Interview - Phil Picasso

Interview: Phil Picasso "The King of Aussie Biffo", Wrestler & Tow Truck Driver (RTA - Sydney Harbour Bridge): 22nd August 2003

In keeping with Media Man Australia's tradition of tackling any subject, we continue to explore the world of pro wrestling.

Phil Picasso is a living legend of pro wrestling in Australia.

Tow truck driver by day, on the maniacal Sydney Harbour Bridge run, and pro wrestler by night.

Phil is a mammoth of a man, figurably and literally.

A Modern day gladiator and a rebel of sorts in the volatile world of pro wresting in Australia.

Phil has a warm heart, and is a family man, but don't cross him!

Having recently been barred from the IWA (for real), Phil makes time to chat with log time supporter, and fan at heart, Greg Tingle, in an explosive, no holds barred interview, and Phil wouldn't have it any other way. The king of Aussie biffo indeed!

Listen to the King of Aussie Biffo cut a raw, on the spot, rough as guts, real promo

What's your background?

Street fighting and was and still is pumping heavy iron. Given the street fighting up along time ago.

Why did you decide to get into pro wrestling?

Ty ( one of the Fat Cats of the IWA) my mate, talked me into it. Plus saw the greats like Brodie, Brute Bennard, Killer Karl Crup and Mario Miliano when I was a kid. Grew up on Aussie wrestling. Dad took me out to see wrestling at Flemington Markets a few times and Channel 9 was only up the road.

When did you catch the bug?

Since I was 9 or 10. Was wrestling and fighting for real ever since the old school days. I got suspended from school in year 6 for getting into a fight after school. North Sydney St Leonard's Park in front of about at least a 100 school kids. Paul Graham was training some kids in the park at the time. He broke the fight up. But the ABC was there filming some old ladies show but when the saw a fat "Leb" sitting on and punching a skinny kid they started filming.

Brother Crispin, the Principal of my school saw the show that night. Something to do with children's violence. There was the fat "Leb" Kid and I both wearing our school informs fighting on TV. While the poor brother was trying to eat his dinner.

What have been the highlights of your career?

Winning the belt for the first time on Channel V Music show called The Joint. Having my ugly head in the Sunday Telegraph for an ad for Sydney Wonderland last year. Getting a photo of The Chief jumping from the 2nd ropes doing a chop on my chest in the Canberra Times at the Royal Show down there at the beginning of the year.

But the one I am waiting for and hope it will make it through is the part I play in a Lonely Planet "doco" where I am myself. A "towie" by day and wrestler by night.

Gee Greg, now that I have been kicked out of the IWA, I really hope it comes through. Also I forgot that photo shoot for Juice Mag was great. The IWA even made a great poster out of it. That really touched me using my ugly head for their current poster.

How do you stay in such awesome shape?

I pump some heavy iron. Many a times you will find me spewing in the cutter outside my local Gym. You a bit like drinking beers in front of the fans before your match.

What is the toughest things about being a wrestler?

Trying to put up with the "fat cats" and not get kicked out of the fed you loved so much that you got the name tattooed on your left bicep!

What is the worst injury you ever suffered, and the worst one you ever put on your opponent - by mistake or accident?

Chip Budes tooth with a kick in the head. But that was on propose he didn't jump for a chicken wing suplex. I hooked him up. I went " OZI OZI OZI" the crowd went " OI Oi Oi ". But Bude dragged his arse.. He made the move look like shit so I booted him in the head. My worst would be my tooth The Chief pushed back to the back of my mouth. Now it is glued to my two others after the dentist through it back into place.

And for accidents on my behalf. Not in my books in the 6 years I having being doing it I have been
good enough and carefully enough not to hurt anyone more than I wanted to. I have never sent anyone to hospital but many have sent me there.

Biggest and smallest crowd you have performed to?

Maitland show being of the year maybe 2 or 3 thousand people. Smallest - Woy Woy League's or the RSL, I think, where The Chief loosed my front tooth, costing me allot of money and a big headache.

What's some funny stories from the road?

None really the reason I got kicked out of the IWA is because of my my nervous breakdowns on tours.

Who are the best and worst promoters you have worked for and why?

Only have worked for the IWA and Andy for the Supershow last year. But the best guys were the guys from the "Lonely Planet".

Describe the feeling you get when you start to bleed?

Most of time I am thinking gee hope my ear doesn't fall off or my brain might leak out. And we better take it home before we get blood all over the place freaking everyone out. Like to take it home when the blood starts flowing especially if kids care present.

Tell our audience about what you do when your not wrestling?

Pick up cars or anything else that might breakdown on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. I drive a tow truck for the RTA.

What matches are your favourite, and who were they against?

AJ Freely. Because we had so much respect for each other we could belt each other big time and hard without taking it to far. Also, I like my mate Angus McLeod because he is also into Aussie Biffo and beer drinking.

Who were your mentors, if any?

None really.

Who are your biggest supporters?

James from Cowra and some girls from Woolongong. Also Nikita, who invented me to her party and my two boys.

What do you do to relax?

Play video games, pump weights and spend time with the family.

How would you like to be remembered?

The way I am now. The guy on the IWA poster. Phil Picasso the King Of Aussie Biffo, who always had time for his fans.


Editors note: An interesting, entertaining and hard hitting interview from one of Australia's true greats. We wish Phil all the best in all aspects of his life and career. Phil - see you for a beer soon : )


Australian Pro Wrestling Directory (Greg Tingle's wrestling website)

Australian Pro Wrestling Directory: Phil Picasso profile

IWA official website

IWA Phil Picasso tribute

Italian Pro Wrestling Directory

USA Indi Wrestling: A "rough as guts" article by Greg Tingle on wrestling in Australia

Entertain Oz - IWA

Oz Ring Insider: Phil Picasso profile

RTA: Sydney Harbour Bridge - Bridge Deck Cam

City Of Sydney: Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Visitor's Bureau - Sydney Harbour Bridge

Australian Sports and Entertainment Portal: Body Building tribute

Media Man Australia: Interview with Steve Rackman

Media Man Australia: Profile of Arnold Schwarzenegger


Phil Picasso bio (Courtesy and full credit to the IWA)

Big Phil Picasso
Height : 6'4
weight : 235 lbs - 110kgs
hometown : Rome
finishing move : Knock out punch

Big Phil is awesome, 4 time IWA heavyweight champion, king of Aussie biffo and a veteran of over 150 bouts in the past few years. A wrestler with such an imposing physical presence and such crazy, unorthodox pro-wrestling moves. He's absolutely huge, covered in tattoos and completely and utterly mad.

His body is rock hard & chiseled out like an ancient Roman statue. Fans respond well to Picasso's good ol' Aussie biffo. Phil is reputed as the wild man of the IWA who loves to experience pain!

His injuries have lead to knee surgery and reconstruction, he has been burned by boiling water, he begs his opponent to hit him harder. Has had some rippers against Punisher Pickford, AJ Freely and Chief Livai. His mad rantings and ravings at ringside are scary but the kids love this insane, anti - establishment hero. He gets plenty of fan mail, cards and email from his supporters. Appeared on the TV several times for the IWA, also seen in Juice & Penthouse magazines plus loads of newspapers. Hopes his 3 year old son will grow up to be a wrestler too.