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Danny Warren- Oh Canada the Beautiful

It's Time to Man Up! / Nikita Koloff
The Truth Network Radio
October 8, 2022 1:00 am

Danny Warren- Oh Canada the Beautiful

It's Time to Man Up! / Nikita Koloff

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October 8, 2022 1:00 am

Today, Nikita speaks with professional wrestler Danny Warren. Listen as he shares his path from the squared circle to follower of Christ.


This is Stu Epperson from the Truth Talk Podcast, connecting current events, pop culture, and theology, and we're so grateful for you that you've chosen the Truth Podcast Network. It's about to start in just a few seconds.

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Stay tuned to find out. Welcome back to another episode of It's Time to Man Up. Man, this is an extra special guest I have on the show with me today, coming all the way from our friends up north, north of the border, all the way from Canada, Danny Warren.

Danny, welcome to the Man Up show. Thank you very much for having me. I'm very excited to be part of this.

Well, it's great to have you on the show today, and for a variety of reasons, which I think our listeners will really enjoy. And so, you're up in Canada. Let's give our listeners just a quick backdrop on Danny Warren. Where are you in Canada? And then we're going to really kind of jump into how you and I met, but first let's talk about your family and Danny Warren. Well, Danny Warren, I live up here in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. For those not familiar with the geography of our country, we're pretty much smack dab in the middle of the country. We live in a city that has the reputation of having some of the coldest winters on the planet.

So we're well equipped to handle the cold up here as much as you'll ever quite get used to it, no matter how many years you've lived in your whole life. I am married. I have a beautiful daughter who's about to turn four in January, and I have been a professional wrestler for nearly 20 years now. And we're about to also celebrate our 14th anniversary as a wrestling company here for when I dip my toes into the promoting waters and develop a touring organization that goes across Canada, producing a lot of wrestling events. Yes, which is how you and I met. You were on the promoting end of the wrestling world, and that gave me the opportunity, really you gave me the opportunity to see some parts of Canada.

Now, let me just back up here for a moment. You're in Winnipeg, and I actually, in my childhood, made a couple trips to Winnipeg with my grandma and my uncle via the Greyhound bus. I mean, for real, like my first trip ever to Canada was to Winnipeg. My uncle loved to vacation in Duluth, Minnesota, and so he and I and my grandma would take a Greyhound bus to Duluth, and we'd spend like five, six days in Duluth, and then on up to Winnipeg for a couple, three days or so, and then all the way back to Minneapolis. And so that was my first introduction to Canada was actually Winnipeg. And then, of course, I'd wrestled in really only a couple cities in Canada, not as much as some of my wrestling peers, but you gave me the opportunity to see 21 cities in 21 days in four different provinces. And we were kind enough to do it in the spring and summer months, so you didn't have to endure that horrible winter I was just telling you about. And that was really kind of strategic on my part as well, Daddy, just so you know, because I was familiar with the frigid winters of Canada, because help me, you said you talked about geography. If I'm not mistaken, Winnipeg is essentially just north of Minnesota, right? Yeah, we're about a six-hour street shot north of Minneapolis. Yeah, so you're right above, so I knew about cold and snow as well, but not quite as intense as Winnipeg, so there you go. But so let's talk about that, though. Let's talk about my tour, because if I'm not mistaken, I think it was 20, you may know better, 2017 I think is when you brought me up to old Canada, right?

Yes, sir, I believe it was the spring of 2017. And what comes to me, and when I say I'm forever grateful, I really am, because for a couple reasons. One, I love to travel and just see the world, and so for anyone listening out there, if you don't do that, can I encourage you to do that? It's an amazing world we live in when you go and see other parts of it outside of just a documentary or a television show.

It's different when you see it for real. And so, so many amazing memories I have from that trip, Danny, and 21 days, 21 cities, by the way, all over the road, so no flying involved, because I remember this part as well. And I don't think I ever asked you, but 5,500 miles, the kilometers, it clicks off a little different, right, for the kilometers? Yeah, I believe it's 1.8 kilometers per mile. Yeah, so 5,500 miles is what's logged in my brain, and I couldn't figure out why you saved the longest trips for the last couple, three days when we were the most tired, Danny.

How'd that work out? I'm like, huh? That's the unfortunate part of Canadian geography. Everything is really spread out up here, so we go from big city to big city. Like, as someone who grew up in Minneapolis, you could probably, you know, you could travel down to Green Bay, Chicago, you could go any which direction, and within a couple hours, you've got a major metropolitan city of millions of people.

