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Q&A With Koloff- #71

It's Time to Man Up! / Nikita Koloff
The Truth Network Radio
May 31, 2022 1:00 am

Q&A With Koloff- #71

It's Time to Man Up! / Nikita Koloff

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May 31, 2022 1:00 am

Today Nikita sits down with the Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina Mark Robinson for another great episode of questions and answers.

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Enjoy it and share it. But most of all, thank you for listening and for choosing the Truth Podcast Network. Welcome to another episode of Q&A with Koloff, The Devil's Nightmare.

I've been in the studio with me today, not a phone call, but in studio. It's an honor. It's a privilege to have the Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina, Mark Robinson. Mark, welcome to the Q&A show with Koloff. All right.

Thank you. Thanks for having me. It's good to be here. It's great to have you here. This is fun for me because I know from prior conversations that you grew up a pretty avid wrestling fan. But before we get to that, for our listeners out there, give a little quick insight on Mark Robinson. You're from Greensboro and grew up there and your family.

Tell us. Born and raised in Greensboro, number nine of 10 children. Graduated from Grimsley High School. Been married for about 33 years.

Have two adult children, two grandchildren. Spent some time in the United States military. Spent a lot of time in furniture manufacturing.

Gave a speech in Greensboro, went viral, and then ended up Lieutenant Governor. Which I know from prior conversations, it wasn't necessary. Like, people ask me all the time, did you grow up dreaming of being a wrestler? I'm like, nah, I sure did not. You know, football was my deal, right? Weightlifting, bodybuilding, and football. That was where my passion laid. But then a door of opportunity opened up for wrestling. You know, Jim Crockett Promotions, Jim Crockett Jr. You know, five-minute phone call with him. And next thing you know, I'm in Charlotte, North Carolina and stepping into a ring, debuting in Raleigh, North Carolina at the Dorton Arena without any wrestling experience, no amateur background, no professional training, the night I went into the ring and debuted.

I don't even know any of that story, but yeah, none. So I get it. You didn't grow up dreaming of being in politics, but a door of opportunity opened up. Here you are, Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina.

And so Greensboro, man, you know, certainly a lot of rich history there with wrestling, the granddaddy of them all, Starrcade, right? And you mentioned me too. I don't know if you said you're one of 10 children, right?

So one of 10 children. And congratulations on 33 years of marriage, by the way. And thank you for serving our great nation as well. I always appreciate those who spent time in the service, all the different branches. My dad was in the 82nd Airborne, 82nd Airborne. And I'll tell you this story real quick.

Before he passed away, he lived to be 92. And I went up on his last Father's Day and I saw a phone online somewhere, something like, you know, questions to ask your dad on Father's Day or something. I'm like, all right, I'm going to do that. So I had the journal and 10 questions all lined out and began to ask him these questions. And yeah, I was writing them down. He was answering them.

And I had no clue. He had never opened up about this, but he told me how he liberated a concentration camp in Germany. Yeah. I was like, I mean, Mark, vivid details like he was there. I mean, from the name of the camp to the town to the, yeah.

And I told my sister later, who I was staying with while I was there in Minnesota, she's like, how'd you get him to talk about that? I go, I just asked, you know? But anyway, so I just appreciate those who serve, serve in our military and have given us the freedom we have today. That's right. That's one of the things that I always think about when I see men from that generation. I think about that served in World War II and other wars.

I think about the scars, the internal scars that they carry and memories they carry. And they did that for us. You know, they did. And it really did for the world. And we owe those folks an extreme amount of gratitude. We do. We owe them.

I mean, many of them laid down their life for our freedom. And so growing up in Greensboro and a big family like you did, raising two children of your own now, two grandchildren. And I know we've talked before. You actually shared a story on the Man Up show. You were, of course, you were a guest on the Man Up show as well about one of your very personal encounters at a wrestling match there at the Coliseum. I'm sure you have lots of stories. Do you have a favorite match or two from those days?

Like it doesn't have to be yours truly, but do you have a favorite match or two from your wrestling days growing up? You're listening to the Truth Network and Nikita Kolov here.

