Alan Wojcik Archives
Interview with Naphtali
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NAPHTALI is the current Florida Unified Cruiserweight Champion (IPW Cruiserweight and NWA Florida X Title), as he defeated JUSTICE on August 2, 2002, as part of 'The New Agenda!'. Since capturing the belt, he has defeated everyone whom IPW has put in front of him, including the likes of JERRELLE CLARK, CYNIC, and independent superstar RECKLESS YOUTH. This self-proclaimed 'heel' hails from 'BinoVille U.S.A.' and comes to the ring to the sounds of 'Badstreet U.S.A.', the former music of THE FABULOUS FREEBIRDS. Naphtali is formerly known as AL BINO and has been with IPW from near its inception. He is a former IPW Tag Team Champion as part of the A.NARCHY S.UICIDE S.QUAD with partner HAVOC. Naphtali sat for this interview on January 25th, before IPW/NWA Floridas The Aftermath show where he took on JUSTICE, TONY MAMALUKE & THE BUG.


Alan Wojcik: Did you watch wrestling growing up?


Naphtali: Oh yeah growing I was a huge fan, but I never aspired to be a pro wrestler. I always wanted to be in the entertainment field. Then I started watching IPW and one day ran into former (IPW Hardcore champion) Chaos in a local Walgreens. We started talking and he told me about the school he was opening up and the rest they say is geography (laughs.)


AW: Who created the character of Al Bino?


Naphtali: I had bleached my hair, beard and eyebrows platinum blonde and joked with the guys in Chaos school, that my name should be Al Bino. They laughed and next thing you know that was my name. January 2000 or 2001, sorry I cant remember too many chair shots to the head, I was talking with Ron Neimi and we decided it was time for a change and I became Naphtali.


AW: What are the differences between IPW Hardcore, NWA Florida and Future of Wrestling?


Naphtali: IPW fans are the biggest pieces of crap. They want to watch you but they wont talk about you.  They are great with crowd participation but they dont care about you. NWA Florida wouldnt exist without IPW and vice versa. (NWA Floridas) Joe Price is a great guy. FOWs fans are weird. They are willing to travel if its for free you losers. As far as style, IPW has more talent not to piss off FOWs talent. IPW is scientific based then goes into the hardcore where FOW is more old school good guy-bad guy which I like being an 80s guy.


AW: What was Big Japan Pro Wrestling like to work for?


Naphtali: Great company to be with but really weird, especially not knowing a single world of Japanese except for sushi and Toyota (laughs.) The bus trips were great. It was hard to work a match with a guy not knowing a single thing I am saying and vice versa. I cant wait to go back. I would like to take (fellow IPW/FOW cruiserweights) Justice, Cynic and Seijin Akki back with me. Thats my goal to live and wrestle in Japan.


AW: You have a variety of finishers from a cross-face chicken wing to the fountain of death. What led to having so many?


Naphtali: Back in my wild and crazy days, I thought I needed to do all the high flying stuff. The fountain of death was a triple jump moonsault a la Sabu, combined with a Van Terminator a la Rob Van Dam. For those who dont know what that means, I combined a triple jump moonsault into a drop kick into a chair with the guy all the way on the other side of the ring. The cross-faced chicken wing I use that and several other old school finishers like a heart punch. I dig the old school type of wrestling. It also lessens the chances of me getting hurt. Plus everyone has a counter move and you can hit them with something they might have never seen before.


AW: You have a long list of opponents on your record; do you have a personal favorite?


Naphtali: Havoc who is out with a sore neck. We are former tag champs and also best friends. Theres an inside joke in wrestling, the closer youre friends with someone the more you beat them up and I love to beat and tear into him.


AW: Word association. (Multi-time NWA World Junior Heavyweight champion) Jimmy Rave.


Naphtali: Solid and knows his stuff. Scientifically sound. We are 1-1 in our matches with me getting the last win.


AW: (retired IPW star) Jet Jaguar.


Naphtali: Oh, The madman. The master of filth. I love Jet Jaguar. He can make anything funny. He also makes most things stupid but stupidly funny in a stupidly funny sort of way.


AW: Ron Neimi.


Naphtali: He is the one who gave me the start. He trusts me with holding the Unified cruiserweight titles and help in carrying the company. Great mind for wrestling.


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


Naphtali: Still alive, hopefully back over in Japan or Puerto Rico. Still kicking butt as the champion and it doesnt matter IPW, NWA Florida, FOW. If they have a belt Im going to take it.


Thanks to Naphtali for his valued time.