Francisco Ciatso (formerly “Uptown” Frankie Capone)
Height: 5’10” | Weight: 234
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY | Pro Debut: 1996
Where you have seen him: IPW Hardcore, NWA Florida, TNA Wrestling, Deep South Wrestling (WWE Developmental), Pro Wrestling Riot (part of 911 Inc.) AWA World-1 South, Elite Wrestling Entertainment, Great American Wrestling Federation, SCW (FL), Pro Wrestling Warfare, Division 1 Pro Wrestling (FL), CCW, EEW (England), WWC (Puerto Rico), Pro Wrestling Fusion.
Championships held: IPW Hardcore TV champion, IPW Hardcore Light-Heavyweight champion, NWA Florida Tag Team champion (w/Marcus Dillon), AWA World-1 Southern champion, GAWF Heavyweight champion, SCW World champion, SCW Florida champion, CCW Florida Heavyweight champion, CCW Tag Team champion, EEW Heavyweight champion.
Alan Wojcik: I must begin with an apology for not doing this sooner but with your busy schedule as head of Double Deuce Inc. and your 911 Inc. obligations it was hard. Let’s talk first about the upcoming 2008 Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup itself not your matches that weekend. You knew Jeff and have been part of this event since its inception. What can you share about Jeff and what the event means to you?
Francisco Ciatso: This event means the world because I knew Jeff and I worked with Jeff. One night in particular sticks out in my mind. We were at the Crystal River Armory and we were wrestling each other for the IPW Light Heavyweight title (no jokes I was actually small at one pioint). He said that he didn’t feel well and he was coughing and said he had a fever. I told him to get a replacement, he said no and that he wanted the match with me. I told we would take it easy and he again said NO. He said that people paid money to see us tonight and we were going to go balls to wall. Damn it we did,…and had a really good one. That was just the kind of man Jeff was. He was a true pro, and had 1000 tmes more heart than anyone competing today.
Alan Wojcik: Most people who have read our previous interviews are probably going, “Didn’t he used to be called Frankie Capone?” What led you to become Francisco Ciatso and do the fans treat you differently than as “Uptown?”
Francisco Ciatso: I was working for WWE’s Deep South and Paul Heyman was there evaluating talent. I was doing the Frankie Capone gimmick (same look as I have now),…he was there about 4 or 5 weeks in a row. For whatever reason he took a liking to me but the only thing was,..he said he wanted me to change my name. He didn’t like the Capone thing. He asked me what my last name was. I told him and he wanted me to use that. I explained that it didn’t have a ring to it but pronounced in Italian; Kee-at-so and I just used what my last name would be if I was actually off the boat from Italy and THERE YOU HAVE IT.
Alan Wojcik: For a couple of years you were wrestling for the WWE’s developmental group Deep South Wrestling before it got moved to Florida. How did this opportunity come about and who was “Classic/Throwback” Frankie Coverdale?
Francisco Ciatso: Yes I was. I was working under one of the best trainers in the world Bill Demott for most of my time there. The opportunity came about becaue Ron Niemi was being brought in to do commentary and what not. He asked me to tag along and he would introduce me around and you never know what would come out of it. Plus Mike and Todd Shane were hired on as the Gymini up there so I did have some people up there who knew I could work. One thing led to another and I asked Mike Shane if he would give my DVD to Bill Demott. He did just that and the next day I was invited up there. From there I was pretty much a fixture on T.V every week making the trip up there every week with Ron Niemi before he and I both moved to Georgia (that’s a WHOLE OTHER INTERVIEW!) According to all the feedback I received from Bill and Paul Heyman I was doing very well. I remember talking to Tony Garea and Pat Patterson one night after a match and they told that I was born 10 years too late and if I had been born during the 60’s I would be a star today! That was a cool compliment. “Throwback” Frankie Coverdale was created based on an old 80’s job guy character, satin jacket, basic tights, coming out to no music,..etc etc. He was basically just happy to be there and did everything from the rope test, to when my nam was called I gave the old ” one fist in the air ala Tony Leone. I thought of all the jobbers I used to watch when I was kid and tried to remember their mannerisms, etc etc. It was a blast doing that character and is something NO ONE had done at the time.
Alan Wojcik: You also got several chances to work for TNA Wrestling at their Orlando TV tapings. Talk about their atmosphere as opposed to the ECW & WWE locker rooms you have been in?
