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September 24, 2022 1:00 am
Today, Nikita speaks with the son of late professional wrestler "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff. Listen as Travis shares memories of his father and the path that God has put him.
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Today we take a trip down memory lane as we discuss Mr. wonderful Paul Orndorff with his son Travis man up. What a joy to have this guest with me. Now you may be familiar with the last name Orndorff in your you may not be but about the nickname Mr. wonderful first name Paul Paul Mr. wonderful wonderful today. It is my joy to have on the show. His son Travis, Travis, welcome to the man up show. Thank you so much you not listen to your show before and not seen you know what you're doing in the community and and and I love to hear the doubled nightmare. You know that we need more men like you standing up for the value and salvation and grace that Jesus Christ bride writes all of us, though, so grateful to be here and excited to talk to you about. You know my background in NNI air I get at you a couple questions in the end I'm preparing I'm preparing right now and again. It's such a pleasure to have you on and off course. Anyone who said you know any fan of wrestling whatsoever. Your dad certainly had a storied career in in professional wrestling. I don't know. Trying to remember may or may not have had a handful of matches either. Either you, and alongside of war or against your data just I just remember you have some rematches. It's hard to keep them all straight. Let's do this for far listeners out there. Let's let's give a little back story on on Travis Orndorff and perhaps see where you live in and you have some for your family want to tell us about your slow little backed up on on Travis yesterday so you know I would not like you I would nautically dad was from Tampa grew up in Virginia but I was born in Tampa my cat was with older so my older brother 10 years older heat pilot under my brother with my debit Junior and so you know my my my brother was born. My dad was really young to high school and I came along 10 years later, and ironically I would tell the story because people like you know you dare when you were born and I'm like yeah and then he went Ernie Ladd for the NWA title real and ironic that I know you know the people I'm glad Brian always tell the story of being at the unit in the hospital with dad and dad him, looking in there and which ones mind and you know Brian all the hair and you know though that was always the joke is I was born with all his hair and of course you know God saw fit to take it away.
Much later in life but you know growing up in you know I we moved from Tampa to like six different places. The way territories were ran back in the late 70s and early 8178 and so eventually we ended up settling and fabled Georgia so small town just south of the Atlanta airport and I grew up in a group in a small town about 80,000 people, you know, we lived in the end of a cul-de-sac. It was a you know what you would eat the appearance of what I would say a normal childhood. The only difference being that dad wasn't around a lot what was on TV some night so you know the fame and popularity obviously started out really. When I was five or six years old, because that's when he went to New York and so you know I had the fortunate, you know, my dad grew up really poor and you know when he went directly.
It wasn't much of a choice. It was the way to get him out of the out of the trailer park so you know Florida and you with directing route and obviously that was a really tough road and financially was toppled by the time I would come around to get it done well and I was fortunate to go to private schools, and I thought would go small Montessori school went to Woodward and get into the garage and graduated from a small Christian high school and fabled Georgia and 96.
From there I had considered going into ministry until the calling went to school for about a semester and things went awry. And you know that's when I took a left turn in my life I become a Christian. I was 18 and yet about a year and half later two years later was when you you know you have a lot of hard things happen and you really honestly turned away from Christ that Tynan was bartending and and and got into what I would say you know about the normal pattern for many kids this group of wrestling you know started out a very young age arty filled with addiction just to be honest and you know but was fortunate that I had a wife that supported me and Luke was working out two beautiful children. My oldest is a collagen and plans go to law school and then my youngest just started out at College of Charleston in his freshman year, so I have a beautiful family. I have a miniature dots in the W-2 and on my bike tire pump and a beautiful wife name and may you and you know live here and North Atlantic to the 285 go to Kennesaw.
I currently work as they fight for the performance manager with a national bank doing well.
Grateful and you know very well. It actually sounds like you it's a long break some of that down some of what you just to share their let's let let's start with before we dive into a little bit more about the you know your your personal life story and in that journey. Let's look back for moment to talk about wrestling and a lot fans know some don't don't realize that it was thrusting was very territorial. Back in the day before the explosion of pay-per-view and even close circuit television in the NWA eventually WCW WWF becomes WWE and in all that that happens in it. So yeah, for those who don't know you know you you mentioned your dad traveling around to two different the different territories and and if anyone knew or were familiar territories.
