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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. Today, a very special show today. I'm excited to have this gentleman on the show with me.
I could say Mike, I could say Michael Burgoon. I hope I said that right. Mike, welcome to the show. Hey, thanks. It's an awesome privilege to be on and get to chat with you again. Did I pronounce your last name right or did I butcher it?
No, you absolutely got it right. Nice, good. Well, Mike, let's, for our listeners out there, give just a little backdrop on you. You're up in the Columbus, Ohio area, but tell us a little bit more about who you are, what you're doing up there, your family, and what you're doing up there in Ohio. Well, I'm in Columbus, Ohio, born and raised.
Got a wife who's a teacher, two young boys who are 11 and recently seven. Lifelong 40 plus year fan of professional wrestling. Remember, like I said, probably four, about six, seven years old.
I saw it for the first time when it was roped in immediately. I'm a bus driver working the school system up here and, you know, just hanging out, being a dad, and doing those kind of things. So you and your wife have been involved in, you're in the education field and impacting lives in that regard. And if I'm not mistaken, because what are your boys' names? Kale? Kale and Carter, yeah. Carter is 11 and Kale just turned seven.
Yeah, just had a birthday, belated happy birthday shout out to Kale one more time. And so over 40 plus years as a wrestling fan, dude, that's amazing. Yeah, like I said, I remember I grew up in a separated home.
My father had cable. So when I was with him on the weekend, Saturday night would roll around and there you would be on my TV screen. So, you know, it's cool to fast forward all these years later and you're getting the opportunity to talk to somebody who impacted your life as a child.
And then again, as an adult is affecting your life in a completely different manner. Well, and not only talk to you, but those who wouldn't know, those out there in the listening audience. You and I recently had an opportunity to meet, but it wasn't, you know, at an autograph signing or a church service. You had actually reached out to me through Twitter.
Right. And we just started communicating back and forth through Twitter. And I just and I don't always go on and check my direct messages as frequently as I probably should. And there and Instagram and Messenger and all that.
But I just happened to check. We just wrapped up a men's conference in Fort Mill, South Carolina. And I know initially you and I had been talking about I was encouraging you maybe even to come to the men's conference, but that didn't work out. But I just happened to check it out and you're like, hey, I'm in Charlotte and I'm here till, you know, Wednesday or whatever.
And I'm like, oh, my gosh. You know, and so anyway, all that to say, we connected and it and you were available. I was available. You drove over to Fort Mill, South Carolina, and we sat down for, I don't know, an hour or two maybe. And they had an opportunity just one on one to just to chat.
Right. Yeah, I mean, that was just, you know, I was in Charlotte. That's kind of my vacation spot.
I'm a NASCAR fan, so it only makes sense for me to go there. And I knew you were, you know, in the area. So I took a chance and shot you a message over there to have an area. If you have any time, we would love to meet up. And and just by chance, you were still down there in Fort Mill and I was heading down to Charleston. So everything lined up just perfectly and had that that couple hours sit down with you and got to hear some some great stories and, you know, wrestling things.
And then, you know, fellowship as well. Yeah, absolutely. And actually, it just so happened that passing by was was a U.S. University of North Carolina All-Star standout and NBA All-Star. Al Wood happened to be passed by. So you got you got to meet Al as well. Yeah.
UNC stand out NBA. Great. So it's not often that you get to sit down with with two professional athletes from from any genre. But that day I certainly did. And that was a great experience. So we got to create a it sounds like we got to create a great memory for you.
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, we're not I left meeting with you that day. Most of my buddies are our wrestling fans.
But obviously, guys, you won't you will not believe what happened. And I shared with them. And they you know, they always say, Mike, you're the lucky one of those things happen.
I you know, they'll never know. And then, you know, you and I, when we were sitting there, I think you said it was a Jewish friend of yours had told you that, you know, when you get the opportunity, you know, to see somebody that you're a fan of or somebody that you admire that that you know, that's the Lord just letting you know he's there. And I and I shared that with him. I said, you know, I never thought about it this way, but this was shared with me and I shared it with them. So it's kind of one of those that that that word from you is something that I'm sharing with other people because, you know, it doesn't always have to apply with a professional athlete.