Francisco Ciatso: Well honestly TNA is great. I have worked there since they were in Nashville. I have always been treated well, paid decent and treated like a member of the team. Bell Behrens and Terry Taylor have ALWAYS TAKEN CARE OF ME UP THERE. WWE was very stressful. I had the pleasure of working the Smackdown and Raw tapings and IT’S NUTS. Rightfully so,..but I have never been so in awe of how CRAZY AND UPTIGHT THINGS ARE. Especially for the live RAW tapings, MY GOD!!! It was like Time Square at the 12 o’clock hour. HUSTLE AND BUSTLE AND A, “If you didn’t bring you’re A GAME GET THE FUCK OUT ATTITUDE”. AGAIN,..rightfully so. They are THE DANCE and it shows. There is nothing that has come close to walking that ramp. PERIOD. It was an honor to be there and I hope I get the opportunity again one day. I remember sitting at the top of the arena in Mobile, AL I think it was and watching everything come together and thinking to myself,…WOW. I can’t fucking believe I am here. I get goose bumps just thinking of it. TNA atmosphere is a lot more laid back. They work very hard at what they do and depending on what segment you are in it can be more stressful than others. All in all it is a MUCH more laid back atmosphere to be in. I know of course just about everyone there so that may play a part in how comfortable I am there. I am a fan of so many of the guys up there like Chris Daniels, Kurt Angle, Homicide, etc that it’s more like a homecoming when I go back to work there. ECW was like a HUGE family. From the boys, to the ring crew, to the fans. The dressing room was like NOTHING I had ever felt until IPW days. I traveled with Johnny Swinger, Tony Mamaluke and James Vandenburg during my tryouts there. Swinger took care of me and made certain I got looked at.
Alan Wojcik: In April 2007 you defeated Glacier for the AWA World-1 Southern championship but in April 2008 the board of governors voted to strip you of the championship. Summarize for the fans what went down.
Francisco Ciatso: Well, I had a feeling this question would come up. Unfortunately, the board of directors didn’t agree with my decision of a booking that I had chosen. I was already booked for another promotion when I got the call to defend the title on the same date. I explained I was already booked but no one wanted to listen to that. I stood by my decision right, wrong or indifferent. Myself and AWA World-1 owner Jody Peterman who happens to be a very good friend of mine have since mended that fence and I am back working their Ellaville Ga shows every couple of months. “THAT WAS A DAMN GOOD MEAL”
Alan Wojcik: For the past several years Pete Cannon has been your confidant and advisor. So what led you to join forces with “the Hardcore Giant” Ron Niemi to be part of 911 Incorporated?
Francisco Ciatso: “Big” Pete Cannon is more than a confidant and advisor he is like a brother to me. He and I bleed Double Deuce red!! Ron Niemi, Big Pete Cannon and I have been hanging and banging for many years so it was only a matter of time before Ron Niemi saw fit to bring me into 911 Inc. We talked about for years and when he told me to make to New Port Richey for Bruce Santee’s birthday celebration I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. THAT’S WHEN ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE. I looked at Ron,..he gave me the high sign and I clobbered that BIG JACK ASS FOR SAYING NO TO RON NIEMI. No one says NO to Ron Niemi’s advances…except for his wife that is.
Alan Wojcik: On the Pro Wrestling Fusion debut show you wrestled King Kong Fu. How the hell do you get ready to fight a guy who wrestles wearing a gorilla mask? Plus why did you run away at their last event when you lost a hair vs. mask match to him leaving Cannon alone?
Francisco Ciasto: I got out of there, to run and find him a HAT!!! I AM STILL VERY UPSET OVER IT. Cannon has since got a nice haircut. I sent him to my hairstylist and he was taken very good care of. Amy Vitale was screaming at me to get the car,…I left in my gear,….we piled into my convertible and got Cannon out of there. That’s why we left. Cannon knows that,..I know,…and now the fans will know that.
Alan Wojcik: 911 Inc. has existed in several promotions and has featured different incarnations. In your opinion what makes this version of 911 the best and strongest grouping?
Francisco Ciatso: We are the MOST VIOLENT, VOLATILE AND TALENTED GROUP IF WRESTLERS IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA. THAT’S WHY!!! THAT’S NOT MY OPINION,….THAT’S FACT. NO DRAMA,…Just violence. The key is,…we all like each other as cheesy as that sounds. Now with former WWE developmental talent Shawn Osbourne in the fold,…we are unstoppable
Alan Wojcik: At the 2008 Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup’s second evening you and the rest of 911 Inc. (“Hardcore Giant” Mike Shane, Kory Chavis & Shawn Osborne) will enter the WarGames to take on ” the Marquee” Bruce Santee, Sideshow, Sedrick Strong & The Black Market( Joey Machete’ & Shawn Murphy). My question is have all of you gone completely insane!! WarGames is going to brutalize all ten of you, making you bleed from places no one knew was possible.