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You're listening to the Truth Network and You know, honestly, growing up when I was a little kid, I was in the Coliseum, the matches didn't matter as much as the fun did. Okay. But I think the most memorable wrestling match that I've ever been to was somewhat of a surprise. I was in the Coliseum with one of my best friends and we were huge fans of the Road Warriors. And one Hawk.

That's right. And all of a sudden that music starting, they came out and they wrestled, I think the wild Samoans maybe, I think that's who they wrestled. And they went all over the Coliseum.

They were fighting literally right in front of us. And that's one of my most vivid memories is of that match. And then, of course, some of the other big attractions that we saw, matches between yourself and Ivan and the Rock and Roll Express. That's still one of my most enduring memories. The first time I saw the Rock and Roll Express beat the Russians was on television. And I can remember us jumping up and down, we were so excited. Yeah, they defeated those dirty Russians.

It was great. But those times were much different. I guess a lot of kids now would say, they're going to have those same memories from what they watch now. But it was a lot more innocent back then, I think.

Yeah. Well, it was a very protected business. Some know more of the story, but it was a very protected business. And by that meaning, it was hard to crack into the business. In fact, you mentioned the Road Warriors, it was the Road Warrior Animal is the whole reason I got into professional wrestling.

Is that right? Yeah, I don't know if you know that story, I'll give you a quick backstory on that. I actually recruited, Joe was his real name, Joe Lornitis. I actually recruited Joe out of Irondale High School in New Brighton, Minnesota to play college football with me. He was a standout, a high school standout. I was part of the recruiting team for our college. And I saw him highlight in the newspaper.

Back in those days, you could pick up a phone book and find somebody's phone number. And I just called his house, talked to his parents, invited him to tour the campus. They came, I gave him the personal escort around campus.

Took him to the basketball, we always took him to a basketball game, gave him dinner, took him to a basketball game that night. Actually, the coach there, believe it or not, I don't even remember the name, Flip Saunders. You know that name at all? I do know that name.

You know that name? Flip Saunders, I sure do. Flip Saunders.

Animal and I and Flip used to shoot horse and pig all day long in the gym. That was Flip's first coaching job out of college, was a junior college in Golden Valley, Minnesota. And man, he brought the Golden Gopher hype and atmosphere to that junior college. And of course, he went on to have a legendary career in coaching and all that. But yeah, Flip Saunders, Rodeo Adable, the Russian Knight, we're all playing horse and pig in the gym there in Golden Valley. And so anyway, so Joe drops out and next thing I know, he gets into professional wrestling.

I went on to finish my college career and graduate and was training for a pro football tryout. He calls me up one day and says, hey, there's this promoter, they're looking for a big guy who would shave his head and become a Russian. I told him, I know just the guy. And so he gave me Jim Crockett's phone number. I call Crockett. I show up the day Crockett says to be there. And the rest is history. That's how I broke into wrestling. Rodeo animal. Wow. That's a great story. Well, you had a couple, you picked out a couple of good ones there.

Animal and Hawk. That's for sure. Sure missed those days. Well, and you recently took your son and your nephew right to a WWE event. We did.

We did. And they got to meet a lot of their childhood heroes. They met Randy Orton and a few others. And they were super excited.

The look on their faces was worth it to actually to go to the event. And I had a great time as well, because I got a backstage look at what it takes to put on that production now. Which that's exactly what is a production.

It is a production and it's a big time production. I think back to the days when we were in armories and high school gyms. You may not know this, but I'll tell you this. So I come down in 1984, I break into the business. There were no big fat contracts.

There were no flashing pyrotech and flashing lights. And it was you and your opponent in the ring. And there might be 50 people in the seats, right? We were paid based on attendance to the matches.

And our guarantee mark was $50. You're listening to The Truth Network and Hi, Nikita Kolov. Be sure to check out The Man Up Show, now available on television, broadcast, and podcast. Go to or The Truth Radio Network. Check out your local listings or better yet, download The Truth Network app today.

