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Wrestling God into your life

Man Talk / Will Hardy and Roy Jones Jr.
The Truth Network Radio
October 6, 2019 4:00 pm

Wrestling God into your life

Man Talk / Will Hardy and Roy Jones Jr.

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October 6, 2019 4:00 pm

Will and Roy discuss what being a christian means to Nikita Koloff former professional wrestler. 

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This is the Truth Network. Welcome back to ManTalk Radio. This is Roy Jones.

And this is Will Hardy. We're excited to have you join us today for the show. We've got a very, very, very special guest and a great friend, Nikita Koloff.

Most of you recognize his name. We had him on back early in the season when we first started our show and he's come to join us in person in the studio. So welcome Nikita. Great to be with you guys. Hey, I love the black guy, white guy, and tonight a Russian guy.

Well, kind of. Great to be here. You know, it's a thrill having Nikita here.

We thank Nikita for coming by, just spending some time with us. And, you know, we want to just get into right away talking about the days before Christianity, the days before you gave your life to the Lord. What was that life like and how did you, you know, while you were out there, what was it about that life that you look back on and say, you know, if I could do something differently, what would it be?

Well, that's a great question. I guess if I were to condense that down into a simple answer as possible, I would say I was on a path, a pursuit of self-fulfillment. Chasing that, if you want to call it an empty chase of success, of fame, fortune, and glamour, I was on that path. And succeeding at it in one sense, you know, becoming multiple times a world champion in the NWA, WCW World Championship Wrestling days, and wrestling all the superstars of wrestling, Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes, Steve Austin, Stone Cold, you know, just all the guys, Lex Luger, Sting, the list goes on and on. And with the championship belts and the roar of the crowd and the accolades and the autograph seekers and everything that came with it, fill the void, fill the emptiness for a while.

For a while. Only to come to the realization that it was an empty chase and it was a life built upon the sand. And then the revelation, understanding one day that there has to be something more, I need something more.

And actually it's coming up here soon, my spiritual birthday, 17 October 1993, when I walked an aisle, not to meet the nature boy Ric Flair in a squared circle, but I walked an aisle to meet the man, the real man, the real champion for the world, of the world, Jesus Christ, and he became my Lord and Savior. Amen. Praise God. Wow. That's just tremendous.

And let me just interject real quick. So it went from the fulfillment of self, then had the understanding that there's somebody else that had a plan for me, God, and now I all of a sudden had purpose. There was all of a sudden purpose and went from really being unfulfilled to becoming fulfilled, understanding there's a purpose for my being here, a purpose more than just entertaining wrestling, wow.

That's interesting, Nick. So you think of, you played high school athletics, college football, and most men would say, hey, that's pretty awesome the fact you got to do all those things. And then you get to be a professional athlete, traveling all around the world, and yet I heard you say that you weren't fulfilled. And when did you really recognize that you weren't fulfilled? How much success had you achieved when you recognized that emptiness and that vacancy in your life? So after I left wrestling, I walked away under my own terms at the tail end of 1992, the beginning of 1993, on this quest of sorts of what's life hold next for Nikita Kolov.

I'd had some health clubs down in the Charlotte, Concord, Kannapolis area, had some health clubs. I'm like, this ain't it. I don't want to be doing this the rest of my life.

So this is not the answer. And so it was during that season of time in 1993 when I was really pondering what life held beyond the wrestling ring and all the roar of the crowds. That's where I came to that understanding. There's got to be more. I climbed the pinnacle of success in that sport anyway and became a world champion, but it was only satisfying for a moment. There was no long-lasting satisfaction. Satisfaction.

No. It's interesting because this is man talk radio, so we've got a lot of men out there listening to the program, and I'm sure a lot of ladies as well. Men typically think that constant acquisition or attainment or achievements is what fulfills their life.

But here, for all intents and purposes, they're in that less than 1% of the population. You made it to a professional level of whatever your love was in your sport, and yet it wasn't fulfilling. Wasn't enough. So I guess what we want to tell you if you're listening in the audience today is that, hey, here's somebody who's been there, done that, and as I often say, a man with an opinion has no argument with a man with experience. And you've been there, and you hear that even if you're in the middle of just your day-to-day life and you think there's something more to be had in this secular world, it's not that. Yeah, I mean, only so many fancy cars you can buy, only so many big houses or jet planes or corner offices or gold watch. But no matter what, it's like my dear friend Lex Luger said one time, prior to his conversion, prior to his transformation, surrendering his life to Jesus, he pulled up the stoplight with a Bentley, and the next guy pulls up with a Lamborghini. He's like, that dude just one-upped me, now I have to go get a Lamborghini.