We don't have that here in Canada. You're driving anywhere from 5 to 8 to 12 hours to the next city that comes even close to crashing a million. So everything's really spread out in some sort of western Canada. You kind of have to put together all the small towns in between to get to the big city, so that's why we covered so much ground going out west. But when you loop back around and go out east, it's really spread out. If you're not familiar with Northwestern Ontario, the entire part of that province is almost completely covered in water.

So you're driving around lakes, over lakes. Everything is really spread out. You don't have that same luxury of having the small towns in between the big towns.

There's only small towns out there, and they're all really far away. So unfortunately, when you get to that part of the country, you're doing the long haul as much as we don't like it. Right, right. And I'm like, oh my gosh. I'm like, you know, the guys I know, I'd be 21 days, right?

So the guys are like the last day, 18, 19, 20 guys who are always dragging at that point. But nevertheless, still incredible memories. And in fact, one of my favorite memories is when we went out west to, and I had never been to, it was called Banff, right? I think B-A, it was like a lake. And I had some of the younger guys with me, and we toured up. We went up early so that we could go to the town of Banff, and I wanted to treat the guys to some lunch. They had a hot springs up there, and a quick funny story on that. And I guess you heard the story, maybe you didn't, but all the guys wanted to go to the hot springs, right? And I'm like, oh, that's cool. So we get up there and they go, well, let's go jump in the hot springs. I'm thinking in my mind, you know, a natural hot springs, you know, it's like just an open pool kind of thing, right?

Well, no, it wasn't. And when we got there, you had to rent these bathing suits. And I'm like, guys, I am not doing that.

And they're like, oh, come on, you got to do it. So we did, and then it was like a 1920s style bathing suit, like with a shoulder strap. It was almost like my wrestling singlet, right? And with a little skirt on it. I'm not, you know, you can't make this stuff up.

Like it was for real, right? I had never heard this, nor seen photo evidence, unfortunately. Oh, well, I may have some photo documentary.

I may have to show you a document. I didn't know you'd ever heard this. So check this out.

So it's so funny. So three, three, I think three of us, three or four of us rented, rented the bathing suits. And one of the guys is like, Hey, I'm just gonna, I'm just gonna wear my underwear, man. It looks like a bathing suit anyway.

And we're like, all right. So, so we walked on this hallway, Danny, and we walk out and it's not a hot springs. Like, like you just jump in like this natural pool. It's like an actual pool. Like you'd see at a Marriott or something.

Right. And when we walk out, every head turned, it was slam full with parents and their children. And then for these young wrestlers all tattooed up and, and this bald guy with the Tarzan suit on and every head turns and looks at the five of us. And, and they're like, what's good. And we're, we froze, right?

We're like, okay, this is not what we expected. And, and so anyways, so now we're committed, right? So now we at least got to, and the guys were wanted and they even had lifeguards and they were wanting to suplex each other.

And the lifeguard got wind of that is like, guys, please, it's a family oriented hot spring. So anyway, so, but, and then we had, we did have some photos together. I'll have to make sure you see one or two of those, but what an incredible memory. And then we had a, a really neat, really neat lunch on, on this rooftop. And, you know, that was kind of in between, in between shows, but that was what, that was one of my favorite memories. One other real quick is, is one of, and you may know, I'm trying to remember the town right now, but we did a underground tour of, of the, back in the days of, of when, when alcohol was outlawed in America. And one of the, one of the famous guys who had, had a place up there, stayed at a hotel up there and, and, and in Canada and had an underground brewery running there that where he's, where he sold liquor. And we got an underground tour of that as well.

And so anyway, just some incredible memories. I didn't even know that existed in Canada. Was that located as well? No, it was not. It was completely in a different part of the part of one of the other provinces. I'll, I'll, I'll, I'll get that information too.

Cause that was amazing too. I mean, very, and now the name slipping my mind, but a very famous, I mean, he was a famous racketeer from, from America and had this little hotel hideaway there. And we literally, we literally went in on one side of the street and they take you down below and you have to go through all these checkpoints and these doors and slide open the little window. And they still had the machine, old machine guns down there. And you had to have the password in order to buy the liquor. And then you come up literally on the other side of the street through a different building.

It was a, it was amazing. Like for real. That sounds amazing.

