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Q&A With Koloff- #117

It's Time to Man Up! / Nikita Koloff
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April 18, 2023 1:00 am

Q&A With Koloff- #117

It's Time to Man Up! / Nikita Koloff

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April 18, 2023 1:00 am

Today, Nikita speaks with Eugene Napoleon for another great episode of questions and answers.

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He weighs 123 kilos. The Russian Nightmare, Natina Koloff. Welcome to another episode of Q&A with Koloff, the Devil's Nightmare. Today, today, today on the Q&A show, Eugene Napoleon joins me and I can't wait to hear what questions he asks for me, but Eugene, welcome to the Q&A show. Thank you for having me.

Thank you. Well, great to have you with us and Eugene, where are you calling in from today? Where are you at? I'm actually in Rowan, New Jersey. Okay, because you're originally a New Jersey guy, right? Yes, I'm originally from Jersey City, New Jersey. Jersey City, New Jersey.

So I'm going to throw this out there, Eugene. What exit do you live off of? Right now, I'm off of exit 11. So there'll be people out there going, what the heck? What kind of question is that?

Because one thing I learned in my travels, Eugene, was you don't ever ask somebody like what city they're from in New Jersey. You just ask what exit they're from. What exit, right, right, right, right.

Just like you immediately did on exit 11. They always have the answer. Am I right or am I right?

You're 100% right. It is funny, but you're right. It is funny because, yeah, anybody I've ever met, anyway, I'm like, when they first would tell me, I'm like, what are you talking about? I'd say, yeah, don't ask anyone from New Jersey what city they're from. Just say what exit are you from, you know, do you live off? Exactly.

But in every single time, they have an immediate end, like you just did, exit 11. I'm like, okay, all right. So anyway, all right, so Jersey City, and I know, you know, a little bit of your back story. Raised by a single mom, right?

And I think seven siblings, right? But what about presently? So you're living up there. Tell us a little bit about your present family. Yeah, well, right now, married to my beautiful wife, 29, going on 30 years. We have a son, Brandon Napoleon, who is the cornerback's coach at Sacred Heart University in Connecticut. And we have a beautiful little grandson, Amari. So he's 18 months, but going on 25.

Wow, things are really accelerating faster than I realized. Oh, he runs the house and God bless him. Yeah, 18 months old, runs the house. You know, I actually witnessed that with some of my own grandchildren. 10 currently, I lose track, 10 currently and one on those.

I got number 11 on the way. And so anyway, talk about getting lost in the shuffle. But okay, so the son, the grandson, and I know you have a sports background, right? You played some professional football, college football, professional football. So you got out of the, I guess what would have been the projects of Jersey and have led a pretty successful life. I thank God for it all. You know what?

Yeah. Played at West Virginia University, was actually a member of the 1988 undefeated Mountaineer team. We played Notre Dame for the National Championship in the Fiesta Bowl that year. Went on from my collegiate career to play a little bit in the AFL, the Arena Football League for Tampa Bay and for Orlando. Had a brief stint in Canada in the CFL for the Saskatchewan Roughriders and transitioned right into business. I went to Wall Street, worked on Wall Street for a short stint and got into owning, which I still do, own and operate my own independent record label with my beautiful wife, Naya.

So she's a Grammy-considered, three times platinum, award-winning and gold-selling recording artist with 17 number one independent hit singles. Wow, got a lot going on. We're going to have to get you, I know we did a man-up show with you. And of course we covered kind of more centered on focus on more of the earlier part of your life. But we're going to have to get you back on there and talk about some of what you just shared.

Yeah, I would love to. I don't talk much about me as much as I do her, but my teaching career, I'm a special education teacher. This is my 25th year teaching, thank God for that. And I just won the Governor's Teacher of the Year award.

Congratulations on that. That's a special, special needs is a special calling, would you agree? Absolutely, absolutely. And for 20, you know, with 25 years experience teaching, each year it's more and more, it gets more and more important to work with, you know, that those type of young people, they need it.

Social-emotional issues going on, they really do need the care and they need the support. So I'm blessed. I really am.

I really am blessed to be in that position. Well, and there's a lot of, you and I have a lot of relatability. Of course, we met through a mutual friend by the name of Doke Turner who did the formal introduction.

And he said, you know, there would be, you'll really relate well with Eugene. Of course, we do with the between, not the professional side of football, but certainly the college side of football, you and I. And coming up out of the projects of Minneapolis where you came out of the projects of New Jersey. Hey, little quick side note on the CFL, the Canadian Football League, and if I'm not mistaken, the Saskatchewan Roughriders, I'm almost positive. In college, I had the privilege one year, well really two years, of being coached by a guy named Dave Scrine. Dave Scrine. Well, Dave, this is actually just a little junior college in Golden Valley, Minnesota. Dave had won the Grey Cup as a coach, played with Bud Grant, the old coach of the Minnesota Vikings, played with Grant, but then coached against Grant in the Canadian Football League. Dave won the Grey Cup in 1963, I believe with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, wrote a book called Countdown to the Grey Cup. He was my coach for two years in college.

