ROD STEEL is the current IPW Heavyweight Champion, capturing the belt in very controversial fashion at 'Independent Armageddon!'
on November 30, 2002. Steel, and the rest of the Alliance of Defiance, stormed the ring during the AGENT STEELE - STEVE CORINO
Title Ladder Match, and attacked both men. Steel then climbed the ladder, grabbed the IPW Belt, and declared himself the champion.
It wasn't until a few days later that IPW Commissioner 'Honest' EDDIE EDWARDS officially declared Steel the champion after
rendering his decision on the legality of the claim, citing a loophole in the contract. Mr. Steel is the only man in IPW History
to hold the IPW Heavyweight, IPW Cruiserweight, IPW TV and IPW Tag Team Belts (w/ MARK ZOUT). He stormed onto the IPW scene
in August of 2000 and has shot through the ranks of IPW in a very short time. He competed for the WWE in 2002, competing against
SPIKE DUDLEY on WWE Jakked. This talented competitor was trained at the Florida WrestlePlex and hails from Miami, Florida.
His fellow members of the Alliance of Defiance are Billy Fives and the IPW/NWA Florida tag team champions Scoot Andrews and
Mike Sullivan w/XTC. Our conversation took place January 11th, two weeks before the match of a lifetime on January 25th against
NWA World champion Jeff Jarrett.
Alan Wojcik: Was wrestling you wanted to do growing up? Rod Steel: as most every
other wrestler, as kids I was a big fan. I always thought I was too small because all you saw were these big giants. I went
to an ECW show in St. Pete with a friend and we realized that these guys are around my size and decided to give it a go. I
sent out some letters to school like the Malenkos and IPW owner Ron Neimi. Ron had me come in and meet himself along with
Leroy Howard and Jeff Bradley and thats who trained me.
AW: When you developed the persona of Rod Steel, did you have
any inspirations? RS: Without a doubt Ric Flair. When I cut promos and my ring attitude that hes the main model. If youre
going to mimic someone, mimic the best. Ravishing Rick Rude as well with his look and cockiness.
AW: Did your friends
support you when began training? RS: Yes they were very cool with it. My personality made them think it was a logical progression.
They come out once in a while to support me. One buddy cant stop talking about it to his friends up north. My nieces are big
fans as well. No one ever told me you shouldnt or cant do this.
AW: Which organizations have you worked for in your
career along with IPW Hardcore? RS: Future of Wrestling (FOW), NWA Florida, NWA Wildside, SCW, SCCW, New Breed, CWF, SEX
and WWE where I worked Spike Dudley. I am booked to work NWA:TNA this February.
AW: What in your career to this point
is your major highlight? RS: Winning the IPW World title in the (Pinellas County) Expo Hall. It was cool that Ron had faith
in me that I could carry his belt and be a good representation of IPW to the business. I got to work for the Fed but the IPW
title is it for the moment.
AW: Do you enjoy being in the Alliance of Defiance or do you prefer to be a solo star? RS:
Ive joked about the fact that I have been in several cliques like the Curtainjerkers, the NWA Turncoats and the Professionals
and been known as the clique killer. But the alliance is cool; being a Ric Flair fan it resembles the Four Horseman. Billy
(Fives) is a trip constantly ribbing me, which I am begging him to stop. Scoot (Andrews) and (Mike) Sullivan you cant say
enough about. Sullivan you cant have bad match with. The first time I worked with him I was totally lost and he picked me
up and helped me along. These three are so experienced and I can learn from them. They let me run my mouth which is cool.
Plus were in the main events which makes it all the more better (laughs.)
AW: How did it feel to be told you are wrestling
NWA World champion Jeff Jarrett on January 25th? RS: Its wild. I got the same buzz when I worked Spike Dudley, who was
incredibly nice. He was secure enough to let me run with some spots. But with Jeff Jarrett, my friends and casual wrestling
fans are in awe of me. Im nervous and want to put a good show on. Hes like Mike Sullivan; if I get lost hell help me straighten
AW: Word Association time. Bill Behrens. RS: Nice guy who I never had any problems with, except for a trip
Agent Steele and I made to his NWA Wildside promotion. We played heels against Adam Booker and Dr. Heresy. The crowd got over
with us. Second time we went up against the Lost Boyz. Apparently we went too long and missed the take home spot which we
never knew what it was. We came back and told Ron we had fun, but I wasnt sure if I was going back since we have TV here and
the economics played into it. It cost me more to get there than I made. From there Behrens decided to bury us about missing
the take home spot. Thats fine if I knew where the spot was, but I was trying to get his talent over. It was nothing I had
control over though. But it was a cool experience to have on the resume.