It was mainly through magazines like Pro wrestling illustrated with laughter and you know a lot of fans are tell me the stink cute good way to get out of the 711 to get that magazine see who's in the top 10 are you know it was the champion for XYZ territory and is so much want to hear those stories about share with our listeners, Travis, what's maybe a couple of stories we got a couple short stories that wrestling related that maybe you remember me. Did you go did you go to matches with your dad did you did you not or do you remember yummy you mentioned the magic inserted the Loud, but what you remember most about your dad's career so you know, so I have a little small podcast we do on the side called some kind of wonderful.
And yet, my dad had really wanted to put in perspective what really would like to draw go up as a child with a father and a very niche field right and also the fame and your people understood when they watched a movie and somebody killed somebody else that it was fake wrestling. They believed everything had a different perspective because in the personas bill you will. My dad left the ring he would: but not too thin.
You know Brad Pitt like the movie, so I was very fortunate that my dad was a little bit older, you know, when he went to New York he was 32 and I can tell you I was. My dad was fertile and I never got strength and I probably spent at least 4 to 6 week with 4 to 6 weeks maybe 2 to 4 weeks. Some some years but at least 4 to 6 weeks most years with him on the road so you know back in back in the territory days I would've been able to do that. I know that we lived in before I was going to pay the lobby looking like Oklahoma, Tennessee, North Carolina, Louisiana – report and unit in Atlanta so you know he finally settled on the New York you're traveling him with with with the liberty theater, but I can tell you we lived in Fayetteville and the Delta red coat back in the day you member then they would come and get escort you if you were of no dad had a million miles a night and you come pick me up and take me to the you know the airport and checked me in our plane and dad or somebody would be there to pick me up completely Direct coat lived down the street you would that amazing.
Nothing. You would think I didn't fly coach until I started working for Best Buy like in the you know what I was looking for them of the manager traveling on like this, like everyone, I went we had the greatest top of the birth of the wisdom Australia for a month. I was 13, and yet we were in the you know that the upper deck of the airplane.
So I very much got the travelers pulled and didn't realize until much later. But you know the times and that all the things that that I got to do right are absolutely amazing. Every every one of those, but I think I would share them the most is it was during I was during the mid-80 to 8586 and return the Hogan heel run and that we were up north in your garden for several of the big matches but what you don't understand. I never want someone like that wrestling not to talk like 17 wrestlemania on closed circuit on the winner like sick but we didn't fit around watch matches and when I was on the road with them. I was in there I was in the right even till I was.
I remember we were in we were down, put WCW down in Orlando.
We would get a cabana for like two months when they were filming MGM Studios right watch a match. I was like dad was even younger.
And so, like J like he was around the Nick Clark Winkle to play guitar lobby for four or five hours format you know Jay like he was a grand play poker with me like that's what I learned and copied killed eight or nine years old junkyard dog in the block. Winkle taught you how to play guitar, you play poker yes it was. Later I was probably 1415 he got me into trying to find guitar going to let go. We would J Wendy I'm right yeah you got it with you and I would go out with them for two or three weeks. Even though USA was planned once a week.
They were different thing that for five different places right. You just may only see it that Saturday that's right so we would be with my dad was rough in Quito.
We went from town to town to town with Quito riding together you.
My dad always said you Republicans and Democrats come out different ends of the all but make no mistake, they meet up in the same thing with the law he would. That's good drivers that the Lord the story are really gonna come back to you when I got older people knew about 87 sports entertainment right there with an 87 to 92 when there was hostility about even talking about wrestling because either you blocked it you just decided it was complete crap and you were mad at the world because a conspiracy theory so that. Time is really went you can understand my dad was really kind talk to me about wrestling within the teacher's students.
There were six you know.
And so it wasn't till later in life like I was 21 in the starting family came up to me and start apologizing like we'll talk about inquiries like man I was mad at you for years and I knew he quit talking to me, longer like sudden we play T-ball and we didn't talk to her like 1985 yeah I was mad at you. You had turned on Hogan and it just made me so mad that I just HE like it took me 15 years of getting your like you think that that you because your debt, and would be these weird little elements that didn't happen at the time, but I realize the impact they had later but dad not around the road and as usual the heat was out wage to write an and obviously visible during when everybody believed it. Dad noted Hogan we get get on the ring. He put the towel over his head. He goes on some sort of think he took typed off and we get the back of an ambulance could or driving a gun or car so that we can go drive to the next town and you do the same thing over and over again. Well summary we get down to our car when Cadillac and we start the pullout and all the fans bum rush the car and TruthNetwork.com here.
