Former Grapplers Wrestle With A New Opponent
Wrestlers like Steve "Sting" Borden are now wrestling against principalities and powers in high places.
by Matthias R. Monschein
There have been many critics of the form of sports entertainment known as professional wrestling and rightfully so. It is seen by many as degrading, demoralizing and raunchy.
||Ted (Million Dollar Man) Debiasi, center, Steve "Sting" Borden and Nakita Koloff
In a business such as wrestling a person is literally swept off their feet with the aspirations of fame and fortune and all of the perks that go along with it.
Such was the case for three former Champions in the world of wrestling, Ted Debiasi, Nakita Koloff and Steve 'Sting' Borden.
In every case each man found themselves at the top of their sport. They were champions of their industry. At the very pinnacles of their success, when they could have whatever they wanted, there was still something missing in their lives that left them empty inside.
Steve Borden best known as "Sting" was WCW heavyweight champion. He was the literal poster boy of the franchise. His likeness was merchandised and on almost every thing imaginable from bubblegum cards to music compact discs.
"It was at a time where I was at the peak of my career. I had literally everything that I ever wanted. I had the fame, exposure and money but I was still miserable beyond the point of having a void in my life. I was in deep dark despair. I finally found my self at the point where I had to make a decision, 'What do I really want in life?' So I asked Christ into my life."
People may recall the man in the long black trench coat, white make up and baseball bat as he took on superstars in the industry such as Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair or even Ted Debiasi himself.
"Things started to change for me after that day. I began to change my attitude about things. I soon found myself in compromising situations where I wouldn't allow myself to compromise any longer."
Sting was faced with a decision to stay in a business that continued to demoralize its talent or lead a life pleasing to God. As you might expect, he left WCW last year following its purchase by World Wrestling Entertainment.
"God made me Sting for a reason and it wasn't just to disappear and walk away with my tail between my legs. It was to get out there and tell people what happened in my life and how Jesus saved me."
The opportunity came for him to do that very thing this past April at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, Indiana. The two-day event was called Stand Up: The Invasion, sponsored by teen mania ministries based in Garden Valley, Texas.
Stand Up is one of the largest national gatherings of teenagers and youth leaders in North America and played host to a crowd of over 50,000.
Combined with Ted Debiasi and Nakita Koloff the three shared their testimonies along with an "illustrated sermon" that included Sting fighting off his temptations in the wrestling ring.
Sting, Ted and Nakita were introduced to Ron Luce, founder of Teen Mania Ministries and Acquire the Fire through a mutual friend. Together, they incorporated this gifted ministry of theirs with ATF in order to reach out further than ever imagined.
"I want to be able to show the youth at these events that there is nothing weak about being a Christian." said Sting. "There is nothing weak about following Jesus Christ and putting him first and there is nothing weak about being in prayer and going to church and fellowshipping with other Christians."
Ted Debiasi could almost tell you verbatim the exact same story. Almost ten years prior, in the very same stadium following a Wrestlemania event, his wife was about to leave him and it was at the lowest point in his life that he said, "O.K. God it's time to get real with you."
Debiasi is now in full time ministry and travels with his group Pro Wrestling Alliance.
The ministry shares the Gospel while reinforcing the message with the wrestling show.
The question was raised to Ted Debiasi, "Why would you choose a wrestling ring to share the message when there are so many other positive ways to get that done?" .
"Professional wrestling weather you like it or not, is one of the most powerful things that is on television these days," said Debiasi. "With its popularity today, I feel that there is no better time than right now to use that same medium to reach kids in a positive way."
Nakita's path was a different one from that of the other two. He chose to walk away from the sport at the age of 33 long before he discovered who Christ really was.
"Quitting when I did gave me time to reflect where I have been and at the same time question where I am going to go from here."
After accepting a friend's invitation to go to church, Nakita heard the Lord's call and accepted Christ that day and much like the others, answered "Here I am. Use me as you will"
Nakita continued, "wrestling was what I once did. I am not here for a popularity pole. I am here to be effective for the building of the Kingdom of God. There are 50,000 plus kids out there in that stadium, many who are only here because of us or what we have done in the past. That is the influence of television. We are able to take man's foolishness, professional wrestling, and turn it to God's glory. We are going to see some lives changed and transformed, much like our lives were transformed in our own way."