You're listening to The Truth Network and That was our guarantee. We knew we were going to at least make $50. Out of that came our gas money, our food, and whatever other expenses we had.

So compare that to the multiple millions of dollars guys are making today. That's right, that's right. So this is the Q&A show and this is where we flip it around and give you, I love, we're just gonna have to bring you back some time on The Man Up Show on the Q&A. But let's give you the opportunity to ask me some questions.

It can be anything. This is organic. I have no clue what you're gonna ask, but fire away with your first question. All right, very first question.

Right off the bat, when did you get saved and how did that happen? So it's interesting. So everyone knows by now, at least I hope they do. Actually, I still meet people who really think I'm from Russia, Mark. Oh, I'm sure.

I'm like, go on the internet, read my story, go buy Nikita Tailoring and Redemption, go buy my book and get the whole story, right? Right. Anyway, so I didn't grow up in Russia. I grew up in Minnesota and I didn't really grow up in church. That's not to say we never went. I like to say we were CEOs. We were Christmas and Easter only.

We were CEOs. So we didn't grow up in church. I was raised, and you may not know some of this part of my story, but so I was born in Minneapolis. I was raised in what was officially called the Minneapolis Housing Authority, what we affectionately called the projects or the ghettos of Minneapolis.

That's where my humble beginnings, life began. I was the youngest of four. My dad left when I was three. So I was raised by a single mom, no money. He didn't support it financially.

So then we defaulted to a product of welfare. So I like to say I was this poor little white boy in the ghetto with no money and no daddy. That was my beginnings. So we didn't grow up in church, but my mom eventually got us out into the suburbs, a suburb called Robbinsdale. Still didn't really go to church, but that's not to say, looking back, that I ever doubted that there was a God of the universe, a creator of all things, but I just had no interest in Him.

So really it wasn't until after I left wrestling, so I left under my own terms in 1992 at the age of 33, and I was on this path of what life held next for Nikita Kolov. Recently, the Lord gave me kind of a word picture of, have you ever put a puzzle together, Mark, and the last piece is missing? Have you ever done that? A lot of people have, and you're like, dang, where's the last piece? Well, that was kind of the illustration of my life. There was a piece missing. It was like I had this completed picture, success in wrestling, world champion, but something was still missing.

Couldn't figure out what the last piece was. And then I met a Christian couple through other business ventures who invited me to the church, called them up one day, and I said, I'll be there. And showed up on the 17th of October, 1993. And it was at that service that I had really kind of an aha moment. The aha moment was an invitation was given to surrender my life.

Is there anyone here who's never surrendered their heart and life to Jesus? And it was an aha moment. I'm like, well, I've never done that.

And so I was the first one to the altar, got on my knees, surrendered my life to Jesus that day. And I can tell you, life has never been the same since. And that's, that's how that happened. Wow. That's great. Yup. So, thankful.

You're listening to the Truth Network and I guess, I guess my next question would probably be a little, the problem might be a little bit more difficult. I know it's going to be. Okay. So who is your favorite person to wrestle?

Whoa, that is a difficult question. You're trying to get me to narrow that down. Cause you know, again, I had so many, man, so many memorable matches. I mean, I mean, was it, was there a person when you were wrestling and you say, ah, yeah, I like wrestling them.

Yeah. Well, I do have to say, so one of the most talked about of matches of my career really wasn't a match. It was a series of matches. It was the best of seven series against a guy named Magnum Tia. Oh yeah.

Or as I used to call him in the day, my mega Tia, you go down to Nikita. Right? Does that bring back memories? Oh, you better believe it. And, and man, so many people talk about that series of matches and the chemistry we had.

Now you want to talk about believability, right? Yes. And he and I agreed. Some people say you guys were stiff.

We like to prefer to say we work snug. Right. But I have had fans since then, like at autograph signings and comic cons and all these things say they go back in those days, they go, we walk out of the arena and go, I don't know about all those other matches, but that match against Nikita and Magnum was real, man. That was a real match. Those guys don't like each other.