I've never heard of that. I'll check that out. I'll find out. So, well, let's say, let's do this. So let's talk a little bit. So you said a 20 year wrestling career, give our listeners a little insight into your wrestling career.

Maybe some of the guys you were able to get in the ring with talk, talk for a couple of minutes about some of that. 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 and donate today. Nikita Koloff 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 Koloff fans and like it and follow today.

You're listening to the truth network and Yeah. I started wrestling at the age of 15 years old, so I was very lucky or, or curse to get into the business at a very young age, depending on how you want to look at it. I think mentally it sharpened me very quickly and forced me to grow up in an adult world, which, which led to some very good opportunities early in my life.

But my body would probably tell you that was a little too early to start as, as I'm getting close to 40 here and start to feel those bumps from that early age. But I was very lucky. I got involved with some local wrestling operations here in Winnipeg as a young teenager. And as I got a little bit older, I started to create the professional wrestler. So I got involved and had my first match at 15 and there was pretty much off to the races from there.

I've been very blessed. There used to be a term called the journeyman pro wrestler back in the territory days. And I'm kind of keeping that alive in this modern age as someone who's never had a national wrestling contract, but I've been able to maintain a full time career and living in the professional wrestling industry. Despite that, uh, by, by traveling the road, traveling the highways up and down, making accounts in Canada, across the United States, I have been very lucky to have opportunities and work with WWE over the years.

Boarding of honor, uh, you know, multiple tours of Japan. Uh, so I love the art and the sport per se of professional wrestling and that's always everything I've wanted to do with my life. And that is what I, you know, kind of make my purpose day in and day out, even all these years later, you know, grinding and getting on the road and doing these towns. So that's, that's a little bit about me. And then that, that kind of, that kind of inspired the promoting end of the wrestling industry where, you know, I was traveling to all these different places. That weren't quite being done back home, as well as just missed opportunities in all these markets that weren't being touched along the way to the major markets I was making for other people.

So I decided to kind of dip my toes into those waters as well. And, and launch what's known as Canadian wrestling elite today, uh, which has hosted guys like yourself and, you know, through that, through my organization and luckily through, you know, just years of being on the road. I've been very blessed to share the ring with, with, with countless legends of the sport, um, which is, you know, ultimately, you know, the child in me is the most happiest, uh, when getting that as you know, you grew up, you know, watching. Guys like yourself and many other legends like you, um, that inspires to get involved in the world of professional wrestling. And then you one day get to share the road and the locker room, that's ultimately success to me and something I've been very blessed to do countless times over, over the years.

That's pretty amazing. So, so who would have, uh, some of the names that, that you, you over the, that some might recognize, so the listeners might recognize that, that you actually, you know, got in the ring with who, who would be some of the guys in the ring with, um, you know, if you're talking guys from your era, I've been on the, I've been on the receiving and multiple times of a Jake the snake Roberts DDT. Over the years and on the road here in Canada, I've had many matches with Robert, uh, hacksaw, Jim Duggan, uh, you know, guys from that era. I've been very lucky to share the ring multiple times with mega stars of today's world professional wrestling guys, such as Kenny Omega and stars like that. Wow. That's, that's amazing.

And, and so you have had a storied career and, and certainly by, by every account. And, and so let me ask you a question on, you mentioned territories and of course, you know, I'm very familiar with, uh, with, uh, the territories, you know, back in the day in America, you know, from, from Don Owens up in the Pacific Northwest to WWWF, you know, Vince McMahon senior up in the Northeast to, to mid Atlantic where, where I, you know, cut my teeth and got my break to, you know, Texas with the Von Erich. So across Canada, for those who are listeners who may not know Danny, was it similar then I, of course, there's a, there's one name that pops up called, uh, I think heart or something like that, that, uh, yeah, I think I heard of him.

Yeah, you probably have heard of him. I actually got to go buy the, the, the infamous dungeon, the heart dungeon. I didn't get to go in or, but I, we did a drive by, but how, what was it like in Canada? So Tara, so were there a number of different territories or how did it work in Canada back in the day?

Yeah, there most definitely, there most definitely was. So here in Winnipeg, uh, he had a territory you're probably very familiar with the exact same one you had, and that was the AWA. Yeah, the AWA was a stronghold here in Manitoba, but it's still talked about from, from people of that era to this day, if I, if I'm out doing promoting, talking to businesses, putting our posters, if I, if I run into anybody that is still, still actively going was watching wrestling in that era. They've got fond memories of the AWA and that's something they hold those closely. Uh, unfortunately for me, I was born in 1987, so I missed the hysteria of the AWA and was just kind of putting my first words together as the company went out of business.

