A performer with highly touted scientific skills,
something he is not shy to brag about, Corino used to use them to outclass opponents, while at the same time being very vocal
against the more hardcore aspects of ECW.
Claiming he would bring back the old school wrestling
style to Extreme Championship Wrestling, at the same time, Corino was speaking out against all forms of hardcore entertainment,
crashing a Limp Bizkit concert in Peoria, Illinois to berate their fans and lead singer Fred Durst. Corino's antagonizing
comments only fueled the hatred ECW's fans have for him.
Surrounding himself with Jack Victory, Yoshihiro Tajiri,
and Rhino, Corino soon fell into favor with the Network, doing the bidding of Cyrus, who in turn brought Corino to greater
heights than he ever had been before, with a victory over the legendary Dusty Rhodes.
As Corino's stock grew, Corino underwent a remarkable
transformation. Although the nightly wars in ECW would often leave Corino a bloody mess, he would not back down, but rather
faced his challenges head on. A remarkable change for a man who once bragged that he would never soil himself by becoming
hardcore. Corino hasn't done that however, he's simply proven himself to be the epitome of the old school professional wrestler,
one who doesn't back down to any challenge.
WWFu's own, Mirage, recently got a chance to
interview the "King of Old School"... here is a transcript of the interview.
WWFu Mirage: How did you get started in wrestling?
Steve Corino: I attended a wrestling school in 1994 in Reading, PA.
Mirage: How did you get your break into ECW?
Corino: Nova actually was the one that brought up my name to them about coming in and Paul gave me a tryout in December
of 1998 and hired me full time after my match with Nova.
Mirage: Were you intimidated knowing that your style wasn't what the ECW fans were used to?
Corino: No, I wasn't intimidated by the style but I was of course intimidated by the amount of talent that was in the
locker room. They always had a great working locker room and guys that you could learn from and were willing to teach you.
Mirage: Did that play any part in the decision to keep you in a managerial role?
Corino: No, the manager idea came from Paul Heyman. I was doing stuff with both Tazz and Tommy Dreamer when Tazz put
in his notice that he was leaving for the WWE (formerly WWF) and Raven came back and he and Tommy went on to feud with
The Impact Players.
Paul didn't just want to throw me into a feud for nothing and Rhino was making such a big impact so
I became the mouth piece for him and Tajiri.
Mirage: Seeing as how you incorporate a lot of the older ideals of pro wrestling into your matches
were you a big fan of pro wrestling growing up and is that why you decided to keep that alive in your style, rather than just
go out there and try to do all of the fancy spots to wow the crowd?
Corino: I wow the crowd the old fashioned way - by wrestling. That is the style that worked for the last 50 years and
that is the style that will work here in 2001.
Mirage: Why do you think you were still able to get noticed sticking with that traditional style
while surrounded by all of these daredevils of today's era?
Corino: I am different and I think that is what got me noticed.
Mirage: You've said that Dusty Rhodes was a tremendous teacher and influence on you during his time
in ECW, was he someone you modeled yourself after before you actually met him, or did the meeting in ECW just fit perfectly
because of the mind set you had already?
Corino: Dusty Rhodes is a legend and has been a teacher to me. I had never met the man until the day we started our feud.
Once I started to get to know "The Dream" that is when I patterned more of my style after him.
Mirage: A lot of people were critical of the decision to give you the ECW world title. How did you
deal with the critics initially before you had a chance to prove yourself as a hard working and worthy champion?
Corino: What people think doesn't bother me at all. My job is to go out there and entertain people and I think I do a
good job of that. Do I personally think I got pushed to early for it? Yes, but Paul Heyman saw an opportunity to create a
stir and he did.
Mirage: How valuable has your relationship with Jack Victory been to your career?
Corino: Jack is a great veteran who taught me a lot. We had and still have a great personal relationship and he taught
me a lot about the industry.
Mirage: The traditional manager role is something of a lost art in today's business and you have
the mic skills to get not only yourself over as a worker, but to get others under you over who aren't as skilled on the mic.
Would you be opposed to going to the WWE as just a manager or would you prefer to work in the ring. Which did you enjoy
more, or would you rather be able to do both?
Corino: Right now I am not interested in going to the WWE in either a manager or wrestling role. They have more than
enough talent. Maybe if they had a color commentating position open I would be interested in that. I am working right now
more than I ever did, even while I was in ECW and making great money.
Mirage: Has there been any talk between yourself and the WWE?
Corino: I never comment on anything like that. I believe business should be conducted behind closed doors and not for
Mirage: What do you think of the Buff Bagwell situation in MECW where he refused to do the job to
you on the inaugural show? Giving into that seemed to be a sign that the company wasn't being run properly in that they allowed
someone who was just fired by the WWE for similar behavior, to continue that behavior and plant the seeds of the same
kind of disorganization and lack of backbone that helped contribute to the crumbling of WCW. What is your take on MECW allowing
that to happen, and the MECW product as a whole?
Corino: The Internet made it way more than it was. Buff is a good guy and he made a decision. Decisions are made like
that everyday and everyone cruisifed him because the Internet and the sheets hate Buff Bagwell. No one said anything to me
for not losing to him. Not that I am the most popular guy on the Internet but that is stuff that should never be on the Internet.
I don't think it made the MECW look bad at all because everyone is talking about them. Weather it is good news or bad news,
at least they are talking about you.
Mirage: What happened originally when you were supposed to make an appearance for the Zero One promotion
in Japan, and what kind of future do you see yourself having in Japan if any?
Corino: Quite simply, Mike Rapada didn't have his passport so they pushed the tour back a month. No big deal. We went
over and represented the NWA with honor and pride and I personally had the best time I ever had wrestling. Wrestling fans
in Japan are so much more respectful and knowledgeable that American fans. I would rather work in Japan any day of the week.
WWFu: Where would you like to be 5 years from now?
Corino: Hopefully behind the scenes somewhere for a company.