How they even locked him into, you know, he's retired, but they talked him into coming out of retirement. And there's more to that story, but anyway, so there's even some relatability there, so that's kind of my connection to the CFL, to the Canadian Football League, is Dave Scrine. Wow.

Anyway, so pretty, yeah, pretty amazing, pretty amazing story there as well. So, well, so, and I know you got a lot, where can people find out more about your wife, about you, I mean, where can they find, is there a website, or where can they connect on all that? Sure. Well, her stage name is Naya, N-Y apostrophe-A, so for those music lovers, if you go anywhere on Spotify, anywhere you download or you get your music, we're distributed globally. So, just punch in N-Y apostrophe-A, Naya, and you can look up all of her music, download her music, however, and she's on social media-wise, she's on Facebook, and it's TracyNapoleon-Naya.

So, you can find her there, and if you just punch her in the search engine, she pops up all over the place, so a little bit easier to get a hold of her, because you can find her everywhere. Mine is pretty simple as well. On Facebook, I am EugeneNapoleon, and if you go to my webpage, which is, all of my updated information and stuff is there, and, you know, that's how you can pretty much get a hold of me. Okay. Awesome. Well, please check out EugeneNapoleon and his lovely wife and all of her music, and so, all right, so let's transition. It's the Q&A show with Koloff, and I don't know really what you're going to ask, Eugene, but let's transition to your first question, and yeah, let's roll. What do you got for me today, Eugene?

Absolutely. So, listen, I'm a huge wrestling fan, always have been since seventh, eighth grade of middle school, and watching you, I've often wondered, a guy of your size and athletic abilities, did you play sports? Did you play football? And my guess was you had to have, because you moved around the ring with such flair and such ease, I'm like, he had to have been an athlete.

He had to have played other sports. So, did you play other sports outside of football? Did you play baseball? Did you play basketball? So, it was interesting.

So, the short answer is yes. I actually played baseball one year, so it's kind of, to me, a funny story. Others may not find it funny, but I do. It was what was known as the Babe Ruth League up in Minnesota, and I learned, so here's the funny part. I learned to switch hit, become a switch hitter, because I hated that I was deathly afraid, Eugene, of the curveball. Like, for whatever reason, I thought I was going to like, beam me in the head and kill me or something.

I don't know, but right? But like, and for real, so I'm like, all right, I'm just going to, every time I face a right-handed pitcher, I'm going to bat left-handed and vice versa, right? And the interesting thing is, kind of to your point, I guess, looking back, I'll never forget, so I never got it over the fence.

I came close numerous times, right? So, I never got the home run, but to an equal number, like literally in the stats, I hit an equal number of singles, doubles, triples, both left-handed and right-handed. So, self-taught switch hitter, and then I thought, you know what?

I'm going to get these dudes back. I'm going to, because I played outfield, but then I played first base, a little bit of third base. I never played second or short, didn't catch, had no interest in squatting down behind the plate, but became a pitcher. This is all in one season, by the way. And there was an old pitcher by the name of Kent Tikalvi.

He was a submarine pitcher. You know what I'm talking about? You're listening to the Truth Network and 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 $25, Nikita will send you his two CDs, Adoration and Declaration. For a gift of $50, Nikita will include his book, Wrestling with Success. And for a gift of $100 or more, Nikita will include a signed copy of his newly updated life story, A Tale of the Ring and Redemption. Go to and donate today.

You're listening to the Truth Network and I was watching that guy playing. I'm like, I want to do that. So that's what I became. I became a submarine. So I came, you know, to try to scare those batters as much as the curveball scared me, right? And then we didn't have a great team, but in the Babe Ruth League, whoever won the championship, whatever, to go to the playoffs and stuff, could draft like, I think, three players from other teams. I got drafted as a pitcher. And didn't even pitch that many games, like hardly at all, but I impressed the coach enough, I guess, to draft me as a pitcher.

But that was it. One year, I'm like, you know what, I don't see a future in baseball, so I think I'll stick with a helmet and shoulder pads. Basketball, I had a gravel courtyard, by that meaning, my driveway. And I remember putting up a hoop and the neighborhood kids all coming over to play. But Eugene, for whatever reason, I could not dribble a basketball without looking at it. I was one of those guys, I dribble and I go, where'd that sucker go?

