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Is Mirage "Tough Enough"?

Scroll down for a WWFu Interview with Steve Corino

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"Is Mirage Tough Enough? : Wish I Knew"

It all started when I first heard that MTV and the WWE (formerly WWF) were collaborating on a "reality-based" show called Tough Enough. It would have individuals who wanted to be WWE superstars train in a house together and compete to see who would be tough enough to endure the harsh training and win a WWE developmental contract. When I first heard about it I thought it was an amazing opportunity for wrestling fans, especially those of my caliber. I did not get a chance to get a hold of a video camera and ended up not applying.
Anyways, Tough Enough wraps up and crowns Nidia and Maven the winners of the competition. Tough Enough's enormous popularity brought forth a second season. This time I applied for Tough Enough 2. It was like 3:00am early Wednesday morning and I had finished my written application part and was ready to do the video. Although I was not thoroughly happy with the video I was so exhausted that I decided I would just send it that way it was. A couple weeks later I received a voicemail on my machine telling me that it was Tough Enough and to please give them a call back. I had been picked as a semi-finalist and was invited to attend the casting special at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas November 8th. I was so excited, I told everyone that was in my sight! That excitement would soon taper off and reality hit.
I am in the middle of my junior year of college. I attend a school whose tuition is about $30,000 a year. If I were to leave and make the show, I would lose this semesters $11,000 worth of credits. In addition to that, there would be the possibility of me having to pay my loans back and would not receive the "grace period" of repayment if I was not a full-time student. That is something neither my parents nor I could afford at this time. As much as I want to do this and be successful, I really sat back and thought of the big picture rather than what I wanted to do. I would just drop everything and go for it if there were no repercussions.
I must have driven the casting crew cRaZy. They left many voicemails on my machine and I had a few conversations with one of the ladies in casting. She was really informative. At first she was telling me since I did not book my flight yet that I should wait until the third season because it would cost me a fortune. Honestly that was not my concern. I just wanted to get things situated with my school and my parents. *sighs* I'm trying to be optimistic since there is a good possibility of a third season and I'm hoping that by then I would be able to do it. Things happen for a reason and I'd like to think that things will work out in the long run.
I will admit that every time I see the "Tough Enough Casting Special in Vegas" show up on the screen during RAW or SmackDown! I get severely depressed and upset. I don't want to hear "if you wanted it bad enough you would be there." I *DO* want it bad enough, but like the lady at casting told me, if I'm not ready to go all out maybe I should wait. I hope I made the right decision, but as of right now I don't know.
I guess only time will tell.

WWFu Interview with Steve Corino
     Once overlooked as a competitor, The self-proclaimed King of Old School, Steve Corino, has seemingly thrown down the gauntlet, showing the wrestling world he isn't willing to be just looked upon as a comedic, whining performer anymore.
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 gossip.
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.