Author, Tapped Out By Jesus (2011)
Strongman in Team Impact Ministries
Former WWE/WWF Fighter
Former Head Coach, Greeley West High School, Colorado
MA in Athletic Administration from University of Colorado
Ron Waterman: Strong Faith
The 700 Club
FROM CHUBBY TO THE WWE
Ron attended Lutheran church growing up. His parents divorced when he was 12. Ron describes himself as a short, chubby kid who got picked on all the way to fourth grade.
In fifth grade, Ron’s gym teacher (his favorite teacher) asked him to try out for wrestling. Soon Ron shed all of his extra weight. He spent so much time working on being a great wrestler that Ron became one of the best in Colorado. By the time he graduated, Ron earned a scholarship to college then became a high school teacher and coach.
He taught for 9 years and then started competing in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). Soon he fought in UFC matches and was offered a contract with the World Wide Federation (WWF) (which is World Wide Entertainment or WWE today). Ron gave his life to the Lord at the age of 32 and was a new believer when he started wrestling with the WWE.
Ron moved to Kentucky to train for a year before being called up on the traveling roster for WWE. He flew back and forth for three to six months until his training was done. Soon Ron visited home less and less. The relationships with his wife and boys deteriorated.
“My big chance of chasing a childhood dream was not as exciting as I expected and certainly wasn’t worth the price,” says Ron. Even the phone calls at night were not the same. He had to do something fast. After several months, Ron was notified that the writers of WWE had nothing for him and he was being released from his contract. “When God closes a door, He always opens a window,” Ron says. At the time, Ron didn’t know what he was going to do. “It was difficult to go back to an ordinary lifestyle,” he says.
One day, Ron heard about the Team Impact, a Christian strength team that traveled around the world doing feats of strength amd shared their faith, from a wrestler friend named Rico. One day while he was praying, Ron felt the Lord tell him to call Rico to find out more about “this Christian strength team thing.” Rico told Ron to contact a friend of his who started a new team called Team Impact (TI). Ron sent an email instead because he was nervous about calling.
TI was interested in meeting him, so Ron flew to meet the team and participate in a 5-day crusade. He had no idea what he was getting into nor did he know what was expected of him the first 5 days. “This was a bright light after coming out of a dark tunnel,” says Ron. “This was so real, so refreshing and so different from anything I’d experienced in my life,” says Ron.
The team attracts a crowd with their feats of strength. Many times, they perform at public school assemblies during the day where they share a secular message. Then they invite all the students out to the night crusade where they share the message of the Gospel. In the beginning Ron would blow up hot water bottles and tear phone books in half. After Ron joined the team, his pastor set up a crusade at Ron’s home church. “My boys were able to see firsthand what their dad did when he was gone from home,” says Ron. His brother, mother and sister were in the audience and gave their lives to the Lord that night.
Ron has seen thousands of people accept the Lord into their heart. He enjoys doing outreaches with his sons. On the set, Ron will show us The Frying Pan Roll-up (rolls a frying pan like a burrito) and Ripping Phonebooks.
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