In May 2003 IPW Hardcore promoters created the JEFF PETERSON MEMORIAL CUP in tribute to the fallen cruiserweight star who passed in 2001 after a long battle with cancer. Since then the event has garnered a list of international stars who supported the event and honored Jeff’s memory by putting on five star caliber bouts. The previous winners were “Reckless Youth” Tom Carter, Justice, Chris Sabin, Milano Collection AT and Chris Hero. On Setepmer 26-27th sixteen men will come to Port Richey and Brooksville, Florida to try and join those names. Could this year’s winner be:
Hometown: Hollywood, Salifornia
Pro Debut: 2002
Website/Myspace: www.salrinauro.com or www.myspace.com/salrinauro
Tournament history: 2007 Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup (lost to Matt “M-Dogg 20” Cross)
Where you have seen him: Full Impact Pro (member of the YRR group with Kenny King, Jason Blade and Chasyn Rance), NWA Florida, EWE, NWA Anarchy/Wildside, Ring of Honor, World-1, Pro Wrestling Evolution, IWA-Deep South, NWA Bluegrass, Ultimate Christian Wrestling.
Championships held: Current FIP Heritage champion, NWA Wildside Jr. Heavyweight champion, NWA Anarchy Tag Team champion, FIP Tag Team champion (w/Brian “Spanky” Kendrick), ROH Tag Team champion (w/Tony Mamaluke), UCW Heavyweight champion.
Alan Wojcik: Last year you wrestled in a qualifying match for the Peterson but this year you were selected. What made you say yes to another JPC slot?
Sal Rinauro: Just look at the success of some of the past tournament winners. In my never ending goal to show the world that I’m the greatest professional wrestler in the world I knew coming to the JPC would be a great platform to do so.
Alan Wojcik: Let’s a take a trip back to the old school. What made you want to be a wrestler and what was the Rick Michael’s training process like?
Sal Rinauro: Before I answer this question, I want it to be known that I didn’t start my training with Rick Michaels. I was 3 years into my career before I had even met him. I don’t really know how that came to be. Nonetheless, I’ve wanted to be a wrestler as long as I can remember. It’s all I’ve ever wanted.
Alan Wojcik: I am sorry for that mixup. Let’s move on…Maybe I was absent from Geography class the day we talked about Hollywood, Salifornia. What is life like there and can one find some brochures on it at the local AAA office?
Sal Rinauro: Life in Saliornia is amazing. Gas prices don’t suck, the women are beautiful, there are swimming pools full of Jell-O, and there are parades all the time. I love parades
Alan Wojcik: Early on you worked for NWA Wildside/Anarchy. What was the experience like and talk about working for Bill Behrens.
Sal Rinauro: Wildside was an incredible experience. I have had some of the best memories of my life there. Working with Behrens is cool. He often looks out for me and makes sure I don’t get myself in dumb situations…..like stealing his car to go to Mardi Gras……
Alan Wojcik: I think we need to move on before someone calls the police. You work for Ring of Honor and the Full Impact Pro outfit many writers (not this one) call ROH’s little brother. Your thoughts on that comparison?
Sal Rinauro: I view FIP as the greatest opportunity for any independent wrestler in the world. With ROH being the last PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING company out there today, FIP is the first step in that direction.
Alan Wojcik: Due to some personal issues involving the owner of FIP, the promotion nearly closed last year. What were your thoughts when that went down and are you happy FIP is going as strong as ever?
Sal Rinuaro: When it happened I was more concerned with Sals’ situation, than with the company itself. Once it set in there was a chance it would be closing up shop, I was concerned. The past two years in FIP I have been given the opportunity to show case my limitless abilities and face some of the finest wrestlers in the world. I’m so glad I’m still able to do so and prove night in and night out that I, and the YRR, are the best thing going today.
Alan Wojcik: What does the FIP Hertitage championship mean to you as a wrestler and fan of the business itself?
Sal Rinuaro: Having the Florida Heritage Championship lets me rub my greatness in everyones face. Idiot fans may like to think I suck, but the fact of the matter is I’m nearly a year into my reign as champion. I’ve defeated the likes of Erik Stevens, Tyler Black, and Delirious.
Alan Wojcik: Let’s talk YRR. What led to the faction’s birth and your thoughts on its place in wrestling.
Sal Rinauro: The YRR was formed out of necessity. It’s not Jason’s fault we are blessed with money. It’s not Chasyn’s fault women want to be all over us. It’s not Kenny’s fault we are the finest athletes the business has. It’s not my fault that every person that sees us wishes they could be us. We formed this group to make sure all of the haters and perpetrators were put in their place. To make sure that somebody has our back.
Alan Wojcik: The YRR made its Ring of Honor debut last year. How did you think it was received and how does YRR compare with all the other ROH factions?
Sal Rinauro: Simply put…..we’re better than any other ROH faction. We have literally dominated the Age of the Fall in FIP. I have tons of respect for Sweet ‘N’ Sour Inc, but they seem to be a revolving door half the time. Stay tuned…it’s just a matter of time before we display our dominance. Just as we have done whatever we have wanted to in FIP, we will be doing the same in ROH, but only when we deem the time is right.
Alan Wojcik: September 19, 2007 the YRR faced Black Market (Joey Machette & Shawn Murphy) & the Hearbreak Express (Sean & Phil Davis) in a Cage of Pain match. Was that the most brutal match of your career and give some thoughts why those two teams have been at the top of the tag team scene the last few years.
Sal Rinauro: What an incredulous question……..last I checked the YRR team of Jason Blade and Kenny King have been the tag team champions since November of ’07. The only team on top of the tag team scene is us. As far as Cage of Pain goes……watch the DVD and tell me if that was the most brutal match in my career or not.
Alan Wojcik: Seems I hit a nerve so let’s move along. You have worked for Ring of Glory and are currently the Ulitmate Christian Wrestling Heavyweight champion. How does a Christian-based promotion differe from others?
Sal Rinauro: In most cases they don’t. During the shows they spread the word of God, but at the end of the day, it’s still pro wrestling, and even their I prove my greatness.
Alan J. Wojcik: This year’s tournament poses some interesting matchups if things go right. You could possibly face your fellow YRR compatriot Kenny King. In his interview King said “all bets are off” if he faced you. Any reply?
Sal Rinauro: Kenny, you’re my boy. You are the Whomp to my Stomp. If we are to meet each other, however, it is what it is. At the end of the day, we’re both trying to keep our pockets fat like opera singers. I’m going to give you all I have, and I would expect the same from you. The way I see it, we are the two best wrestlers in the field anyways…..I’ll see you in the finals.
The 2008 Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup will be held Friday September 26th in Port Richey and Saturday September 27th in Brooksville. FL. Tickets and show information is available on http://jpc2008.com