Where'd that ball go? I just couldn't dribble. So I'm like, alright, basketball's not it. So at some point, I'm just like, you know what, I'm just going to stick with football and weightlifting and accelerate there and do the best that I can. Which, eventually, I did. My senior year, I was scouted by the NFL.

Now, I had some injuries, both my freshman and senior year, that were, you might say, setbacks. But that didn't hold me back from eventually getting into professional wrestling, which I appreciate you being a wrestling fan, by the way. Did you have some favorites? Absolutely. Well, listen, you were definitely one of my favorites because I was always into, like I said, I love just the athleticism of the big guy that can move around the ring and make it look easy.

Not that it was, but you made it look easy. So who wouldn't be a Ric Flair fan? I've met Ric several times. Oh, yes.

Definitely a fan of the Road Warriors. Ricky the Dragon Steamboat, who I absolutely love. Because, again, he was just so athletic. Yes. He was gifted. Yes, very gifted. You know, ringmaster.

This guy can move around. You know, and it's funny, I go through a period of a lot of you mix in the older guys with the newer guys, so I knew some of the newer guys even to this current date. But there was nothing like your era of wrestling. I just really enjoy that era of wrestling more so than what I see when I do get a chance to watch a little bit of it now.

You know, now it's just a little bit too watered down, a little bit too commercialized for me. So I really did enjoy watching you guys do what you did back then. Which prompted me to this particular question. Who was the toughest opponent that you consistently faced that brought out the best in you? That's a great question.

Really great question. And a little side note, by the way, you're not the first and you will not be the last that has said to me, whether it's, you know, I do Comic Cons and autograph signings and all of that, you know, probably a dozen times a year or so. And without fail, people are like, you were a part of the best era of professional wrestling ever. Well, I mean, you know, and those who watch the brand Wrestling Today might argue that point. But that said, if I've heard that once, Eugene, I've heard it a thousand times, you know, just which is what I love about the wrestling fan, how loyal they are, long standing, long term loyal fans.

You know, they're always constantly posting things on social media, messaging me on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and all of that. And I so appreciate all the fans. And so to get more specifically to your question, gosh, really, honestly, there's a number of guys that come to mind, like for real, that were instrumental in helping me have a successful career. And of course, we've already mentioned some of those names.

Certainly Ricky the Dragonstein Boat not only was athletic and had great athleticism. He was a great psychologist of wrestling by that meaning knew how to tell a story in the ring spontaneously, which, you know, some now realize or maybe some don't. But in that era of wrestling, there were not script writers that nobody wrote out an interview for us. Nobody scripted a match for us, like for real, like at all. Like, you know, we were kind of given an outcome and then given the task of going into the ring and spontaneously telling a story that would lead into the outcome and for it to make sense.

Wow. So let me just pause right there. Let that settle in for a minute to both you and the listener. And so every interview you watch, go back to the mid 80s or early for me, early 90s, any interview you watch was 100 percent like this conversation right now. Organic like every interview. Most of the matches, at least I say 100 percent of my matches were organic in the sense that we had an outcome, whether I'm wrestling Ric Flair for 60 minutes in a time limit draw or Ricky Steamboat for a half hour leading into an outcome was all spontaneously told and done in the ring. In the ring. Unbelievable.

Maybe. Maybe a hand. Because in those days, Eugene, there was, you know, most of the buildings were in separate locker rooms.

They're not even the opportunity to even talk to each other. You show up at the building, you go to the dressing room, you get dressed. Referee gives you the outcome.

You go to the ring and you see your opponent for the first time and you go to work. Wow. And to draw you the fan into the story.

Yep. And to whatever the outcome was. And so Ricky the Dragon Steamboat certainly on that list. Ric Flair without question on that list. If I wrestled Ric once, I wrestled him, I don't even know, 150, couple hundred times, hundred times.

I mean, a lot. And he, you know, I say he can make a broomstick look good because he made the Russian nightmare look good, right? He can, you talk about athleticism, but he could go into the ring with those who had the least athleticism, who probably shouldn't even be in a wrestling ring.

Selling cars like my man Robbie Dilmore sitting across from me right now. In other words, doing something other than wrestling. But Ric could go in the ring and make that guy look like a million bucks. That was just the talent that Ric had.

So those two immediately come to mind. I mean, this other guy, Dory Funk Jr. Some may not even know that name. Oh, no, no. Oh, I know. Yeah. Oh, yeah. You know, the Funk family, right?

Terry and Dory Funk. Legendary. Legendary. And I mean, I was fortunate to be a guy in the mid-Atlantic by the name of Johnny Weaver, who was legendary in the mid-Atlantic with the sleeper hold. That was Johnny's finishing move, right? So I had the privilege early in my career to wrestle many legendary guys who helped me accelerate my career in wrestling and the success I had in wrestling.