Fortunately for me, I got to experience it all after the fact over many, many hours of studying for my career. Um, but it still has a very, very strong sentiment to a lot of people in central Canada. So that was here in Manitoba. And then of course you had the Hart family and stampede wrestling out in Alberta, which is infamous around the world. And sometimes people confuse as kind of the, the, the prominent or if only promotes Canadian wrestling from that time, uh, because the hearts did have such a great, you know, had such a great run and great success. Uh, not only with their organization, but of course, Brett and Owen and Davey boy and all those guys going on to global success in the world wrestling Federation, but realistically they were, they were mostly based in Alberta. Uh, they also did some events in Casa and even Manitoba, they came out to a time or two, but ultimately Alberta was their, their home territory. And then as you went out to Vancouver and the West coast, had the, the comcos running all star wrestling out that way. And then it started going out East, uh, depending on the era, you know, you had, uh, you know, you got Jack Cuddy and maple leaf wrestling out of the Toronto area. Uh, you know, you had the Rose out in Quebec and you had, you know, a meal to pre, uh, running the Maritimes. And so there was very much a active territory system here in Canada as well.

A lot of territories. And I remember, uh, when the few, few times I wrestled in Canada, uh, Angelo Mosca, Angelo Mosca, uh, was, was kind of co-promoting with, with Jim Crockett promotions, uh, for some of our Canadian shows as well. Um, Hey, you told a story, uh, before we came on air, uh, you know, I had, uh, Travis Orndorff, uh, has been interviewed on the man up show and for those who might recognize the last name, uh, yes, he is the son of, uh, the, the infamous Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff. And, uh, can you take a minute here, Danny, and share the, when Paul toured with you, how, how, I guess you, you lot, he had his final and last match with you on your tour.

Yeah, he most definitely did. And, uh, you know, Paul's another legend I got to share the ring with, uh, as a result of that, um, which was an incredible time. I believe Paul might've been here just before you, I think he was here in January, 2017. And, uh, he's someone I bonded with very quickly. And, uh, you know, I considered a good friend deeply well after the tour and I tried to stay in touch with him.

That's a really strong impression on myself and, um, many members of the crew. Um, you know, those not familiar with Paul and some of his health battles over his, by the time he came up here in 2017, um, I don't know if it was early onset dementia that might've been kicking in or all members. Uh, but he's definitely having some, some trouble. Um, that was growing very frustrating for him by the day and, and visibly, which was very hard to see as someone came close to, um, over that time on the road. So we did our very best to kind of keep them in good spirits on track and found very quickly brought up certain stories and certain memories. It would get them right back to where he needed to be and, and being Mr.

Wonderful. Uh, but he took to our tour very, very nicely. Um, you know, some guys will come in and they'll collect their money and they'll go home and some try to be a part of the crew. And, and ultimately why we bring them up here is to try to assist our, not only of course, you know, be an attraction and draw spans, but ultimately educate our crown because so many guys like yourself and Cole Wurndorf and you know, Jake Roberts and many, many stars from that era.

A lot of money and did this full time. Um, so ultimately the hope is the talent like yourself come up here as well. Not only are they going to get a boost for business, uh, but a boost for the education of our crew and hopefully teach them some cuts to the trade that just no longer exist. Right. Right. And, and without, without even asking, uh, Paul took right to that and that, that makes sense that he has trained countless wrestlers over the years, but right from night one, it was great. You know, barely even knowing anybody yet after the show, he hit that locker room and, uh, he let everybody have it for better or for worse.

He gave his feedback on the show and it was such passion and such energy that it was absolutely. Yeah. We had that guy over the years that are just like, give me my money and let me get my room. I understand. Yep. But he got in the ring with you though. He got in the ring with you, you said? Yeah.

Yeah. So we built this relationship up with Paul to get us there. Uh, so he was, he was very hands-on and every single night he was coming to the back and giving feedback to the guys and really immersing himself in the culture of what we're doing up here. And, uh, we're nearing the end of the tour.