It can be, you know, somebody that, you know, on a daily basis, if you just bump into out and about anything needed someone to talk to. Yeah. Yeah. Well, and what you're referring to for those more specifically is my Jewish friend Jeffrey Gitomer taught me this and he jokes. He likes to say, you know, Nikita's New Testament, I'm Old Testament, you know, makes for a good blend between our friendship.
In fact, he and I wrote wrote a book, Wrestling with Success, developing a championship mentality. And and so anyway, he says he says that he brought the word coincidence. Right. So some people would say to you, oh, you're so lucky, Mike. Or, oh, gosh, what a coincidence that you bumped into Al Wood. And well, is it or is it, as Jeffrey told me, God's way of remaining anonymous. Right. Coincidence.
There are no coincidences. You know, the creator of the universe has everything under control. So anyway, so well, and we had, as I said, I just had a wonderful time with you and was grateful that you were able to make it over to Fort Mill. And just to be able to to spend that time with you and kind of in your your holiday travels.
And so and you're back home. I know you said your wife's in education, you're in education. I know you're making an inroads. We've talked. You're making inroads and impact in that regard. And some some some young people who who maybe come from, you know, some very dire upbringing.
Right. I mean, as far as like maybe broken homes and or maybe there's no dad in their life, no father in their life. But it sounds like from what you've described to me, Mike, that you're you've got the opportunity really to speak into some young people's lives there. As well as your wife. Yeah, well, I got into education. I was working, doing sales, retail sales when I met my wife and we'd been dating about 30 days and we're out to dinner.
And then what I call her teacher tone, she looks at me and then serious as can be, she says, if you have visions of this going further and by that she meant the relationship, you're getting a real job and some sort of education. Yeah. Wise woman there.
Come on. I was I was kind of kind of angry with her. And I said, OK, you know what? You find the schooling and then I'll hunt down the job part. So she knew my love was in racing and she found a schooling for that. And just by chance, I found this opportunity in a school that that worked with kids who unfortunately had been removed from their home school, usually for behavior issues. Right.
And a lot of them come from broken home, maybe only look at mom or dad or grandparents or some even in a foster home. Just a super challenging group of kids. And they were not into being your friend. Yeah.
And it took some some real struggles, sometimes physically. Unfortunately, staff would get assaulted. But we knew that was part of the job when we signed up. Right. Right.
You know, we would take those beatings and come back. But over time, they learned to trust and respect you. And, you know, ultimately it was a win for the student because, you know, they got that help that they needed.
That's great. You were able to to impact the young life. And so many times you might see him out in the public six, eight years later and they'll come up and say, you know, I didn't appreciate it then. But I appreciate what you did. And you don't do it for that.
You're not looking for that. Right. When you're away from them, you think, man, I wondered. And then you get that that confirmation that you did make a difference.
No, that's that's amazing. You you and your wife keep up the good work and sowing into and pouring into those young people. We do. They need it.
They need good male and female role models in today's world. Hey, before we transition to your questions. So you're a racing fan and you're a wrestling fan. Do you remember what I told you when you came?
Like somebody educated me on what the three hours were in the south when I first moved to the south. Did I tell you or do you remember what I what I told you? No, I remember you said that those two fans are kind of the same. You know, one of the same people. Yeah. Yeah.
Racing fans and wrestling fans. And someone said to me one time, you know, I thought the three hours, you know, getting educated, speaking of education up in Minnesota, was reading, writing. And what's the other one, you know?
Well, it wasn't even an hour, wasn't it? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. They just abbreviated arithmetic. Right.
But reading, writing and arithmetic. Oh, no, no, no, no. You are in the south now. And I'm like, OK, apparently they have a different education here in the south. And they said it.
And really with this vernacular, they say, well, in the south is rice and wrestling and religion. They were serious. I was like, OK, got it. So I think you qualify, Mike. You qualify. So anyway, just a little little side note there. All right, let's do it. Let's transition to your questions that you might have for me.
Fire away at your first question. You're listening to the Truth Network and Truth Network dot com. Nikita Kolof 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 Kolof Fans, and like it and follow today. If you would like to support Kolof for Christ Ministries for a gift of twenty five dollars, Nikita will send you his two CDs Adoration and Declaration for a gift of fifty dollars. Nikita will include his book Wrestling with Success. And for a gift of one hundred dollars or more, Nikita will include a signed copy of his newly updated life story. A tale of the ring and redemption.