Those guys don't like each other. And I have to, I guess, say that that's certainly some of the fondest matches and guy that I worked with was Magnum, but the list could be so long. I mean, Ric Flair, the Road Warriors, Ricky and Robert, the Rock and Roll Express, Rick Rude, Luger, Lex Sting. I mean, I feel like almost every match I had was, it was a decent match, but that would be a highlight.

Yeah, for sure. It's funny you say that because like I said, that was, to me, that was your best matches was against him. It was so tragic what happened with him.

It was, but we became the best of friends after that. And of course he loves the Lord and he gives the Lord all the credit for his recovery. And you know, recently we did a, it's called Road Stories. He and I did a Road Stories where we shared some of our life stories with the audience, and then they got opportunities to ask us questions. And he said, not one time during that whole injury did he ever ask God to heal him. Instead, he said, I asked God, what do you want me to do?

How do you want me to live my life, move going forward? And, and I'm just thankful that to still be alive and, and I want to dedicate the rest of my life back to you. So yeah, pretty, pretty amazing. So that's great. Yep. That's great.

Yep. All right. So I guess, I guess my, how many more questions do I, we got time for a couple more.

All right. So I guess my next question would be, when you, when you left wrestling, okay. And, you know, like I said, the crowd was no longer cheering. Did you find that difficult to deal with?

I don't think I've ever been asked that before that I can recall. And that's a great question because it seems like that is something many athletes struggle with, whether it's professional wrestling and they're booing you or cheering you or, or playing football, baseball, hockey, whatever. When, when I think when, in my view, Mark, when, when athletes get to that level, that's their biggest struggle.

When do I walk away? Well, as a kid, one of my pet peeves was the athletes who hung around too long. Right. And I'm like, man, why can't these guys retire on top? Why do they got to go to two or three other teams and, and then just, you know, kind of fizzle into the sunset as opposed to sail off into the sunset. So I said, when I make it, I said this as a kid, when I make it one day, I'm going to leave on top. I'm going to leave as a champion. So when I broke in, I didn't know it would be wrestling, but when I broke in, Don Curnodle and Ivan Koloff and I would have discussions in the car.

And I'd say to them, Hey guys, I'm going to be out of this business by the time I'm 35 out of active wrestling. There are, it'll be in your blood. You'll never leave, you know, kind of thing. I'm like, so, so all that to say, I was 33 when I laugh and, and looking back, I don't miss the roar of the crowd. I miss the camaraderie in the dressing rooms. Right. I don't necessarily miss the roar of the crowd. So for me, I guess because it was a mindset already in my mind, I'm like, no, I'm not going to be that guy that wrestles so long that they wonder that I'm washed up.

Right. And I want to leave with the fans wanting more. And so I feel like I accomplished that and no regrets on when I left no regrets at all. And because the wrestling ended up becoming a training ground for the ultimate call in my life, which was, is to be an evangelist and a minister and minister to the world and bring good news.

So I'm very grateful and thankful for the career I had, but I've never regretted my decision and leaving when I did. include a signed copy of his newly updated life story, a tale of the ring and redemption. Go to and donate today. You're listening to the truth network and That's great. That's fantastic. Yes, sir. Well, that kind of, that's a good segue into the next question I had. The next question I had is, okay, so now I'll preface this by saying this.

I found that God has not led me to any place in my life that has not led me to the next stage of my life, and I've not found useful for the next stage of my life. And now it seems like I've reached a point where I'm in the cultivation of all those things, where all the experiences that I've had have come back into play into what I'm doing now. Right. Right. Have you found the same thing in what you're doing?

Yes. Just an illustration you just laid out there, that if we take the time to look back, even through triumph, tragedy, trials, tribulations, all the different things we've walked through, how it can be a catalyst to make us who we are today, but catapult us, I'll say, into what the future holds for us. Right.