You pull up on the tarmac with your Falcon jet, and the Shaw pulls up with his DC-9. Someone's always got more, man. And so no matter how much you've got out there in the world, you're going to find somebody's always got more. And it's like, forget who the quote was from, one of the millionaire-billionaire guys, how much is enough? Rockefeller. And is he the one that said, one dollar more? Really? Wow.

One dollar more. What an empty chase, huh? So our message to you if you're listening to us today is just that we've got a message of hope for you that will fulfill all those earthly desires, because it's not the desire of the earth that's really inside of you, it's God trying to knock on your heart to open the door for you.

Absolutely. And you know, again, this is man talk, so we're talking man stuff. And so Nikita, maybe you can share with some of the listening audience out there, what were some of the demons that you just fought on a daily basis? You know, looking back, I mean, I'm fortunate in the sense, anyone that follows wrestling, they know some of the stories of many, unfortunately many of the guys, not just some of the guys, but died of drug overdoses, died of alcohol poisoning, suicide, committed suicide, heart failure, which was typically from a combination of things. In fact, a little side note story here, so from my high school, I mentioned high school, there were seven of us within a three year period that all broke into professional wrestling and really made a name for ourselves. People recognized the name Ravishing Rick Rude, Mr. Perfect Curt Henning, The Z-Man, Tom Zink, and probably the lesser known Brady Boone. Why do I mention those four guys? They graduated one year ahead of me in high school, one year, and all four of them are no longer with us, all four of them.

And, you know, Curt unfortunately was found in a hotel in Tampa, Florida, of a cocaine overdose. And so fortunately for me, I didn't get caught up in that world in terms of battling those demons, you know, drug addiction, alcohol, those sorts of things. I guess for me, it's like Ivan Koloff and Don Curnotto, my original partners who were the World Tag Champions, part of the whole story of being nephew Nikita to Uncle Ivan. You know, they always said, you know, even before giving my life to Jesus, you weren't, you were a pretty good guy, right? You weren't a bad guy, you know, and tried to treat people right. So honestly, for me, I can't say there was a whole lot of struggle as far as battling demons for me. More for me, it was just the understanding that I'm successful, but I'm unfulfilled.

There's just no contentment there. And so, yeah, so I mean, I guess to your question, yeah, so although I know there are plenty out there, like again, plenty of my peers who did struggle with all kinds of different demons like that, you know, but I was very fortunate in that sense not to have to battle any of that. Nikita, what's the funniest thing ever happened to you on the road? Let's really get the personal side. What sticks out when you think about hilarious moments? Oh, man, you know, gosh, that's a good question. I mean, to narrow it down or pin it down.

We can give you a moment to think about it. What's the worst thing that ever happened to you on the road? The worst thing? Because you guys are constantly, you know, you're in Greensboro one night, you're in Raleigh the next night, you're in Lexington, South Carolina the next night, and then all of a sudden you got a six-hour drive to get to the next stop the following day. I'm sure you've seen a lot on the road. I thought it might be interesting for some of our listeners to hear something like that. Well, it's just, I mean, the behind the scenes, I mean, we did have fun. I mean, there was time, I mean, at one point it was Lex Luger, myself, Sting, and Road Warrior Animal that used to kind of all travel together in the same car, and then back in those days, you know, we'd share hotel rooms, you know, typically I'd share with Animal and Sting and Luger would share a room together, and I remember we were in, and I don't know how funny the listener out there was, but I remember we were in Iowa, we were traveling, I think, from Chicago to the next town, whatever it was, and sometimes you booked hotels, sometimes you didn't, and we didn't this particular time, and it was getting late and we needed a hotel room, and we ended up in, I don't even know what the town in Iowa was, I don't even know if it was a town, but it was one of those motels, there was no hotel. Outside entrance. It was outside entrance, it wasn't a Marriott, I can assure you that, and man, I'll never, Luger was up all night with a fly swatter, couldn't sleep, he's a big bug guy, he does not like bugs, you know, and man, the room was infested with flies and all kinds of bugs, and he was up all night swatting flies, so he got no sleep, no rest that night, and we're at breakfast the next morning, and he orders this meal, of course a little pole dump restaurant, and it was nothing like he ordered, and oh my gosh, he was beside himself. The three of us, we roared, we loved the whole experience for him, he ate it. Truth be known, Nikita and the team probably paid for all this to happen to Lex, knowing the way these guys think. Hey, we appreciate you listening to ManTalk Radio, and we'll be back with you in just a few moments, we're going to take a quick break.