Francisco Ciatso: INSANE? INSANE YOU SAY,…HAHAHAHAH. When those cage doors slam shut we are all going to be fighting for our lives. ALL THE MEN IN THIS WAR GAMES ARE VIOLENT, AND DANGEROUS MEN. The dfference is going to be,…who can sustain life long enough to make the other team QUIT. We have already made Sideshow say I quit. Over the last year we have beaten Sideshow, Santee and Sedrick Strong up so bad they are in no shape for something like this. Black Market is one of the toughest teams in wrestling and is a team to be taken seriously, based on their track record,…but after this is all said and done,… we will lay their bodies right along side the rest of them. NO ONE CAN STOP 911 INC. Mike Shane returns and is tipping the scales at 330 lbs!!! HE IS A MONSTER, DARK CITY FIGHT CLUB IS THE MOST FEARED TEAM IN THE STATE RIGHT NOW, Shawn Osbourne is a loose cannon who can’t be controlled, Ron Niemi is as diabolicle as ever, and FRANCISCO CIATSO,….OHH CIATSO HAS SMELLED THE BLOOD OF SANTEE, SIDESHOW, AND SEDRICK STRONG and IS NOW LIKE A RABID DOG LOOKING FOR MORE. I say to any fan,…if you miss this,..you will be missing history. The walls of the Brooksville Armory shall not be enough to hold us,…THE CAGE ITSELF IS BARELY ENOUGH. Blood, will be spilled and lives shall be changed.
Alan Wojcik: On www.floridawrestlingfans.com you recently vented on several PWR wrestlers returning to the American Combat Wrestling promotion which ceased operations when FCW (WWE’s developmental territory) made a deal with the ACW promoter. What went on that caused you to write a long blog on the subject?
Francisco Ciatso: I addressed it because I call things how I see them. I won’t recap it all because you can just to go to www.floridawrestlingfans.com and read it. Bottom line..I call things how I see them and I say and do things others are afraid to say because it might get them heat. I couldn’t care less who likes me or who doesn’t. I call BULLSHIT when I see BULLSHIT. People these days don’t like that. Especially the one’s who are trying to do the BULLSHIT. We have killed ourselves for Riot. EVERYONE. Sal Hamaoui has poured his heart and soul into FIP and for RIOT and I have the utmost respect for him. To set up a camp 5 minutes from the building and try to run with the same guys, for the same promoter who left you hanging and made you all look like shmucks,…I CALLED BULLSHIT and it above all else it was disrecpectful to run down Sal on a public forum. SO I RAN THEM DOWN. WHY?? BECAUSE I FELT THERE WAS A NEED TO KNOCK A FEW PEOPLE DOWN A PEG OR TWO. They didn’t like it and I wouldn’t have expected them to. I don’t give a monkey’s asshole if they hate my guts. I have forgotten more than those marks will ever learn.
Alan Wojcik: In closing anything else you wish to address that we didn’t cover here feel free to let it out now.
Francisco Ciatso: I wanted to address the fact that Pluto is being kayfabed now and it considered a star and not a planet. FUCK THAT. It will always be a planet to me! I would like to say that I have been in this business for 13 crazy years and have traveled all over this planet chasing this crazy dream and it’s been a great ride and I look forward to many more years ( I know Ron and Cannon and cringing as I say that). I am proud if what I have done and thank those who have stuck by me over the years like “Big” Pete Cannon and Ron Niemi. I know it’s not always easy but I love you guys and you’re family. I have the pleasure of working in some of the best promotions in the state like RIOT, Fusion, D1PW, and APWF and honestly there is not another state in this country that can come close to the talent we have. With talent like Bruce Santee, Jon Davis, Kory Chavis, Sheik, CJ O’Doyle, HBX, Barney Rumble (ok that was a typo), Shawn Murphy, Shane Twins, Jerelle Clark, ,…Lifeguards,…Chris Jones, ..etc etc,.. FOR GOD SAKE I could go on forever and I know I would insult someone by leaving them off this list,..BUT DAMN IT FLORIDA IS THE MOST TALENTED STATE IN THE COUNTRY. I am proud to be surrounded by such pro’s.
The 2008 Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup is Friday September 26th from the New Lakes/Regency Park Civic Center, 8330 Civic Drive in Port Richey and Saturday September 27th from the Brooksville National Guard Armory in Brooksville, FL. For the lineups, interviews with the tournament participants and tickets log onto http://jpc2008.com
This years Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup will benefit Devin Deschaine. Devin is a 2 yr old Port Richey boy with stage 4 Neuroblastoma. His form of Cancer is one of the most rare & aggressive pediatric cancers. Only about 600 kids in the USA will be diagnosed with Neuroblastoma each year. About 70% of them will NOT survive. Devin is very close to our hearts & there is no other option for him but to SURVIVE. He’s a born fighter. He was a little fighter long before he was diagnosed. Neuroblastoma shouldn’t be any different. He just needs a little help with this fight.
The Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup in conjunction with the Tammie Hamaoui Foundation, Pro Wrestling Riot, World Wrestling Network & Floridawrestlingfans.com will be running this year’s tournament as fundraiser for Devin & his mom. She is single & needs help getting the bills paid during his treatment. Not to mention that he has a few procedures coming up that his insurance won’t cover. This family needs our help!