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C. The number one.com because you are number one. I will be sure to check out the man up show now available on television broadcast and Vodafone is more radio network. Check out your local listings or better yet, download the Truth Network app today. If you would like to support Cola for Christ ministries. For a gift of $25. You will see adoration for a gift of $50. The cuboid wrestling for $100 more will include a signed copy of the tale of the ring.law.donate today your listening to the truth and TruthNetwork.com and dad is throwing the board and down the back of my head keeping me in the floorboard while he's trying to drive through this crowd of people out there trying to tilt the car over until the police came out and you know?
But, and an end and we got out of town but you know it was so funny I go to a Cracker Barrel with them. We were on the road everywhere, but after I got but if we were leaving the stadium different story yeah I like you Travis and I can so relate.
You can as the Russian nightmare went when I was the 80 and administration do not understand how volatile that your your your your gimmick was the villain I was not alive again all send you know it in the death threats and in all that. So some amazed a list of those are some amazing insights that you just shared and I appreciate that and in you and share something with me, but before came on air that really piqued my interest and I think the fans would would love to hear as well. You know you talked about your personal journey want to transition will be here get get more into your personal journey here on the last part of the show here so we can cut cover that is a thing support for the people to hear that side of it is while you mention your family, your children, your lovely wife how you would come to Christ.
But then kind of turned away. But you much about your dad you were there we witnessed your dad surrender his life to Christ as well. So the story on dad.
Again we were living in Georgia and that I understand there is a newer pastor and I think new pastor if you could see me right now.always a database for radio and gestures that that that conflict with that. So I'm putting quotes around is because of a doctor like Reichert. I know Dr. I guy I I knew you would out that new pastor started on this little church called New Hope Baptist in Fayetteville, Georgia, and you know Dr. Ike actually was able to do the my dad's funeral last year. So the blessing to see that journey, but dad was working out as usual in Fayetteville and Dr. Ike. I can't believe he did walk up to them and just go know people never understand every religion work headphones now, but back in the day we communicate to each other that you yeah yeah and Scott each other and stuff like that so Dr. Ike walked up to him and go. I just don't think that Jim is big enough for the both of I remember he shared some of this at the at the number not remember him sharing that the funeral yes okay so the story is an end and the part that there's two parts are number was we go to church that Sunday. A few weeks later but you know Dr. Ike advising the church and to my knowledge in memory. I had never gone to church and and we went in and I remember Stanek dad and I don't remember the details that I can Vermont do, but I remember being there and you know dad really probably one of the first time on it in the church and he broke into a sweat like in my guy was a sweater.
We kept out of 66 you could keep you could ping me at my house.
What was my friends come over like sweaters and semilog yeah so dad is pouring sweat and anyway believe dad leave that day and like that night or the next morning: Ike anything we need to talk, and I thought oh no what to do with what you did me plan is planning to sell Ike that comes and goes.
What happened, and I extent this is Christ my mentor. One of my best friends to this day Hugh Kirby intergenerational minister down and new open and fable. Still, you note that gave his life to Christ and you know I can remember at that moment. And you gotta know dad, how did you know kind of a volatile temper yet whether it be if sleep was disrupted. He was on the road or everything under the sun. You can about them to you know all the inner turmoil comes from the rev know that sounds like classes but okay. And so dad when I tell you, dad had an immediate change in content. I can tell you and I can't speak for my brother, but a different story.
I can tell you from the time that I can remember. I literally don't remember my father using profanity more than a handful of times I have been on the road with the shirt in the F word is the most used word in the language between rights for their vocabulary right right so seeing dad have this transformation and then going to Bible studies or me walking into his room, reading the Bible and I would tell me what I gotta read the same chapter 5.
Time, but he was consistent with it expert and you could see his desire to pursue Christ. So it wasn't a coincidence. About six months later. You know he's he's speaking and he's giving his testimony at new open. Obviously that carried out. He give a testimony to the reviewers but that's when dad W. W. I think it was but I think he had a conscience against obviously what happened on the road.
