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Steve Corino (english)
CAGEMATCH: First of all - thank you for giving us the great opportunity to ask some questions.
STEVE CORINO: It is my pleasure.
CAGEMATCH: A standard question first: How did you get into pro wrestling? Did you have any problems with friends/family because of it?
STEVE CORINO: I was a huge fan of pro-wrestling since I was 8 years old and it was something I always wanted to do. My mom and I used to go to the Philadelphia Civic Center regularly to watch the NWA so when I told my family that I was enrolling in pro wrestling school there were no problems.
CAGEMATCH: According to my information your pro wrestling-debut was in somewhere in 1994. How long had you been in training in that time, before entering the ring in front of a crowd? How did you climb the ladder until you finally hit the ECW a few years later? Did you have big problems earning the respect of the fans?
STEVE CORINO: I had been training for pro wrestling for about eight months before my first paid match. To say I was nervous would be an understatement. The only thing I pretty much remember about the match is that I just kept telling myself not to throw up!
I started out on the independent circuit and built my name from there. I started to get little TV shots with the WWF and then they recommended me to go to Memphis for the USWA. Unfortunitly the USWA was on their last legs and I wasn't there very long. From there I went to Puerto Rico and then back to the Indies still doing shots for the WWF hoping for a deal. Then in October of 1998 Jim Cornette recommend me for the Dory Funk Dojo and that was the extra training I needed. I got a chance for a tryout with ECW in December of 1998 and the rest is history.
ECW fans had the reputation of being tough on their wrestlers but they did it for the wrestlers' own good. ECW fans wanted the best and they were not going to let their wrestlers give nothing but 110% every night. The ECW fans were tough in the beginning but they made me work even harder. They were great.
CAGEMATCH: So we're at the topic ECW now, which is still one of the most popular promotions, while it doesn't even exist anymore - especially for a lot of internet fans. Why is ECW still that admired by so many people and where did this special flair come from? How important was the ECW for yourself and your career?
STEVE CORINO: I had a great time in ECW. ECW was not just the wrestlers or the promoters, but it was the wrestlers, staff, promoters, and the fans as one big family. It had an atmosphere that you can't even describe. ECW was something that I will never forget and I am happy that I got to be a part of it.
CAGEMATCH: When it comes to Corino it always comes to Japan, too - How did you get in touch with Japan and the pro wrestling scene there? How did you get your first match in Zero-One? How much is today's Steve Corino influenced by Japan?
STEVE CORINO: ZERO-ONE started in March of 2001 when Shinya Hashimoto broke away from New Japan Pro Wrestling and started his own company that was going to be a work-shoot company much like the old UWF in Japan. That concept didn't work too well and in June 2001 they went to pro wrestling and brought me in then in July 2001 because I was the NWA World heavyweight champion.
My first match over there was with Shinjiro Otani and Yuki Ishikawa and I was shocked on how hard they hit! But instead of being taken back by it I fell right in love with the style and quickly realized that this is where I want to be. This is true pro wrestling.
Today's Steve Corino is 100% Japanese influenced. The Steve Corino from ECW is in the past. I enjoyed that role but it was time to move on. I can't be like these guys that didn't get picked up by WWE and just live off my ECW name, I had to get out there and make a new name for myself.
CAGEMATCH: What were your feelings like of you when you finally won your first Zero-One Title?
STEVE CORINO: It was amazing. People don't understand the feeling you get because they look at pro wrestling as a work but when you win a championship in front of the Japanese crowd it is something you never forget. Plus my son and two of my best friends (Guillotine LeGrande and CW Anderson) were involved in the match too. A real highlight in my career.
CAGEMATCH: You competed in the USA, in Japan, England, Germany, and Canada. In which of these countries did you prefer to wrestle and which one do you like most because of its culture? Which country has the greatest fans?
STEVE CORINO: I prefer the Japan because of the seriousness that the sport is taken there but that isn't to say that I don't like wrestling in other countries. Just this year I have had wonderful times in both the UK and Germany.
The fans in Japan are very passionate about the sport but I have to say the German and English fans are great too.
CAGEMATCH: According to your homepage you held about 38 different titles. Which one was the most important to you and why?
STEVE CORINO: All are very important to me but the three that stand out the most were the ZERO-ONE, ECW World, and NWA World championships because of the lineage that they hold.
CAGEMATCH: On October 30th you had your first appearance in Germany. The reactions have been completely stunning for me/to me as you're now "the King of Olsberg". How does it feel to be a king of a village you hardly know? Were you surprised by the positive reactions? Is there any chance to see you back in Germany one day? What where your expectations before the event started?
