GM: How and when did you get started in pro wrestling?
RAF: Perseverance , despite the many nay-sayers, well intentioned or not, is what brought me to this point, and will take me as far I will let myself. My first pro match was 6 or 7 years ago. It's been uphill since then…
GM: What got you interested in pro wrestling?
RAF: There were several stages of interest and (eventual) participation, starting from a mild delight in watching it on TV to live shows to the realization that, "I could do this". A combination of emulation and admiration inspired, and inspires, me. What else is there to be excited about?
GM: What promotions do you work for and have worked for in the past?
RAF: So many that really mean nothing outside of a small area - ICW, PWI (two of them), BBW, some that didn't even have names. Others have more influence - Insane Championship Wrestling, AWF, RWA, ISW. The ones I work with now I consider the best so far- Mid American Wrestling, IWA, WWA. It's all a payday, but it is far more gratifying to work with a professionally run product that I can recommend.
GM: I hear you have a very strange "gimmick", can you tell us a little about it?
RAF: It's not strange to me - it's my lifestyle. Amongst other things, I am an ordained Reverend. Wrestling is my religion, kicking sinner's tail is the sacrament - you get the idea. The possibilities for good interviews are endless, not to mention names of finishing maneuvers. Allegedly there have been workers offended by the gimmick, but no one has said anything to me. The contrast between my vestments and the rest of my look should make any offense taken by the whole thing moot. As the man says - "Get It?". Besides (sad to say) I've probably read the Bible more times than anyone else in a wrestling arena, as well as the Koran, the Eddas, the Book of the Dead, the Bhagavad-Gita, the Book of Mormon, and parts of the Talmud. I'll go toe-to-toe in the squared circle or from a pulpit.
GM: Who did you look up to in wrestling when you were growing up?
RAF: As a youth, my wrestling idols were The Grand Wizard, Sergeant Slaughter (heel only, kiddies), The Wild Samoans, Masked Superstar, Adrian Adonis, Magnificent Muraco, and anyone who beat up Bob Backlund. Yes, I was born a heel fan and will die one as well. As I grew up and was able to travel, I got to see wrestlers that I had only read about before: Kevin Sullivan, Ric Flair, Road Warriors and of course, my major vice, the American Dream, Dusty Rhodes. Since then, I've met people in the business, famous and infamous, up-and-coming and past their prime, that I admire. I may respect the talent of the big guys who made it, but it's the people who are more my peers that inspire me.
GM: What are your long term and short term goals in professional wrestling?
RAF: Good question. My short term goals are to increase my armada of maneuvers and taunts, emulate the great Adrian Adonis and steal some of his moves, act as the instrument of vengeance of a higher power, attempt thru study and discussion to understand and appreciate professional wrestling (one of a handful of true American art forms) more and get bigger paydays (good luck on that one). My long term goals are to promote a show here in Chicago (actually quite imminent), put up my web-site, do a Japan tour (hopefully) and to realize that I can never stop learning. A fat contract with a major fed would be nice too, as well as the spiritual purification of wrestling, especially the sinful fans.
GM: What's your biggest accomplishment in pro wrestling so far?
RAF: Occasionally making a young child question authority or forcing an opponent to stare into his black black soul are satisfying. Any goals set and reached must be re-evaluated, and standards set higher each time. In a sense, every success is an accomplishment (or a surprise at least), but gotta keep learning, learning, learning…
GM: Do you have anything you want to plug? shows? websites?
RAF: Obviously I want to plug Mid American wrestling out of Milwaukee (www.inergy.com/midam). My favorite e-mail newsletter (not just because they run my columns) is The Kilt Report (the editor is Mr. McGaw, Scotsman@hadeswrestling.com). I also am the wrestling intellectual at Carbon 14 magazine from Philadelphia - adults should seek it out at Tower Records or the like. Finally, the man to buy 'rassling tapes from is Del James over at Taped Fist Tapes,on the web at home.earthlink.net/~tapedfist/. At any rate, support your local indie federation, especially if they are entertaining. If they're not, be sure to let them know what you want to see. If you are in a backyard fed, well --- it'll be different when you grow up, boy…
GM: Do you have any other comments you would like to make?
RAF: To promoters: try to think and book long term as well as short - it's your job to educate the fans as well as entertain them. Wrestlers: learn psychology as well as spots and moves - try to figure out what makes old/classic matches so good. Fans: show respect if it is deserved. Soon: a cleansing…