by Evan Ginzburg
EVAN GINZBURG: This is Evan Ginzburg for WBAI-FM's Light Show, and we're honored to have with us in studio La Raza, one of the great independent tag teams. We have Julio and Adolpho--La Raza. How're you guys doing today?
JULIO OF LA RAZA: Ginzburg, thanks for having us on.
EG: Why don't you tell us how you broke in the business. . . .
JLR: I'm Julio and I've been in the business about nine years. I started off with Johnny Rodz--the "Unpredictable" Johnny Rodz. He's an excellent trainer. He gave me all the fundamentals I would need to carry me through the business. So far it's been good times. I've been pretty free of injuries, and I've been on the road.
EG: Why don't you tell us some of the places you've been?
JLR: I've been to Japan, England, Puerto Rico, most of Europe basically, and all up and down the East Coast in the independents.
EG: And your partner?
ADOLPHO OF LA RAZA: Ho! Ho! Ho! La Raza's in the house! I'm Al and I'm formerly DWD--Dances with Dudley from ECW. And now I'm tagging with my best friend Julio as La Raza and here we are, man!
EG: All right. So what made you guys want to become wrestlers in the first place?
JLR: Well, I'll tell you, Ginzburg. I grew up watching sports and nothing really caught my attention. Not baseball, not football. What got my attention about wrestling was that it was so physical. I loved the idea of working on a one-on-one basis. In team sports you had to rely on a whole set of guys.
EG: But now you're known pretty much as a tag team. . . .
JLR: Yeah, you're right. It's pretty ironic how that came about. We actually clicked pretty well together, and when you put so many hours on the road, it really helps when you're with someone you like and know for a long time.
EG: And Adolpho, what about your background?
ALR: I was with ECW for a year. I did Puerto Rico's Capital Sports Promotion, the independents . . . it's been great since we've been together. I like him a lot. I like him like my brother. And as a tag I think we're the best out there.
EG: Why don't you tell us a little about ECW, since it has a certain notoriety. What was ECW like?
ALR: It was great. . . .
EG: As Dances With Dudley, did you feel you were used properly? Did you get enough ring time?
ALR: That's the reason I left the company. I didn't feel I was being used the right way. I felt I had a lot of talent. And they didn't use me the right way, so I decided to leave and do my own thing. . . .
EG: So how does a young tag team make a name for themselves? It's a tough business. What are you guys doing to get the word out?
JLR: First of all, we're staying in top physical condition, and we're getting as many bookings as we can get. We try to keep our names out. We mingle with the fans. We want everyone to know who La Raza is. As my partner says, we are definitely one of the better tag teams out there today.
EG: Why don't you give us some idea of the different styles out there? Puerto Rico certainly has a different style than England. England is quite different than the local independents. . . .
JLR: That's a good point. Some people can adapt. Some people can not. We can. Japan relies a lot on wrestling moves. Very competitive and aggressive. On the East Coast here it's not quite as aggressive, but people use a variety of styles. Puerto Rico is another hotbed and they like hard, physical contact and a lot of bleeding. England prefers a lot of technique, and good wrestlers come out of there.
EG: As a young tag team trying to make the "big time," what needs to be done? I know there's a lot of politics. Even though you guys are a great tag team, and I've seen you work many times on the independents, what do you need to do to get that big break?
JLR: Well, I think you need a lot of patience. You're going to get people who get work ahead of you for one reason or another--they know someone or they're friends with someone--the promoter or the promoter's son or whoever it may be. Bottom line is the cream will always rise to the top.
EG: I watched the WWF and I saw Wrestlemania and there were 15 tag teams on. I was saying to myself, "Most of these teams are AWFUL!" Then you see a good, young tag team like yourself on the independent circuit and you say, "How come these guys aren't on the Pay-Per-Views?" There's just too much politics in this business.
JLR: I agree with you, and we just have to keep pushing along and hold on. Hopefully we'll get our break one day as well.
EG: Why don't you tell us some of the people who have influenced you over the years.
ALR: Bruiser Brody was one of my favorites. Abdullah the Butcher. . . .
EG: I once traveled three hours to watch Brody wrestle Abdullah the Butcher on the Jersey Shore. . . .
ALR: I once had the privilege of working with Abdullah in Puerto Rico. It was great. . . .
EG: Until he stuck something in your head!
ALR: (Laughs) I also got the privilege of working with Kendo Nagasaki in Puerto Rico and Japan, and I remember when I was a kid I used to watch him, and it was like, "Wow, this guy is unbelievable." And when I got to Japan, the second week I found out I was going to work Kendo Nagasaki it was like, "Oh, my God!" It was great.
EG: So it's a great feeling to work with someone you've admired for many years. . . .
ALR: Yeah. I also like Taz. I think he's very good. I like Sabu and respect him a lot. I traveled with him in Japan for a month. I think he's a great talent. I love Jeff Jarrett. I think he's a great talent. . . .
JLR: My influence came from a lot of the technical wrestlers such as Mil Mascaras. You don't hear a lot from him now, but he was one of the great international superstars. . . .
EG: Mascaras was unbelievable. . . .
JLR: I also was influenced by Ricky Steamboat, Verne Gagne, Bruno, Bret Hart, Ric Flair. Those were the guys who really influenced me.
EG: So what are your aspirations for the future? Where would you like to see yourselves down the road?
JLR: Well, right now we're looking for big things. We're in the best condition of our lives. We've been training, and we see ourselves in either of the big federations-we'd fit perfectly in either the WWF or WCW.
ALR: That's exactly how I see it, too.
EG: Any final words for our listeners? We've had some of the biggest names in the business on the show, and we also try to support the independents . . . What would you like to say to the fans?
JLR: Thank you so much for your support. It is greatly appreciated. Keep listening. We love you, and we appreciate you. If it weren't for you, we wouldn't be doing what we're doing.
ALR: Thank you for listening and giving us a break and supporting us . . . Ho! Ho! Ho! La Raza's in the house!
EG: That's right, Julio and Adolpho, La Raza. One day you'll say you heard them here first. . . .