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Alan Wojcik Archives
Interview with Ricky & Tommy Vandal
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THE VANDALZ are one of IPW's newest tag teams. TOMMY and RICKY originate from the recently folded Future of Wrestling organization in Miami, where they were five-time FOW tag team champions. They are currently managed by FABULOUS FRANK. Both have worked as singles stars. Tommy is a former FOW Light-heavyweight champion. The duo has worked for nearly every Florida organization including NGW and FSCW. This interview took place before the Vandalz match up against Naturally Marvelous on March 14, 2003, despite numerous interruptions by Naphtali and Prime Evil who both tried to stand in as Johnny Vandal, the youngest member of the group.

 

Naphtali: So here I am as Johnny Vandal. After all I made him famous by getting into magazines.

 

Alan Wojcik: What started you guys in wrestling?

 

Tommy Vandal: I got out of high school in 1999 and some of my friends were going into wrestling. So I followed along that September. Of the eight in the group, I am the only one still around. Ricky along came and joined the class two months later.

 

AW: Where did your training take place?

 

Ricky Vandal: Rusty Brooks School of Hard Knocks which is in a backyard in Hollywood, Florida.

 

AW: Who was your first match against?

 

TV: My first match was with Alex G. against Wet Willy and Tread.

 

RV: Our first match as a tag was against Billy Fives and Jay Dog. We had a good time and went over on them.

 

AW: How did the tag team start?

 

TV: Both of us had taken some time off from the biz. When we came back to the business, Rusty Brooks suggested we tag.

 

RV: We had been hanging out as friends and weve been together since.

 

TV: We know each other so well; we dont have to talk in the ring.

 

AW: You guys have worked some established teams. What was it like to work with Christian York and Joey Matthews?

 

TV: It was cool having seen them on ECW TV shows. We had a slow match against them.

 

RV: We did a classic heel-face match and it was fun.

 

AW: Does the in-ring style change with each promotion you work for in Florida?

 

TV: FOW and IPW are close in style. All the other feds are the old school style that Ricky mentioned. Not many high spots in their matches. The FOW and IPW fans are more appreciative to the big spots.

 

RV: When we worked York/Matthews 3,100 FOW fans came out, so that was cool. Youre in another world.

 

AW: How did the two of you join Future of Wrestling?

 

TV: My first ever match was with FOW.

 

RV: Rusty used to run shows in a warehouse under the name FSCW. We met (former FOW owner) Bobby Rogers on a show.

 

TV: It was supposed to have been a one shot, but Bobby saw the way the crowd popped for us and we stayed.

 

AW: During your 5-time FOW tag team title reigns, any teams that stand out as the most fun to work with?

 

RV: Market Crashers. Antonio Banks and Punisher.

 

TV: I agree on Banks and Punisher. All the teams we have worked have taught us different things.

 

AW: For a short time you two split and worked against each other. What caused that breakup?

 

RV: He was being a jerkoff (Tommy laughs) and was holding me down. So I turned on him, whacking him with a kendo stick.

 

TV: I was numb for about ten minutes from it. The match we had (on 12/14/02) was real stiff, but we like it stiff as opposed to it looking like s$%&.

 

(During this time, Naphtali left and Prime Evil took over as Johnny Vandal)

 

AW: During the spilt, Tommy became the FOW light-heavyweight champion.

 

TV: One of the best matches I ever had was against Jay Dog and David Babylon. It was one of the sickest matches. I had one the belt once before from Chris Charger. It was cool to wrestle as a single and win a belt.

 

AW: What led to the re-formation of the team?

 

RV: I knocked some sense into him (laughs.)

 

TV: Dont shoot on me like that. I think we need the break because we were getting stale.

 

RV: It was time, it was getting dull. 

 

TV: Bobby put us back together. We turned heel around the same time. I kicked David Babylon in the chin, which was a shining moment in my career. We were supposed to be part of Team Perfect but things happen to change stuff.

 

AW: How did the two of you begin to work for IPW Hardcore?