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Call 336-885-1987. We're back with ManTalk Radio, and we're here talking with Nikita Koloff, and I tell you, while we were off there, we were just having a great time. There's a lot of things that Nikita has seen in his days, and here's the irony. The irony is Roy said, what's the funniest thing that happened?

Now all of you are thinking, we're laughing at the funniest thing that happened, when it's actually the worst thing that happened that I cannot share on the airwaves, so we're just going to leave you in suspense. And you know, for all those guys out there, because we talked about men wanting and having that desire to surround themselves with work and money and do those things that they think that if they are successful at them, this is what actually makes them a man. What do you say to the individual who's out there thinking that? Well, it really defines, I don't know if we have enough time on this show to even talk about it really, but actually I cover some of this. I do, and we may get into this, but I do a one-day conference called Man Up, and it's time to man up. And one of the things I talk about in that conference is the difference between the worldview of manhood versus the biblical view of manhood, which is really what you're making a reference to. For me, personal testimony, I came off an experience back in 2006 where for the first time for me, I was exposed to really an incredible teaching on what true biblical manhood looked like. I went back home, asked my pastor if I could speak on the platform for five minutes the following Sunday, and I just simply said this, for 46 years of my life I was a male, and for the first time in my life I stepped into manhood.

Because for the first time in my life at age 47, my birthday was on that event, I was exposed to what biblical manhood. So part of the problem is, part of the challenge is, most men out there like myself for 46 years had one perspective or view of what manhood looks like. Again, the pursuit of a successful job, having a good family, the pursuit of all these other things, when in our eyes that's kind of how the world looks, but God looks at it a completely different way. Man looks at the outward appearance, the world looks at your outward success, but God's looking at something completely different. He looks at the heart and the heart of a man, and the key word there is character. So God's looking at character. So character, Christ-likeness are synonymous when it comes to true manhood, true manhood. I think that is something I know that Roy and I have talked about on the show before, is that a true man of God is a man who has that character, but when he's not around anyone, it's what you're doing when no one is around.

That's right. Are you still living that life? Are you still committing yourself as if there were a hundred people around, a thousand people around, because God is looking at the motive of the heart? Why we do what we do? And so here's a little, maybe paint a picture, a quick picture for the listener out there. So most men, because they've grown up to learn a worldview of manhood and not been exposed to a biblical view of manhood, live life, so men are like waffles, right? They live life of compartments. So there may be a certain way in church on Sunday, if they're going to church, but out in the marketplace on Monday, there's somebody completely different. And then over here, out in the recreation room, there's somebody.

And so they're living all these different compartmentalized lives. I'm not going to dare have somebody in my church box jump into my business box if they really saw how I conducted business, they'd have a different impression of me than how I conduct myself in church, when really what God wants is not us to live a life of compartmentalized, it's to ebb and flow all together. We're going to be the same man that we are on Sunday morning, on Monday morning in the office, on Saturday afternoon on the golf course, and who we are, even when we're on vacation having recreation, we're going to be that same man.

Nick, that's the very thing we talk about quite often, and it's almost verbatim. If your Sunday face looks different than your Monday through Saturday face, there's a problem. And that's exactly what we tried to echo on the show here, that there should be no difference. And more importantly, or equally as important, is that the people that are watching you that aren't walking in the walk are watching how you're going to act Monday through Saturday. They know you go to church on Sunday. They know that that's your proclamation, if you will. But the reality is, the way you walk it Monday through Saturday is what really speaks to them.

Absolutely. Quick story on that. My dad told me a story one time about his brother, who I had never met. Grew up, his parents raised them in church, my grandparents raised them in church. His brother ended up converting to Judea. He married a Jewish gal, but that wasn't the main reason he converted to Judea. He converted from Christianity to that because he said, the same deacons and elders and men in church on Sunday were a totally different man on the golf course. He goes, if that's Christianity, I want nothing to do with it.

I don't even want to hear about it anymore. And that was the reason. Well, that's the number one reason that you talk to an unbeliever or somebody who at least has been in church some point in their life. That's the very first thing they say. It's full of a bunch of hypocrites. But we all know it's the hospital for the injured and the wounded and the sick is what church is all about.