STEVE CORINO: It was great! I loved Olsberg! My girlfriend and I ate at a great Chinese resturant and then an Italian resturant the next day and everyone was so nice. I am more of a country guy then a city guy so Olsberg was perfect for my speed!
I was very surprised by the reaction of the crowd. It felt so good that people not only remembered me from ECW but have been following my career since. I was telling my girlfriend right before the doors opened that I didn't think I would get much of a reaction that night because fans probably don't remember me but they were great.
CAGEMATCH: Which promotions do like to watch in your spare time? Are you completely "grown out" of Sports Entertainment or do you still watch WWE? If you do, how would you describe the latest developments of the product?
STEVE CORINO: I can't stand Sports Entertainment. I am a fighter and believe in true pro wrestling. Entertainment is fine and you need it in pro wrestling but insulting the fans intelligence week in and week out makes me sick. In my spare time I like watching ROH, FWA, ZERO-ONE, NOAH, All Japan and even the WWE style of DDT in Japan. DDT is small but they can mix sports and entertainment and no one says "Boy that was stupid".
CAGEMATCH: You've been part of Ring Of Honor from its beginning. When you first heard about the concept, what did you think about it? You've also been on and off base in ROH, what were the reasons for that and why did you choose to finally return to the promotion?
STEVE CORINO: I liked it from the beginning because it was different. ROH has found a niche in the American product and they get bigger everyday. It is fun to watch them grow.
I like to come in and out of ROH. Sometimes I am needed and sometimes I am not. I don't like to get stale in a promotion and with their great talent someone like me only needs to come in a few times a year.
CAGEMATCH: Let's talk about MLW. The Extreme Horsemen have been a big part of MLW and you alongside the other Horsemen had some big matches there? Please tell us something about your time there and what were the reasons for MLW to close its door (besides the obvious financial resons).
STEVE CORINO: I loved MLW. It had a old NWA and a touch of ECW feel to it. The Extreme Horsemen was an idea that me, Simon, and CW came up with over 6 years ago and we didn't get a chance to make it a reality until MLW. We had a blast and one day we will get the chance to do it again and I hope that it would be in a new MLW.
CAGEMATCH: The wrestling world in the US is dominated by WWE. TNA tries to be a "big player", but seems to miss "it" to succeed. What do you think about TNA? Is it going to die slowly or successfull and real competition for WWE?
STEVE CORINO: I can't watch TNA because they have so many great wrestlers but don't do the right things. It is almost like watching WCW near the end. Instead of AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels fighting over the World championship, Jeff Jarrett has a vice on it. I don't understand it.
CAGEMATCH: You're well known for great and long promos. Do you script any of these or is it just coming out of your mind?
STEVE CORINO: I wish I could say that I think of them and write them down but to be honest I say whatever comes to my head at the time. These are reasons I would be a HORRIBLE actor! I wouldn't be able to follow a script.
CAGEMATCH: How important is your family to you? You're often talking about your son, Colby. Isn't it hard to be a loving father on the one hand and travelling around the world on the other hand?
STEVE CORINO: Family is number one with me. Pro-Wrestling is a great job but if there was one downfall it would be that I have to be away from my son for weeks at a time. It is something you never get used to and it hurts inside but I am so lucky that my son is understanding that pro wrestling is my job. I spend as much time with him as possible when I am home and call him all the time from the road so that he knows that his dad loves him and misses him.
CAGEMATCH: Is there anything left you want to say to your german fans?
STEVE CORINO: Thank you for being some great fans. I had a blast in Germany and would love to come back. And I will make sure that Guillotine LeGrande takes back every bad thing he said about your country!! haha
CAGEMATCH: Thank you so much for answering our questions. We all wish you the best for your future and hope to see you back soon in Germany.
STEVE CORINO: Thank you.
Sports Entertainment: bad for pro wrestling
Japan: where real pro wrestling still lives
next big thing in wrestling: Ricky Landell
Olsberg: my Kingdom!
Memphis: great memories in a short stay
Ian Rotten: amazing that he is still walking! I like Ian alot, great guy
dream opponent: Keiji Muto
Sushi: ahhhh, now I am hungry
Dustin Runnels: It is a shame he is not on TV right now. He is one of the most under rated in-ring wrestlers I have ever seen.
Handshake: Isn't my thing!
"STEVE CORINO ICHIBAN~!": thank God Hogan isn't in Japan anymore or I wouldn't be able to use it!!!
Cagematch.de: I like it but too much German! I need to learn the language!
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