AW: Ron Neimi. RS: The guy is the genius.
You hear stories of riff raff and Ron has always been fair to me. What he says he is going to do. Ive never had to worry about
not getting paid or blackballed. Outside of the show we are best friends. A moment is allowed for Rod to get into Rod Steel
promo readiness for the next few questions
AW: Former IPW World champion Agent Steele. RS: First of all he has been
yapping his mouth about how I was the one to climb the ladder as he and Steve Corino beat the hell out of each other. Rod
Steel isnt just a pretty face, hes got a college degree that only took a year and a half. Not six or eight years like most
people to get an associates degree. Agent Steele is a redneck rock. The only appealing thing about the redneck rock is that
filthy ho (Sexretary Tiffany is Agent Steeles manager) who has been burning a hole in me. All she wants is to take a ride
on Splash Mountain. I cant blame her for wanting to take a ride. It may not be the oldest ride or the longest ride but its
the wettest ride out there. But enough about agent Steele this interview is about me Rod Steel, the IPW World Champion. So
AW: Billy Fives. RS: Constant ribber. Im begging you, stop leaving me hanging in a promo man. I love
AW: Scoot Andrews and Mike Sullivan. RS: Two of the classiest men in the business. The UNIFIED world tag
team champions. Not the Shane monkeys, those shaved apes. Not the Strong Brothers. Speaking of which how can you two live
in Florida and not have a tan. Back to Scoot and Sully, you cant help but learn from the two of them. Theyre absolutely phenomenal
and that why they are in the Alliance of Defiance with me your Worlds champion.
AW: Anyone you have the desire to work
with in the future? RS: Maximum Capacity of course. (Interviewers note: Maximum Capacity was sitting across from us during
this interview.) Ric Flair for one (laughs.) I got to dress next to him at the WWE show I worked. I was like a little kid,
Mr. Flair how are you sir? He was like, hey kid how are ya? On the independent circuit, Mike Shane would have been fun. Low
Ki but I am too concussion prone. Reckless Youth would be amazing as well.
AW: Where does Rod Steel look to be by the
end of 2003?
RS: Rod Steel will still be your NWA..oops little foreshadowing Jeff Jarrett. I will still be your IPW world champion.
The Alliance of Defiance will have run over all opponents. The Davis Brothers, Vicious and Delicious, the Strongs, the Vandalz
will all fall. IPW TV has expanded to one hour and we are going to be improving our production to be on par with other
promotions. IPW and our workers will be household names.
ROD STEEL is one of the most outspoken independent wrestlers I have ever met. He is a former IPW World champion,
having lost the title to a former member of the Alliance of Defiance Billy Fives at UnchartedTerritory. He recently saw the ending of a bloody and brutal feud with former AOD referee turned wrestler Mikey
Tenderfoot at the IPW 5th Anniversary show in an I Quit match, which he lost. On September 6th at Unholy
War, Mr. Steel came to the ring apparently to help his fellow AOD members beat on Tenderfoot and Justice after an elimination
tag team match. Instead Steel turned his back on the AOD and joined up with his friend Tenderfoot. This interview will carry
us from the last time I talked to Steel, which was in January, up to the current day. Besides wrestling, steel is the producer
of IPW Hardcores TV show, which he will mention a few hundred times.This interview
was conducted in the plush offices of Tenderfoot, Tenderfoot and Steel. I apologize beforehand, Steel can talk anyone under
the table and I did not attempt to edit any of his comments or ramblings. You have been warned. To see the previous interview
click on the archives section and Rod's photo.
AW: When we talked in January you were days away
from a title versus title match with then NWA World champion Jeff Jarrett. What was it like to wrestle Jarrett and see Mikey
Tenderfoot get blasted with a guitar?
Rod Steel: I got to tell you watching Mikey take
the shot, I thought damn that hurt. All things considered it was a great match. People will look in the record book and ignore
the DQ and see it was a win for Rod Steel. Jarrett was the ultimate professional. He is the most known person Ive been in
the ring with besides Spike Dudley. There was no Im a f$%king star stuff. They were cool. Of course if you want to look at
the grand scheme things, Rod Steel as the up and coming third going into my fourth year star and I have held the holy quinella
(Is that a word??) The IPW light heavyweight championship, IPW World tag team champion, TV champion despite what Frankie Capone,
CBG Anderson and the others say I was the best TV champion ever. More importantly the last piece of the puzzle was the IPW
World title. Being a world champion, Jeff Jarrett let emotion get the best of him that night. He was too busy thinking about
hitting Mikey Tenderfoot and getting that guitar of his to use on me or Mikey. Truth be told we came home to the office of
Tenderfoot, Tenderfoot and Steel and talked about how clubbered Mikey got, even though we got him some female companionship
to help heal his wounds.It was a great time even though I should have walked
way with the NWA world title. I may not be the biggest, strongest or fastest guy out there but I am one of the smartest.