Go to www.kolof.net and donate today. You're listening to the Truth Network and Truth Network dot com. Well, we'll we'll get into it and we don't want to spoil a lot of it because we want people to get out and get the book. But, you know, a lot of the wrestlers background is an amateur, be it high school level, collegiate level. Some of them, you know, wrestled in the Olympics. Yeah. Your path to wrestling was entirely different and probably is one that not that won't be repeated. Yeah, very, very so.
So you're so what kind of you're asking what was my background? And right. Yeah.
So so right. Like if you like you're mentioning the book Nikita, a tale of the ring of redemption. I mentioned the other one wrestling with success. And by the way, if you're interested, go to kolof.net. You can get either one or both of those.
One's motivational, one's inspirational. And anyone who orders off of the Web site, I do personally autograph those books before they're shipped out. So anyway, Nikita, a tale of the ring of redemption. William Murdoch, who wrote that book with me, is a wrestling historian. And so he goes back to the eighteen hundreds in terms of history of professional wrestling.
And many of the guys, I would say probably Mike into the 1980s and or maybe 90s had some level of of amateur background. You know, a Brock Leschner, right. A Brad Ringans who wrestled on as part of the Olympic team. Kurt Angle, you know, Mike Rotondo, the Steiner brothers, Dr. Death, Steve Williams, you know, University of Oklahoma. Of course, Rotondo, Syracuse, the Steiners in Michigan. So, I mean, a lot of wrestling background there, which was not part of my my background. Football was my deal. And so no amateur wrestling background, no professional training.
Just a phone call from from a guy named Road Warrior Animal and then a five minute conversation with a promoter named Jim Crockett Jr. And I showed up in Charlotte, North Carolina, the day he said to be there. And Nikita Koloff is born in the hallways of Charlotte in 1984. And fortunately for me, I was an early, I guess, an easy adapter. I learned rather quickly. And I had good, good teachers. And Ivan Koloff, speaking of education, Ivan Koloff and Don Crenodle, the World Tag Team Champions. I had good teachers and that's what helped catapult my career into what was pretty meteoric right out of the gate. So, yep.
And, you know, we talked when we were sitting down last week, you know, here we are the all these years later, you know, almost 40. And you are the NWA United States champion, World Tag Team Champion, six man tag team champion, a television champion, as well as a UWF TV champion. You know, did you imagine when you got started that you would be representing those companies in that form as a as a champion and as a guy that they put a belt on to help sell tickets? And in a sense, be one of the faces of that company?
No, not really. I mean, you know, Lex Luger and I and Sting and others have, you know, just from time to time, this this kind of pops up in our discussions. And, you know, who would ever thought or use a good maybe a good Southern to who would ever thunk it that that all these years later, you know, we would be we would be out, you know, doing these autograph signings at comic cons and all these different places. I mean, you know, just today on the way to the radio studio, I got two requests for October, you know, I think one in Boston, Massachusetts, another one in South Carolina, you know, one in November. And so I just never in a million years would have dreamed, you know, that all these years later that one, I'd have a radio show, a podcast, a television show.
Hey, go on YouTube and look up the man up show TV show completely different interviews from the radio show on the podcast. But but no, never in a million years that I'd be, you know, somebody would want I'd have a book and somebody to want my autograph in a book or an eight by 10 poster or whatever. Mike, it's just or I'd be talking to yourself a very loyal, long standing fan, you know, who would have known, you know, you're six or seven, eight years old. And all these years later, you and I are having a one on one conversation. And now, you know, interviewing you on the Q&A with Koloff, never in a million years would I ever dream this.
Sometimes I just maybe even want to pinch myself, Mike, honestly. I used the term household name when we were sitting down last week. And even you were that the people who watched it. But even to the casual fan or even to somebody's parent who may not have been a fan of wrestling, you could mention the name Nikita Koloff and they would know exactly who you were.
They could have point you out and a picture of people never even really watching the sport. And even still today that that would hold true. So hopefully that you know that that's got to make you feel pretty good.
Well, and it does. And, you know, I've had it's again, pretty humbling because I like I've had people I've run into people who who are not wrestling fans. And I realized not everyone is, you know, a wrestling fan. And that's OK.
