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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Interview with JAPW owner Fat Frank
December 14, 2002 - by E-Gore


I had the honor of conducting a short interview through e-mail with Jersey All Pro Wrestling ( http://www.japw.net ) owner and promoter Fat Frank Iadevaia. I thank Frank for being so open during the interview and can honestly say that his product, JAPW, is very good and I recommend that any indy wrestling fan at least take a look at it. Indy stars like Xavier, Low Ki, Homcide, The Hit Squad, Trent Acid, and others all first made name for themselves in JAPW. Established stars like Rob Van Dam, Tommy Dreamer, Shane Douglas, Steve Corino, Jerry Lawler, Balls Mahoney, and others have competed on JAPW's shows, too. Without any further ado, here is the transcript of my interview with Frank...


QUESTION: When and how did you first become a fan of professional wrestling?
ANSWER: I was outside of school when I saw a bunch of kids wrestling, I was about 11 at the time and I am 30 now. I joined in and and next thing I knew, I was watching the WWF ever Saturday morning and I was hooked.

QUESTION: Who were some of your favorite competitors?
ANSWER: In the beginning it was Don Muraco, David Schultz, Piper & Mr Wonderful. LOL I got jumped outsdie of MSG back in 1985 for wearing a piper shirt and Kilt. That was the night Piper attacked Cindy Lauper and Lou Albano.

QUESTION: How did the formation of JAPW (Jersey All Pro Wrestling) come about?
ANSWER: When I was wrestling in the early 90's I always has a little interest in the behind the scenes locker room stuff. One day as a goof I rented out Gino Caruso's wrestling school and had a show the rest is history. I had Devon Dudley & Big Dick Dudley, before they were Dudleys. Jason, The Rockin Rebel and Crowbar were also on that show.

QUESTION: Who are some of JAPW's top stars?
ANSWER: There are so many, but I will go with our current Heavyweight Champion Homicide.

QUESTION: What is your opinion of the current state of the U.S. independent wrestling circuit?
ANSWER: There are a lot of indys that are good and then again for every good indy you have 4 or 5 that are really bad. It hurts us all if a fly by night promoter runs a bad show, plus they might make promises they can't keep on a finical level with a facility and ruin it for everyone.

QUESTION: A few months ago, there was a controversy about a possible relationship between JAPW and XPW (Xtreme Professional Wrestling). Would you like to comment on that?
ANSWER: What would wrestling be without controversy? I am always looking to get my guys work and look out for them. As far as XPW, I attended one of there events and that was about it.

QUESTION: Russ Haas passed away earlier this year at a very young age. How well did you know Russ?
ANSWER: Russ & Charlie trained at my school in Bayonne, NJ. I gave them work when no one else would even look at them. It took a couple of years, but I knew once they reached the ECWA, they would be in the WWE shortly after that. Russ accomplished my childhood dream by Wrestling at The Meadowlands "Continental Airlines" Arena with his brother Charlie "RC Haas" I could go on and on about Russ Haas. I have lost family members over the years, but I can't really talk about Russ without getting choked up. I miss him and think about him ever JAP show. On the last JAP event on Dec 13th in Bayonne, Da Hit Squad brought up his name and it brought tears to my eyes.

QUESTION: The Hit Squad (Mafia & Monsta Mack), Elax, Boogalu, Homicide, Insane Dragon (a.k.a. Izzy), Xavier, Low Ryder, Nick Berk, Low Ki, Ric Blade, Reckless Youth, The Christopher St. Connection, American Dragon, Don Montoya, Dixie, and other JAPW stars have found success in other indy companies. How do you feel about the success of some of the JAPW stars in other companies?
ANSWER: I think its great, any East Coast indy worker who is anyone has worked for JAP. LOL I guess JAP is the indy stepping stone. Anytime I see Trent Acid he always thanks me for booking him when he was only 16. He never forgets to bring that up. Now he has wrestled in Japan, other countries, and is a top dog in CZW. (I) Wonder what would have happened if I never gave him work years ago. I hope to use him again in JAP.

QUESTION: Back on March 22, 1998, JAPW held their first annual JAP Convention: Night of the Barbed-Wire #2. On that show, stars like Tommy Dreamer, Beulah McGillicutty, New Jack, The Dudley Boys (including Spike), Rob Van Dam, Bill Alfonso, Joel Gertner, Abdullah the Butcher, Axl Rotten, Francine Fournier, 911, Al Snow, Shane Douglas, The Pitbulls, Captain Lou Albano, and even Stone Cold Steve Austin either competed or appeared at the show. How did it come about that ECW and other major companies allowed JAPW to have their talent appear at the convention and how exciting was it to have such big names on the card?
ANSWER: It was the one of the greatest nights in my life. To have Paul (Heyman) in my locker room at the time was a big plus for me. We never received any press about that event and its a shame (that) many wrestling fans don't even know it took place.

QUESTION: When and where is JAPW's next show going to be and where can one buy tickets to it?
ANSWER: The next JAP event will be on Sat., Jan. 18th at The Hungarian Center in Woodbridge, NJ. Lawler, Kamala, Corino, Mahoney and all the other JAP Superstars will be there. Fans can call toll free at 1-888-478-0667 for info or visit http://www.japw.net .

QUESTION: Where can a fan buy videos of past JAPW shows?
ANSWER: There are links on the JAPW Page at http://www.japw.net .

QUESTION: Do you have any last words for the fans reading this interview?
ANSWER: Give all indys a shot. What is the worst that could happen? You might just see an awesome show.

by E-Gore @ IndyWrestling619@aol.com


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