Wow. One of my all-time favorites. My guy, the American Dream, Dusty Rhodes.

The tower of power to three to be power if you will. Yeah, yeah. And you know what I loved about Dusty Rhodes, which was interesting.

Like you said, you can tell just the wrestling IQ, the business side of what Dusty would do in the ring. Genius. Just amazing. Genius.

Yes. And storylines. And storylines. And I mean, he gets to his credit, I mean, from the War Games to the Great American Bash to the, I mean, just one after another ideas that he came up with.

Whether it was telling a story that night in the ring or a storyline that led to what we called an angle that might last for five, six, or seven months or longer with your opponent. Yeah, Dusty was phenomenal at putting all that together. He really was. I mean, the superpowers, right? When he and I came together, it's the superpowers. That was, yeah, yeah. When him and Jim Crockett approached me with the idea of flipping from the number one most hated guy in wrestling at the moment into becoming what would eventually become a fan favorite. Yep.

And Dusty gets a lot of that credit. And my whole Russian nightmare persona, part of that came from the American Dream. Like when he and I were working an angle. And when I was the heel, when I was the bad guy, and I'm like, oh, you're the American Dream? Well, buddy, I'm going to be your worst nightmare, basically.

And I'm like, ooh, Russian nightmare. That kind of, that'll work, right? That kind of work, right.

That kind of works. See, that segues into that question, because I was going to ask you, how did that come about? Yeah, and that's where the idea of the Russian, you know, I was already Nikita Golov, right? Uncle Ivan, Uncle Ivan, right?

Yeah. His, you know, his nephew. Now, and I want to say this about Uncle Ivan and Don Curnodle, who were my early wrestling partners. You know, kudos to them, all credit to them that for those who know my story, I won't go into it today. I'll just have to go buy the book, you know, Nikita, A Tale of the Ring and Redemption, to get my whole story.

Just shameless plug, go to, pick up an autographed copy, I'll personalize it for you. But all that to say, Don and Ivan, who I broke into wrestling with no experience, no training, no background, amateur or professional, just a five-minute phone call with a promoter named Jim Crockett, showed up the day he said to be there. They put me literally on the interview set. I went to Raleigh, North Carolina the next night, having never been in a ring, to debut on television. And then for the next couple, three months, Ivan and Don and I would get to the town early and bump and thump all over the ring.

The two of them would teach me the mechanics of wrestling, have a match every night, they were the World Tag Team Champions, I'd have a single, and then we'd talk psychology of wrestling, a lost art, to your point of today's brand, a lost art, the psychology of wrestling and how to tell a story and how to do an interview. Yep, that's it. So, well, listen, you've asked some amazing questions and we're going to get you back on here as well, okay? But one more time, Eugene, before we go, tell our listeners how they can find out more about your wife's music, find out more about you.

Definitely, definitely. You can punch in, go to Spotify, you can punch in Naya, NYA, or if you go to Google and just punch her name in the search engine, NYA pops up everywhere knowing the mankind. You can find her. Myself, you can go to my webpage, which is, or you can just find me on Facebook at EugeneNapoleon.

My wife also is on Facebook at TracyNapoleon-Naya. Napoleon, thank you. I appreciate it. Thank you, Eugene, for being a part of the Q&A with Koloff, and thank you for tuning in to another show. Until next time, God bless you. This podcast is made possible by the grace of God and your faithful prayers, support, and generous gifts. May God bless you for your continual contributions. Go to 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. If you are enjoying Q&A with Koloff, would you help us spread the word?

Tell your family, tell your friends, tell your neighbors to download, subscribe, and leave a comment. Hi, Nikita Koloff here, and I am excited to announce the second annual Man Up Men's Conference, a champions summit at MorningStar Ministries in Fort Mill, South Carolina, June 15th through the 17th. We have another amazing lineup of speakers, including football legend Perry Tuttle from the national champion Clemson Tigers, Stu Epperson, founder of Truth Radio, a champion for truth, pastors Chris Reed and Rick Joyner, champions for Jesus, Shawn and Krista Smith, champions for the family, radio show host Robbie Dilmore, and last but not least, comedian Lee McBride. I want to challenge every man to attend and every dad and granddad out there to bring your son or grandson of any age.

We're going to do something special just for you. It is Father's Day weekend, so get registered today. You don't want to miss a champion summit. Why?

Because it's time to man up. Go to for more information or to sign up today. Nikita Koloff here.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-18 10:25:40 / 2023-04-18 10:36:18 / 11

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