We were coming back around, did the loop out west and we're coming back to Manitoba. And, uh, at this point, Paul had been working in my corner. The gimmick was, he was kind of like my mentor. Um, he was in my corner as my quarter man, trying to get me that inspiration I needed to get back on track and working back on top, uh, with the top heel for the title. And, um, so every night up to that point, you know, the, the, the bad guy would try to pull some shenanigans and Paul would prevent them from doing it. And if they were silly enough to lip off the Paul, uh, they were getting a right hand by the end of the night. And, uh, so this was kind of culminating over the tour and, uh, we had a, we had a, we had a tag match being set up in one of the towns. Paul was to be in my corner now with a tag partner I had against two other seals and their manager. And, uh, you know, Paul had been with us for almost 21 days at that point. And I went up to him to talk to him about the business of the night and he was legitimately only scheduled to be in her corner as a manager that evening. And I sat down with him and he said, you know, what are we doing tonight? And I said, well, Paul, realistically with what we've got lined up here, it would be great if we could turn this into a six man tag and we can throw the manager and yourself in there. And without hesitation, he looked me straight in the eye and he said, well, someone's got an extra pair of knee pads.

That's amazing. Keep in mind, this is 2017. Paul is in his sixties and has not wrestled a match since I think 1997. So it's been 20 years since he's had a physical match and probably since he's been in a ring. And, uh, you know, I'm of course thrown off by that and have to think he's ribbing. Uh, but he's dead serious. And I said, Paul, we will make sure you have some knee pads. And before I went off to find him for him, uh, he stopped me and he said just one thing.

Don't tell my wife. Yeah. Right. For sure.

Right. So Danny, we're almost out of time, but I want to find out, uh, people want to find out more about your, your company, your organizations or website. Yeah, there sure is. They can go to That's got the meat potatoes of what Canadian wrestling is.

If you want to get a little more in depth, you can follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube at CWE Canada. Well, pretty amazing. Uh, and again, I am more than grateful, uh, to have had the opportunity to, uh, to tour across Canada and see many parts of, of, of the wonderful country that I had never experienced before.

And so lots of, lots of great memories there. And, uh, Hey, before we go, uh, we only got a couple minutes left here and, and, uh, just going to have to have you back on the show. And I know you had shared with me, uh, recently, uh, uh, I'm going to set it up like, like this cause, uh, and, and people are going to have to tune in for part two to, to get more of your story, but you had a life changing. You had made a life changing decision, uh, just not long ago when, when you surrendered your life to Christ, right?

Yeah, I most definitely did. Uh, that was, that was earlier this year and that was a major change. And, um, not to speak for yourself, but I imagine one you probably didn't think you'd ever take at some point in your life. Uh, so it was definitely, definitely, um, a new world opened up to me that was becoming more clear before I even realized it. And one that I'm glad to have taken the step to be a part of and, and look forward to experiencing it more moving forward.

What was, let me ask you this, just take 30 seconds, what was the major catalyst that, that brought you to that point of decision to surrender your life to Christ over all the success you've had in life? If I'm being completely honest, it really boils down to my wife. That was something she was very adamant about, very serious about, and something she felt that was lacking from, from her life and our family unit. Um, so I kind of almost begrudgingly kind of took some steps in that direction to try to appease her.

Um, but once I opened that door, I realized this was definitely a direction for me and offered a lot of clarity and insight to some answers I've been looking for for myself as well. Well, God bless her. What's, what's her name? Her name is Chelsea. Chelsea. Chelsea, God bless you young lady. Way to go.

Good job. And, uh, and I know one of these days it's going to work out. We're going to get you back to the US and, uh, we, we've got a, we've got a scholarship waiting for you for Man Camp. Cause one of the things we want to do, one of the things we do at Man Camp, Danny, is, is especially for someone like yourself, who's very new in the faith, is to be able to, through teaching and training, uh, you know, equip you, empower you and deploy you back home to that family.

To be, to be a godly man, a godly husband and a godly father. One of these days we're going to get you back to, down to the great state of Georgia. Yes, please. That was something that I was really excited to take part in before suddenly having to return to Canada. And the second that mandate is dropped at the border for me to get back down to the United States without any trouble, I will be there. Well, we want to bless you with that and I appreciate Danny Warren, the Canadian elite wrestling organization up there and, uh, great to have you on the show today and hope all of our listeners enjoyed your interview. Thank you, Danny. Thank 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 and donate today. Hi, Nikita Koloff. 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. Nikita Koloff here.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-24 20:15:25 / 2022-12-24 20:27:57 / 13

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