You know, again, you go back to the fact that these guys were left out of the most cases, you know, not many parental figures you put them on the road with three channels and you leave them on the road away from their family for weeks at a time without any real companionship or somebody that you know other than God are encouraging the same behavior. So the dad, walk away from that I didn't understand the time was a big deal and let me go into acting as a big deal is for sure and then from there dad W. W. And he started a bowling center in Fayetteville called Mr. wonderful and available on center and to my knowledge in granite. It didn't work out but dad opened it and he wouldn't sell alcohol okay TV was like I'm not going to be a part. I don't want to be part of this silly open about their ended up losing it and underneath it, thought it ended up putting alcohol in it and it's still open today, but dad just couldn't do it and unfortunately they went back to WW but dad's faith in Christ come to know from what I remember. You know from the time that I saw him give his life to Christ that is your last real time where he could communicate which was several years ago when his mind was really still there. If there's one thing that he never doubted that he doubted his own shame and and and and and I think there was a mental health.
Things that he never really got over from his childhood but his faith in Christ never wavered knew exactly where he was headed when he Knew he was forgiven and he knew that Jesus Christ died on the cross. Resident and when I tell you that something he was never ashamed of from from the time I thought become a Christian to the time he couldn't communicate that is something that people ask me what you want your people know that your dad's legacy is my dad thought Jesus was Mr. wonderful that's good Travis that's good will listen that we weave only a few minutes left.
Believe it or not this W the time just flies on the show when I talk so much about all well. I mean, you shared what you feel you felt the love you share so it's okay just means going to have to do another show, another time with more more of your story, but I do want to get to this before we run out of time you know you talked about substance abuse addiction and substance abuse in and we would literally give me like 60 seconds.
So about about Cherokee County and in that the Paramore pathway counseling as you have found your way back to Christ overcome the addictions and now you're working I need 60 seconds of what you're doing to to help others overcome addiction in the short share with anybody.
Don't be afraid all of us send in a way that keeps us from God, but God's righteousness in the blood of Jesus Christ is what makes us righteous so it's not on what we do, but what you done for us and you know I struggle with alcohol addiction.
I'll be completely transparent. Drugs were involved in a point in time and I was abused when I was a kid and several years ago I started to work with the program through transit.the very end that in about six years ago when God hit me upside the head with a 4 x 4 put me on that path, and since then it's not a journey where you just get over addiction.
I'm still involved in counseling and I currently work with a group called Catholic counseling out of Woodstock in the brick-and-mortar, the counselor there and use him or anybody else I would just hope that you reach out because there's so much support nowadays and in cognitive behavioral therapy is great, but there's positive psychology and really grounding yourself in God's truth so that you can you live a life of freedom that God God gave us one expectation to enjoy life is much as possible. And that's what he wants for that light to shine on top of the hill for other people to see so that people know where fulfillment can't soak my counseling there to drugs, coming to Cherokee County and were looking for people to participate and bring awareness especially around the youth today. You just don't understand how you know people are exposed to that in ink and cocaine and think age is that we can't fathom.
Like in the early 18 did it still rampant and available. So this is awareness peace and and and really trying to destigmatize addiction so that we can get people to support the log in the greatly desserts will you have an amazing story. Travis and and I think with all of our listeners out there today this really what you illustrate is even when we surrender our life to Christ is it's not necessarily by, say, a guarantee that will get a set free of anything and everything that we cannot see that happen when uncle Ivan came to Christ, he was set free of drug addiction, alcohol, tobacco addiction.
I think like your dad. I don't know another cuss word ever came out of Ivan's mouth again after surrender his life to Christ and yet the flipside of that is, there are still cello were all faced with different challenges in life right whether it's yeah you know early on addictions that that but we know at the end of the day it's all about the heart you know God looks at the heart and the heart of a man heart of a woman Travis thank you for being on the men of show today and shared some of the stories I look forward to another opportunity. Thanks for tuning in.
God bless you and that you get another episode. This podcast is made possible by the grace of God more faithful players and generous. May God bless you for your.net donate uniform. I am excited to hear you do know well anyway Facebook all my new fan page for bands and the like, and follow the green vinyl tile from the carbon right and stop number one thing this is the cuticle. One of the 11 support for supporting my new show man on Saturday afternoon. 1230 on the truth that were this is the Truth Network