 

RV: We came up with Billy Fives to see a show. IPW is the top promotion in Florida and being here gets you TV and interviews. We did some run-ins and now were getting matches and beating teams down.

 

AW: How did Fabulous Frank become your manager?

 

TV: We had been managed by Frank once before but it turned to be a setup. He was with the Market Crashers and turned on us. Just recently Frank came back in with us and joined us in IPW.

 

RV: We needed a manager and he was available. I think hes the best heel manager in the business.

 

(Naphtali came back to be Johnny Vandal.)

 

TV: Naphtali is my hero.

 

AW: How did Jodi X become your manager?

 

TV: Who? (laughs)

 

RV: We saved her one night from being beaten up by Maximum Capacity and Bobby Rogers.

 

TV: So we had an alliance of sorts, but now that were heels we dont need her.  Shes too nice and were not nice guys anymore. Its better to be mean.

 

AW: During this run in IPW you wrestled the Strongs before their spilt. What were they like as a team?

 

TV: We worked them twice and it was fun.

 

RV: The four of us are around the same age so we have the same speed in the ring, real fast.

 

AW: Tonight you are scheduled to wrestle the former Unified (NWA Florida & IPW) Tag team champions, Naturally Marvelous. Any nervousness going into the match?

 

TV: Ive been in with them with David Babylon, so Im not nervous. Weve been looking forward to it for a couple of weeks.

 

RV: (Scoot Andrews & Mike Sullivan) run things around here. This match will show where we stand in the tag team scene.

 

AW: You worked on the same show as the recently deceased Curt Hennig. Any memories from that night?

 

TV: The coolest thing from that night happened back stage. It was on a show where we were wrestling each other. We were going to use a chair in the match and Curt came over to us. He put the chair on the ground and showed us how to fix the chair so we wouldnt hurt each other.

 

RV: That was the greatest thing because he didnt have to do that. Take time to help us out. After the show we got lucky and we were able to hang out with him.

 

AW: FOW has apparently folded with lots of controversy surrounding it. What can the two of say about what happened?

 

RV: Were not too sure what happened. Lots of the guys including us are in the dark.

 

TV: What we know is there is no FOW. Its done. Everything is now IPW.

 

AW: Word association. Former FOW owner Bobby Rogers.

 

RV: Smart guy but made bad decisions.

 

TV: He was cool but screwed over lots of people.

 

AW: IPW owner Ron Neimi.

 

RV: Knows lots of people and the business.

 

TV: Coolest dude in the world.

 

AW: Billy Fives.

 

TV: Our mentor and sometimes trainer.

 

RV: Our wrestling father.

 

AW: David Babylon.

 

TV: Cocky SOB (laughs.)

 

RV: Bad hair.

 

TV: Cocky and a nice kid who can work.

 

AW: Johnny Vandal.

 

RV: Really bad hair, but a kid whos time will come.

 

TV: Big afro style. We beat the s%&$ out of him.

 

AW: Antonio Banks.

 

RV: The total package in the ring and on the mic.

 

TV: Big scary angry black man.

 

AW: Fabulous Frank.

 

TV: Best heel manager in the business.

 

AW: Jodi X.

 

RV: Great babyface.

 

AW: For Tommy, Ricky Vandal.

 

TV: How much tape do you have?? (laughs) Hes like my brother.

 

AW: For Ricky, Tommy Vandal.

 

RV: Same exact thing man.

 

AW: The fans of IPW.

 

RV: Theyre some sick f$%ers. They like some sick s#$t.

 

TV: Crazy mothers fers. But them being crazy makes us want to be crazy.

 

AW: Where do you hope to be at the end of 2003?

 

TV: Japan.

 

RV: I agree on Japan.

 

TV: Combat Zone Wrestling in Philly. Ring of Honor.

 

RV: Just travel the U.S. and make names for ourselves.

 

Thanks to Tommy and Ricky for their time. Thanks to Naphtali and Prime evil for substituting for Johnny Vandal.