth Network app today. Hi, Nikita Kolov here, and I am excited to announce the first annual Morning Star Men's Conference, August 25th to the 27th. Our theme, Man Up. It's time. We have a phenomenal lineup of speakers, including NBA All-Star Al Wood, WWE Superstar Lex Luger, David and Jason Benham, the Benham brothers, Lieutenant General Jerry Boykin, world renowned evangelist Frank Shelton, Chris Reed, Dr. Rick Joyner, of course, yours truly. Get registered early. You do not want to miss this event.
Go to MStarEvents.com. You're listening to the Truth Network and TruthNetwork.com. He was inspired by what Lex taught on on the body and what the Bible has to say about the body. Yeah.
And he recently sent me a picture as he is now one hundred and seventy one pounds from 248 to one hundred and seventy one. Barely really didn't even recognize. Incredible.
But what inspired him was was the camp and what Lex taught him at the camp about the temple, the body and the and the obligation, the mandate that God puts on. Yeah. Wow. Yeah. Yeah. You're right. Yeah. That's the camp. So, yeah. And it's you're listening out there.
Go to Man Camp dot info or Koloff dot net to find out more about the man camp. So I have one last question and I think this one will be easy for you. OK. Would you choose having a million dollars or having to stop at a red light for the rest of your life? Every red light. Oh, so one million dollars. Never stop at a red light or you have to stop at a red light.
Every red light. I'll take the million dollars because I'm still a lawbreaker. Although I'm better. I'm better. I'm better. I am. They're they're more cautious. I rarely run a red. The rare rarely.
OK. I stretch it on the yellow. In fact, I have a friend, friends in the car with me some time ago. I think that was red. It was yellow. It was yellow. It was yellow.
It was turning red. I think if you get in the intersection by the time it's yellow, you're good. Technically. Yeah.
You're supposed to clear the intersection if it's on the yellow. So, wow. That's a random question. I've never been asked before. But what prompted you to. We had this we had this running debate in one of our CrossFit classes.
OK. There is a handful of people that said they will stop at red lights for the rest of their lives. And there's a handful that said they'll take the million dollars. I personally said, you know what, I'll take the million dollars and and maybe try and buy a helicopter to fly past the red lights. Well, and again, and I've become more and more and more conscious of that. And especially when I'm at a red light, not to just jet out into the intersection either. Right.
Because of how many people actually do now run a red light. So I'm trying to be more conscious of that myself. Great question. Man, great having you on the show today. Absolutely. Thank you.
Angela Bannister, SportsCenterNC.com. Go check it out and tune in for another episode of Q&A with Koloff. And I'll look forward to bringing you another great show. God bless you. 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. All feet agree. Clemens carpet is where you need to be with carpet, vinyl, tile and hardwood from the top brands. Clemens carpet does it right from beginning to install. Voted number one by you in the Reader's Choice Awards. Doug, Chad, Benny, Kiwi and the team at Clemens carpet. Look forward to seeing and serving you soon. This is Nikita Koloff and I want to thank Clemens carpet for supporting my new show, Man Up, Saturday afternoon at 1230 on the Truth Network. This is the Truth Network.
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