AW: Not long after that match you made a trip
to Nashville for an NWA: TNA dark match with Lex Lovett as your partner.
RS: TNA was great; I got to see how an organization
is run. Their TV is second to none; they have great guys running things in the back. This time here and now the WWE is the
only real game in town, TNA is a great alternative. Its not as good as IPW television which is on UPN-44 Friday nights at
its a great program and has great wrestlers like former IPW World champion AJ Styles, Jimmy Rave, Sonny Siaki and Raven. Siaki
was one of the nicest guys to meet. I also got to meet Dusty Rhodes which was for a Ric Flair mark like I am was great. I
always wondered why Flair called him Larry Bird sometimes in interviews. Dusty had a Boston Celtics basketball with him and
it all made sense to Mikey and I. We did the typical indy-style trip with Lex Lovett, sandwiches and drinks in the cooler.
Lex is great and he has so much personality. Lex is the closest thing on the IPW roster to a prototypical wrestler we have.
He fits the Japanese mold. Here is a guy that is a great wrestler even though the fed probably wont take him due to his stature.
I did learn a secret that Lex has been to every zoo in the world. He has been there with the cheerleading stuff in his youth
and college. Mikey and I were speechless.
AW: Wish I had footage of that. After your return
to IPW, you defended the title against Lovett at Valentines Vengeance. What is it like to wrestle him?
RS:Lex is really good. Back in the NWA Florida/Rod Steel turncoat days we knew each other.
Its a shame that the fans dont understand what he is doing. He is a wrestler not an entertainer. In that match many say I
had the X factor in Mikey Tenderfoot. But actually a show before that match I beat Antonio Banks without Mikey. Lex is now the IPW World champion and the reason is that after I lost the title I never got my rightful
rematch at the title, (sorry little foreshadowing on the part of Rod.) Lex will so succeed in Japan. Here in the US, his style is not gotten
by the people; he is a throwback to the days of Verne Gagne and Lou Thesz.
AW: That same night the AOD machine had a small
break down as the Shane Brothers won the Florida Unified (IPW World/NWA Florida) tag team titles from Scoot Andrews and Mikey
Tenderfoot, who substituted for Mike Sullivan. After that match you guys kicked out Billy Fives.
RS: Hold it right there. Lets clear the air on
that. It was never my call to boot out Billy Fives. That was Scoot Andrews. He was never comfortable with Billy or me. He
likes guys like Mike Sullivan. He likes Mike because he is complacent (get out your dictionary gang.)Scoot doesnt like the young lions like Rod Steel.He is too
busy over who is leading who. He tells me we need to get rid of Billy. I told him Billy is an integral part of the AOD. He
is mean and gets the job done. Scoot said no, Billy isnt a team player and is all about himself. So he was gone. I listened
to a guy like Scoot who has been all over the world. But his allegiance was never clear to me. Mike Sullivan wanted to cater
to the fans as the Freedom Ryder. What the fans didnt know is once he was in the back; Mike would take off the paint and laugh
at them. There is no doubt that the fans and I dont see eye to eye. Scoot always told me my rematch will be coming and he
would take care of me. When Scoot won the unified titles from Billy Fives (foreshadowing again) where was my rematch?? Scoot
brought up Mikey Tenderfoot and told me he was the problem. I listened to everyone else like Howard Brodie and Mike Peskin.
Kicking Billy out showed me things.I now see what these guys for what they are.
Scoot Andrews, Mike Sullivan, and Bruce Steele or lets just call him Ike Turner, beating on Tiffany. I beat on women but I
cant tell you how since this is g-rated. Lets just say there is a reason why they call me the Miami Pound Machine. I know
we are jumping around but lets keep going. Roderick Strong here is another knucklehead we brought into the group. Im foreshadowing
again but you might hint to all of this in your pre-hype piece but Im gonna break down the AOD for you. Last week you saw
Rod Steel return to his roots with Mikey Tenderfoot. Mikey and I have been together since training. Scoot only took notice
of me after I won the all the IPW titles. I brought prestige to those titles. Scoot is going around with a broken hand. He
isnt fooling anyone. He will go off that I was unappreciative. Guys like Mikey Tenderfoot and I are whats happening here in
IPW. Not the AOD, not Ron Niemi and his gorillas the Shane Twins. Let me get a sip of some cool and refreshing Sparks.