When I look at my, for example, when I look at my wrestling career, what I do in wrestling, I flew on airplanes, I rented cars, I stayed in hotels, I talked on microphone in front of cameras, entertaining you and thousands of others. Right. And then I find myself at an altar in 1993, surrendering my life to the Lord. Now, again, like I didn't dream of growing up and being a professional wrestler, I didn't in a million years ever dream I would be a minister, an evangelist, or in ministry.

Right. But I find, I found the Lord opened doors for me. And here, fast forward all these 28 plus years later, I've been to all 50 states, 30 different countries. I've preached in over 1,200 churches. I do all these conferences, camps. I've ministered to an audience of one.

And the largest audience to date was over 73,000 in the island of Jamaica. Wow. Right.

Side by side with, with my peak performance partner, Lex Luger. Right. Who facilitates these man, man camps with me. And I say all that to say, I look back now, Mark, and what do I do? Oh, I know I fly on airplanes, rent cars, I stay in hotels, I talk on microphones in front of cameras, not to entertain a crowd. So to your point, yeah, any of us could look back and take those life experiences and see how God in His sovereignty is just preparing us for what He has for us next. Right. So what a great question.

And I see that in your own life too, just as I have followed you and now your, your career in politics. So that's awesome. You got time for one more? Let's do it. Let's one more. Yes, sir. All right. In your life, and just in your life in general, what's your most enduring memory?

Whoa, man. There's not enough time for me to ponder that question. I'll phrase it like this. What's one memory? If you have one memory or a couple that you could choose from, what memory when you think about it, either takes you back or brings tears to your eyes, a really enduring memory, what would it be?

Well, I guess kind of the initial obvious answer for me would be 17 October 1993, when as my dad used to say, when I grabbed the old rugged cross, that's what he would always say. You know, the day he grabbed, he couldn't tell that story without tearing up. And when I think about that story, Mark, there was an elderly man that came to me, his name was Buddy at the end of that service. And I want this to be an encouragement to our listeners out there. And he said, I'm not a wrestling fan, not here to get an autograph.

I want to tell you this story. I'm like, okay. And he's like, five years ago, I was surfing through the TV channels. And I was wrestling was on, I stopped and I was watching. I'm like, why am I watching wrestling?

I don't even like wrestling. But he said, Nikita, you were on doing an interview. Wow. And he said, and the Lord spoke to my heart. And he said these words, Nikita, quote, pray for that man's salvation. I have a call to ministry on his life.

Wow. And he said, for five years, I have faithfully prayed for you every day. And he goes, I wouldn't even come to church today. He goes, I've been real sick. And he looks sick that day.

He was ashy, white, pale. And he goes, I wasn't coming. I woke up this morning, Lord was like, stirring my heart, prompted me to come. He goes, honestly, I kind of wrestled with God. I'm like, God, I don't feel good.

I don't want to go. He goes, but I came. He goes, and I sat in the back row, didn't know you were here until you walked across the front. And immediately I went, that's the guy I've been praying for all these years. And then he teared up. And he said, he said, Nikita, it dawned on me out of all the churches, all the services, God prompted me and blessed me today to see you surrender your life to Jesus. He didn't even live much longer than that. And so certainly that is one amazing highlight of my life, a memorable moment.

So many others from the birth of my children to all the travels and or seeing one soul, having the privilege of leading another soul to the foot of the cross, which is a privilege to me. Yeah. So thank you for those, thank you for those questions, man.

Those are good. And thank you for coming in the studio today and spending time here with us. I look forward to coming back at some point. Well, Lieutenant Governor, Mark Robinson, and hey, pray for this man. He is in, I mean, I mean, he is in the cross hairs there in politics. And as you might know, a deep man of faith himself, bold about his faith. And we just want to keep him in our prayers and him and his family as he navigates the future for himself. So God bless you, Mark. Thank you so much. Thank you. We appreciate it.

All right. Tune in again for another episode of Q&A with Koloff. God bless you out there in Listening Land. 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 and donate today.

Nikita Koloff. And I am here with a huge announcement, 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 Koloff, world renowned evangelist Frank Shelton. Register today. It is live M Star Events, slash man up. Go get registered.

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