Come to Christ because he can heal all those things. But when you have people who are not admitting they're struggling with anything and they have that face on Sunday and look totally different Monday through Saturday, it does more to hurt the kingdom and building of the kingdom than if you never showed up in church at all. Yes, because that's exactly what they're doing. What they're doing is the person who is not living according to the truth on Saturday through the rest of the week, what they're doing is they're creating a stumbling block to those who want to come to Christ. And it's almost like when Christ said, you know, it's better for you to take a millstone hanging about your neck and cast yourself into the sea rather than to offend one of my little ones. Yeah, right. Which the Bible says, right?

Don't be a stumbling block. I like to say this, Roy, about the hypocrites. I go, I'd rather be in church with them than to be out there in the market.

Exactly. If I'm going to be anywhere with a bunch of you, let me at least be in church where there's at least a hope, a chance that something's going to happen in that environment, right? Versus them never going to church and perhaps then never changing and remaining a hypocrite their entire life. Well, you know, that leads into a great point for our next topic, as we chat through, is this whole thing from convert to disciple, which is what we'll talk about in our next week's show with you.

And we're fortunate enough to have Nikita back with us again next week. But as Will and I have spoken over the last several weeks, that it's important for men to understand that there's a difference between being a convert and moving into discipleship. The convert would tend to fall more in that person that lives differently Monday through Saturday, loves the Lord, has accepted the Christ, but hasn't surrendered herself. And that's something we will want to talk about. Maybe you could even talk about that, Nick, as you've gone through your journey. Because you mentioned that you got saved in 93, and if I remember the story correctly, there was another transition that occurred about 12 years later, if I remember correctly, maybe 11.

I can't remember the exact date. Well, there's been different markers along the path in my journey, but I can definitely speak into that, into discipleship. And I have a testimony for that. Good. So we'll pick that up on next week's show.

But I know we've got just a few more minutes to chat today. So, having said that, Nikita, have people come up to you and said, by that very comment, acknowledged the fact that they see you one and the same? You know, we don't seek recognition, but have they seen you say, hey, you know what I really like about you, Nikita, is that you're no different anytime I see you. Whether you're signing autographs or you're at church or I see you in the marketplace or at the gym, you're the same guy that's always sharing the Lord with me.

That's my goal and my objective every day, is that people would just see the Jesus in me when they walk away from meeting me or having some time with me. I guess, you know, some of the greatest compliments I've heard from others, right? So, hey, I'm glad I met you, so-and-so said, and kind of the words they use, some of the words, the phrases they use is, you know, he's the real deal. You know, I've heard that mentioned before, he's the real deal, and which that expression encourages me that I feel like I'm doing something right for people to have that impression and to have that type of impact or influence on others that when I meet them and they walk away, they sense that, you know, there's authenticity there, genuine, you know, sincere, and that, yeah, I am one of the same, whether I'm in the gym working out or, you know, standing on a pulpit preaching or in the middle of a convention at an autograph signing.

And, you know, we were talking about some of the words that you mentioned at a man's conference a few weeks ago, and that was one of the words that came up was being authentic and being tenacious, you know, having and demonstrating tenacity, being at a point to say my life is consistent, and when I'm not consistent, don't judge me, and we're going to talk about that, too, on next time. Don't judge me for the fact that at this point in my life, I might be in a valley, but pray for me that God would give me the strength or send someone to walk alongside of me so that I can now be pulled up out the valley because we're supposed to be exhorting one another, according to what the scripture says, and so much more as we see the day of the Lord approaching. Every day we wake up, we're one day and that day closer to seeing Jesus Christ. Amen. Thank you, Jesus.

That is such a wonderful thing. As we close out the show, as we always do, remember, if you don't know the Lord as your personal Savior, all you've got to do is admit being a sinner, accept the blood of Jesus Christ that you've been forgiven, ask him into your heart and turn and join the body of fellowship. Thank you for joining us on ManTalk Radio. And we'll see you again next time.

Che toi ta. As we wrap up today's show, be assured that TAWCMM, Talking and Walking Christian Men's Ministry, is brought to you by TAWCMM. As we wrap up today's show, be assured that TAWCMM, Talking and Walking Christian Men's Ministry, is building a community of men that are Christ followers with a desire to be servant leaders in their homes, communities, churches and work environments. Check out our website for upcoming events and regularly scheduled meetings. Drop us a note for topics that you would like to have us visit in the future. Thank you for joining us on ManTalk today. Visit us at Men walking the talk. This is the Truth Network.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-11 02:38:09 / 2024-03-11 02:48:48 / 11

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