AW: You defended the title impromptu style against
a former student, Comic Book Guy Anderson, now wishing to be called Brian the Stretcher Anderson at the Leland school show.
RS: Brian is from the long line of the Anderson family mind you. In all seriousness
he came down to the school and he had a good base when I began training the students. His psychology is beyond many of the
other students at the Wrestleplex. Im not dissing Pretty Fly and Boules Azoules but they see the new school wrestling spotfests
like the SAT or the Hardys. Brian came into training and got the psychology of the bumping and moves. He has the intangibles
to go further in this business. He truly is an Anderson. He isnt CW Anderson who s a pale comparison to the Andersons. I dont know why he is aligning with Double Douche
I mean Double Deuce.
AW: Before the Billy Fives title versus title
match, you had one with his protégé David Babylon at March Badness.
RS: David Babylon got the chance of a lifetime
to wrestle me that night. On March 1st one of my students dropped me on my shoulder doing my old finisher the F5,
which was before Brock Lesnar, look at the tapes from Future Is Now TV taping at the VWF hall and there I am doing it in September
of 2001. Anyways Pretty Fly dropped me and dislocated my collar bone which is still dislocated today. Being the world champion
you dont take the night off no matter what happens. Every night you walk the aisle. Babylon got lucky by getting match with me, the booking
gods blessed him. He was good. I really have a hard time saying anything bad about him. He has a bad attitude, maybe Billy
didnt beat on him enough.Or he did and David doesnt care. Truth he is never
had a chance with me. World champion versus a cruiserweight, he didnt have a moment of hope.
AW: Now we come to the sensitive topic of the
show where you lost the IPW World title to Billy Fives. Mikey Tenderfoot gave his version of what happened (see Mikey's interview
page) what are you feelings on what went down in that match?
RS: Thats a match I have watched over and over
and over. This all in a way goes back to Scoot. I wont make excuses about my injury but watching that tape, you can see my
shoulder bulging out of place. True champion I am I went and busted my ass in there. Mikey got knocked out during the match
and Star Stevens made the three count. I listened to Scoot who talked in my ear. He told me it was Mikey who screwed me out
of the title. I should have known my friend wouldnt screw me but I was blinded. But I listened to someone else and I wont
let that happen again. I wasnt 100 percent for that match. Even with me at 100 percent, Billy was going to be challenge. He
has been everywhere in the world. I think if you look forward to the matches I had with Mikey, the AOD was out there to tell
me I wasnt beating on Mikey enough. They werent there to help me hold onto the title. They were worried about their matches.
They werent out there for the I Quit match (Rod will stop foreshadowing any moment now.) Scoot was my Costello to my Abbott.
I was the straw that stirred the drink known as the AOD.
AW: At Rage in the Cage 5, it seemed Mikey had
enough of Bruce (then Agent) Steele and the AOD and counted his shoulders down in his title match with Billy Fives. What was
your reaction when Mikey screwed Bruce and then began to fight with you?
RS: The problem was I listened to the rest of
the AOD. I believed them and not my friend. Scoot told me we couldnt let Mikey get away with it. Looking back the AOD meant
nothing to me; it was just a vehicle to get Scoot and Mike over. All the AODs popularity, toughness and skill were in Rod
Steel. We werent a conformist group like the nWo or some of the other groups out there. We wanted to give the best wrestling
product to the fans. Im cocky but not as bad as those guys.
AW: From Rage in the Cage 5 until the IPW 5th
Anniversary show, you and Mikey beat the living hell out of each other. Was there ever a concern from your family or the IPW
office that you guys might be going too far with some of the stuff you did including the I Quit match?
RS: To step put of character Mikey and I talked
about it and we decided to put on the most brutal feud ever. Its no secret we are roommates and are best friends. We talked
about making each match better than the last one. Its about the show and the fans liking it. We have fans say how did you
do what we did. We want to be the best wrestling product. We went to doing spots on the ramp. In thee I quit match we paid
homage to Mosawa and Kowada I think thats there names, they did the double underhook suplex onto the floor. Then we did a
Terry Funk-Ric Flair spot, which was the plastic bag on the head. Then we did the Magnum TA-Tully Blanchard I quit match from
Starrcade 1985, where Mikey dug part of the broken table into my forehead. It was a match for the fans. We wanted them to
say thats a fantastic match.The people who commentated on it on our UPN-44 show
Friday nights at watch it better than the fed. I should know I produce it. During the match you could hear the sounds of disgust and
awe from the crowd. Ron Niemi was in shock. He said it was one of the most hardcore matches ever done. Ron is like father
to me in this business. He put Mikey and I on the map. I knew Mike was going to win the match. I know he wouldnt give up.
