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Steve Corino

Steve Corino

6' 1", 219 pounds
BORN: Winnipeg, Manitoba
NICKNAMES: The King of Old School

Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Steve Corino has criss-crossed North America, wrestling in a multitude of independent leagues, but perhaps is best remembered for earning the tag "the King of Old School" in Extreme Championship Wrestling.

Corino lived in Winnipeg until he was five years old, when the family picked up and moved to Philadelphia.

In 1994, Corino was trained by wrestler Tom Brandi at a wrestling school in Pennsylvania. Corino cites Tully Blanchard, Shane Douglas, Eddie Gilbert, The Midnight Express and Jim Cornette (who has also helped him along in his career) as his idols.

In his first full year in the industry, Corino wrestled in both the IWA (winning the Junior Heavyweight Championship) and ECWA (where he and Lance Diamond teamed to win the Tag Team titles twice).

In September 1996, Corino appeared on WWE Raw, albeit not in a wrestling capacity. After defeating Freddie Joe Floyd (Tracey Smothers), Crush attacked a ringside fan. That fan was Corino.

Corino returned to his barn-storming ways, wrestling in the indies and picking up titles (mostly Light Heavyweight and Tag Team Championships) along the way, including a victory over Adam Flash on March 14, 1997 to win the NWA World Light Heavyweight title. In October 1997, Corino traveled to Puerto Rico and defeated Halcon Negro for the WWC Junior Heavyweight title.

In 1998, Corino took part in the WWE's Funking Dojo training camp, joining such alumni as Kurt Angle, Christopher Daniels and Devon Storm. Corino would also appear on several episodes of WWF Shotgun, losing each time out.

By the end of 1998, however, Corino had left WWE for ECW. After bursting on the scene in ECW, motor mouth Corino laid the verbal smackdown on everyone from the veteran Tommy Dreamer to World Heavyweight Champion Taz. It was here where Corino earned the moniker of "the King of Old School". ECW had built its reputation on 'hardcore' wrestling. It was a reputation Corino wanted to tear down. If it was up to him, there'd be no more steel chairs, tables or barbed wire in ECW. Corino wanted to turn back the clock to the eighties when pro wrestling was honorable, wholesome, family entertainment. Corino even crashed a Limp Bizkit concert in Peoria, IL to berate their fans for their love of hardcore music.

After a feud with "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes (Corino defeated Rhodes in a bullrope match at 2000's Living Dangerously PPV), Corino seemed to take his wrestling career more seriously, and began to focus on his matches instead of being a manager to the likes of Rhino and Tajiri.

He even managed to get the fans on his side, turning his back on Don Callis' network, which led to his brief reign as ECW World champion, which began at November to Remember 2000, defeating Justin Credible. After a tour of Puerto Rico's IWA promotion, what began in November, ended in January when Credible lost the ECW title in a three-way match at the Guilty as Charged PPV, with Sandman triumphing over both Corino and Credible in a "TLC and Canes" match.

After ECW closed its doors, Corino went back to the independent circuit and quickly found more success. On April 24, 2001, Corino defeated Mike Rapada to win the NWA Heavyweight Championship. He would hold the title until October's NWA 53rd Anniversary show when, while wrestling Shinya Hashimoto, he would be deemed unable to continue and the title would be held up. In a rematch on December 15th, Hashimoto defeated Corino for the title.

Corino had previously announced plans to retire at the end of 2001, and decided to turn his attention to commentating. He did some commentary for the Ring of Honor organization and had an unsuccessful tryout with the WWE to become a colour commentator.

Corino's "retirement" didn't last too long, as he signed on with NWA-TNA, and was part of the "Gauntlet for the Gold" on the premiere episode, being eliminated by Brian Christopher. Corino, however would still appear on various indy shows until returning to TNA in February 2003, for a short run highlighted with a victory over Low Ki.

Corino would be more active in Major League Wrestling, Pro Wrestling World and Ring of Honor through the rest of 2003 and much of 2004. He would form the Extreme Horsemen with Simon Diamond and C.W. Anderson and the stable would compete in several different organizations, even competing in a WarGames match against the Funkin' Army, led by Terry Funk at MLW WarGames in September 2003.

Heading to Japan in September 2004, Corino competed for Zero-One and suffered a broken jaw in December, but still competed through the end of the tour. Back in North America, Corino continued to work for Ring of Honor before quitting in March over a dispute with one of the bookers. However, his schedule of independent dates continues to be as impressive as ever, wrestling for such organizations as Pro Wrestling Unplugged, the American Wrestling Association and IWA MidSouth/NWA No Limits.

On June 11th, 2005, Corino defeated Takao Omori in Bay City, Michigan to win the AWA World Championship and while the AWA Championship doesn't carry the weight it did twenty years ago, it does make Corino only the third man in history to hold both the AWA and NWA Championships (Pat O'Connor and Gene Kiniski were the other two). Two weeks later, Corino defended that title against former AWA Champion Larry Zbysko. Since that victory, Corino has retained the title against Nickie Sixx, Robby Royce and Balls Mahoney.

On September 24, 2005, Corino defeated Mahoney once again, this time picking up the UXW Championship, only to lose the UXW title moments later after an impromptu match against Homicide.

Corino continued to barnstorm, defending the AWA Championship as he went as well as (unsuccessfully) challenging American Dragon for the ROH Championship and Jay Lethal for the JAPW Championship.

Although Corino lost the AWA Championship to Shinjiro Ohtani on January 22, 2006 on a Zero-One Max show, it did little to stop Corino's momentum. He would work shows for NWA Upstate, CWF Mid-Atlantic and German Stampede Wrestling. On May 27, he also worked a 1 Pro Wrestling show, where he defeated Abyss and Christian Cage to win the 1PW Championship.

STEVE CORINO STORIES

  • Oct. 12, 2012: Corino finally a champ in ROH
  • July 2, 2012: Charity name of the game at TigerFest
  • Sep. 28, 2006: Corino happily busier than ever
  • Feb. 11, 2004: Corino a WORLD-1 crusader
  • Jan. 7, 2002: Steve Corino's keeping busy
  • Nov. 21, 2000: Time to take Corino seriously
  • Sep. 9, 2000: Old school hero heads home to Canada

    --- compiled by John M. Milner with files from John Powell
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