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Former Pro Wrestler Turned Preacher Returns to Columbia

7:51 PM, Jan 16, 2014   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- In the 1980's and early 90's Nikita Koloff was a household name in the wrestling world. 

Since retiring from the ring he is making an impact elsewhere.

"I look back at my wrestling career certainly with some found memories," said Koloff who legally changed his name in 1988.

"When I think about all the guys I got to wrestle, the Rick Flairs, the Dusty Rhodes, the Ricky the Dragon Steamboats, the Lex Lugers, the Stings, the Road Warriors, the list goes on and on with the guys I got to step into the ring with."

The Hall of Fame wrestler retired in 1993 after winning a number of championships in the NWA.

"Even though I was successful, I came to the conclusion that I was unfulfilled," said Koloff.

It was during that search for fulfillment that Koloff found what he had been missing during his wrestling career, when he was invited to church.

Koloff said, "Seventeen October 1993 I had the wrestling match of a lifetime, not in a squared circle like they may have seen in Columbia's Township Auditorium."

"This was in a church and it was there that I surrendered my heart to Jesus Christ and life has never been the same since," according to Koloff.

The wrestler once known for his Russian Sickles on the canvas is bringing something much different to audiences around the world.

"Now to over 25 different countries and not to entertain fans, but to bring a message that brings hope and hopefully changes peoples lives for eternity is incredibly humbling," said Koloff.

Now at 54-years old the wrestler turned preacher finds himself in between the ropes occasionally, but don't expect a comeback.

Koloff said, "I still get the privilege of going back and coming down at the tail end of a match and throwing a ceremonial sickle if you will."

"As far as putting the tights on, I tell people if you want to see Nikita Koloff in tights you're going to have to YouTube me, you will not see me in an official wrestling match ever again," according to Koloff.

Koloff was in town speaking to a men's dinner at Spring Valley Baptist Church, organizers hope to make it an annual event.

Koloff and his family is also featured on the Lifetime series which is expected to return for a second season this spring.





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