I was in the green room one time, you know, at a men's conference speaking with a pastor from Baltimore. And he's like, hey, everyone seems to kind of like know who you are around here, but me. And I'm like, he was like, I'm sorry. I did.
You don't need to apologize. I get it. I know it. Not everyone's a wrestling fan. So I explained to him who I was. But I've met people, Mike, who who were not fans, you know, who who had never followed wrestling. But many times have said, I know that name, Nikita Koloff. I've never watched wrestling a day in my life, but but I've heard your name. And so I give all glory to God.
Right. Really, honestly, glory to the Lord that I chose that name. And then all these years later, there's it's recognizable. But now, instead of honestly bringing glory to me, I try my best to deflect that and give all glory to God. So I'm grateful.
You know, Nikita Koloff was born in 1984. And we've talked about your wrestling career and what a great career that is. And it's it's it's not like it's over. We say career. It's still going today.
Yeah. To all the great streaming services. You know, my young son, I they kale wants to see all those those matches that I grew up watching. But you went in from wrestling to to be in a minister. And some people may not think that that makes a whole lot of sense.
But wrestlers are great talkers and guys who who are ministers have to be the same thing. But what led you to that road? So a great question, really.
Because, again, never in a million years would I have believed I travel around now to a total of 30 different countries and all 50 states. And, you know, ministered to an audience of one and an audience as large as over seventy three thousand in Jamaica, where I actually had Lex Luger with me there. And, you know, he and I, you know, facilitate a camp called Man Camp.
And again, if those listening out there, you want some information on that, guys, gals, go to Koloff dot net. Learn more about Man Camp where Lex and I take all of our years of experience and so into and invest in into into man, teach and train and empower and equip and deploy those men home to be godly men, godly husbands and godly fathers. And I just did a million years, Mike. I never would have dreamed if you had told me 40 years ago, that's what I'd be doing. I say, you're crazy, you know, but but but God, but God, he had a different plan.
I mean, it does seem like two polar opposite ends of the world pro wrestler minister bought through through business. I met a Christian couple. They invited me to their church in 17 October 1993. I found myself at an altar surrendering my life to the Lord.
Life would never be the same since then. And it would take me on this journey on this path of experience in life that that if I were to summarize it in one word, it would be surreal that my life as a whole has just been surreal. And and so I'm grateful and thankful that now I can take pro wrestling as a platform many times to share the best news. And really, honestly, the most rewarding thing that I could ever do. And that is share the good news, the gospel and the plan of salvation to people and and hopefully see as as I have witnessed many, many, many thousands and thousands make some type of decision for for the Lord. And so, so grateful for that.
And one day, Mike, I feel confident we're going to get you to a man camp one day. You were raised a Lutheran church. Is that where you were raised in? Yeah, my parents raised me in a Lutheran church.
And, you know, I remember being three or four years old, sitting in a pew. And, you know, raise, take my kids to church today. Sometimes they put up a little fight like I did when I was little. Sure. But as they grow older, they'll they'll they'll appreciate it. You know, hopefully do the same thing. Yeah.
They're for their kids as well. Well, I appreciate you appreciate one being a fan. But even more than that, the opportunity to to sit down with you and spend some time with you and for you to carve out some time to be on the show today.
Thank you so much, Mike. Well, it was a pleasure to get to sit down and talk to you again. And I just want to leave you with a thought, if I could, you know, even when you were at wrestling there in the early 80s with a chain around your neck, talking to Tony Chivani and those guys, even clear through to today, you were affecting. You know, you were impacting people's lives in a positive way, then giving them escape to watch the wrestling. And now today, you know, as a as a preacher, you're still affecting them in a positive way, just through a different format.
And and that's something that, you know, everybody can appreciate. Well, and I appreciate you and and all of you out there listening today. I hope you enjoyed this interview with with with Michael and and tune in again for another episode.
Q&A with Koloff. God bless you. Have an amazing day. 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. I, Nikita Koloff, 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. Nikita Koloff here.
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That's right. A trip to the Holy Land with the Russian nightmare. And I am extending a personal invitation to you to join me December 27th, 2023 for a once in a lifetime trip. Go to biblical dash journeys dot com for more information. This is the Truth Network.
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