We killed each other our goal was to make people like Ron, who is an encyclopedia of wrestling, go wow thats a great match.
AW: As we sit here you are a fan favorite once
again, after being a heel for so long.You brought it up in spurts, so tell me
why did you walk away from the AOD and go back to your friend Mikey Tenderfoot?
RS: Its been a running joke that I am the clique
killer. The Professionals (a group that included Jeff Bradley, Pat Powers and Pat McGroin) the Curtainjerkers (a tag team
with Mark Zout.) I left the AOD because there was nothing in it for me. As long we were his boys it was fine. Ill never get
a shot at the NWA Florida title due to the booking committee. I will bide my time. I dont wish to be part of a four horseman
knock off. We brought in Bruce Steele and Roderick Strong because Scoot saw them as potential. No one asked me about them.
Whatever opponents they would wrestle, I can take. I have always been about being with the ladies not doing politics. Scoot
has no choice; I am able to control my destiny. Mike, Scoot, Bruce and Roderick are great athletes but they cant hold a candle
to me. Scoot and Sullivan have been wrestling for 100s of years and Ive held more titles then them. The fans might be behind
me, all I want to do is win. I am going to be with Mikey and Justice. Justice has the most amazing martial arts background.
The AOD is nothing without me.
AW: As you have mentioned a few times, UPN-44
is where the IPW Hardcore TV show is aired. You are the producer of the show along with Mikey Tenderfoot.How has it changed from when you took over?
RS: Friday nights at , watch it. IPW has been on for
over one hundred weeks. I took over about thirty weeks ago from Eddie Emlett who was doing everything, who is a daddy now
congrats on Julia. He has been bleeding IPW since day one. He was working with some unfortunate issues like bad sound and
it had nothing to do with Eddie. He did the TV and the IPW website plus helping manage a household and a job that was thankless
to him. When he found out they were expecting he approached me to take over the show.I watched how he did the show and our first couple of weeks were shaky. Eddie lost his excitement because it was so
hard to get things like voiceovers done. Now we do voiceovers on Sunday and Monday nights. We put TV together on Tuesday and
UPN has it on Thursday and it airs on UPN-44 on Friday at . Mikey and I are a well oiled machine. We do the commercials and video packages. Eddie was fighting
tooth and nail to get by on his own. I am lucky to have Eric Lloyd and Head doing camera and Mikey as well. Right now TV is
at the level where if we had the money, manpower and time we could rival WWE or NWA: TNA or MLW. Matter of fact Ill put my
worst show against MLWs best show. I will say it now MLWs TV show sucks. Thats right ROD STEEL SAYS MLW SHOW BLOWS GOAT. Their
dubbing is off, the camera work is awful and it is a commercial fest. Our show is 58 minute and 30 seconds and maybe four
minutes is commercials. We pay for our time. When we air three wrestling matches in a show, I feel bad for the fans because
they deserve more. WWE puts seven minutes of wrestling in an hour. MLW puts a match with Christopher Daniels and Sabu and
you get it interrupted with their website or t-shirt plugs. Court Bauer talked about his TV product in his interview. Hes
got his daddys money and that the best product you can put on TV?? Spend some money my way and Ill beat it. Wrestling fans
should be pissing on his show. Then he went off that you cant let the IPW guys into my show as they will cause havoc. We were
civilized and watched Terry Funk and Jerry Lawler who isnt even on their next show due to some crazy stuff.I piss the whole stinking lot of them Guys like Sonjay Dutt or B-Boy got to your show because Mikey and
I picked them up at the airport and drove them to it. That really pissed me off. Back to your initial question sorry I tend
to vent. Honestly we make some mistakes on our TV show but we can only get better. With a talent roster that has just to name
a few Frankie Capone, Pat Powers, Pat McGroin, Pretty Fly, Boules Azoules, Antonio Banks, David Babylon and the Vandalz. That
is part of a roster not one or two stars and some no bodies. Guys on our shows would main event anywhere else in the country.
Working with we have in my humble opinion the best show on the air.
AW: As my tape begins to end we shall close with
a final question. This year you made the PWI 500 at number 370. What are your thoughts on it?
RS: I would look at past PWI 500s and not see
my name. I thought it happens with 1000s of guys out there. But I think it was (PWI Managing Editor) Brandi Mankiewicz who
deserves many thanks as well as the IPW office including Ron Niemi and Aaron Royal. To go from not being in it to debuting
at 370 ahead of Bruce Steele, Roderick Strong, Frankie Capone and Chasyn Rance was amazing. It is an honor to be on it.
Thanks to Rod Steel for taking time out of his