Exclusive Interview with Steve Corino

Steve Corino is trying to re-invent himself in 2011 and has been on the road to “pro wrestling recovery” over the past few months.

He continued on his path this past weekend in Plymouth and New York. Unfortunately for Corino, he lost both his matches and even had a relapse when he used the dreaded “thumb up the bum” on Mike Bennett.

With that being said, why are we seeing a ‘new’ Steve Corino? “It was time for me to grow up and be the Steve Corino I am away from the ring. 17 years passed so quick and after Final Battle I had an attack of guilt hit me like it’s never hit me before.”

Even with that answer, many fans will be asking what Corino wants to achieve. “It’s a case of trying to get the evilness of pro-wrestling out of my system. I’m such a different person at home. I’m a good father, good friend. I have a dog that means the world to me. I’m actually pretty funny. I do comedy on the side. But something about pro-wrestling brings a true dark side out in me. It’s like an addiction. It’s a recovery process that takes one day at a time.”

As we mentioned, Corino unfortunately slipped back into his old ways at Manhattan Mayhem IV during his match against “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett. How confident is Corino that he can stay away from his evil ways? “I’m not confident. I wish I could tell you that I’m cured but I’m not. I don’t know if I ever will be. I fell off the wagon in New York City and as good as it felt, the train ride home was filled with guilt and regret. I just have to keep pushing forward.”

With all the attention being on his recovery, is Corino focusing just on that? “Sounds strange but right now it’s all about recovery. Wins and losses don’t matter. Yet. They will, but getting better is the most important thing. Trust me, when I saved Christopher Daniels in Plymouth, MA and had the ROH TV title belt in my hand, I won’t lie, it felt good. But I have to stay focused.”

Corino decided he would oversee the recent Top Prospects Tournament on ROH on HDNet and has started to take a shine to Grizzly Redwood. Redwood has had trouble trusting Corino and obviously remembers his past misdemeanours. Does Corino intend on persevering? “I don’t blame him. Or anyone for not trusting me. ROH is a lonely locker room for me. I watch the boys laugh, joke and ask the vets like Chris Daniels for advice. They don’t do that for me. And it’s my fault.

“Grizzly is an inspiration to me. This guy has gone through so much to get to where he is. When I read his story it touched me. I always liked him because we are both die-hard Phillies fans but he is a true inspiration. I just wish he would know I’m sincere.”

One of the biggest contributing factors to Corino’s decision to become a better man inside the ring was the downfall of his protégée Kevin Steen. Why exactly did Corino take Steen under his wing? “Most people don’t realize that I have been mentoring Kevin Steen since 2004. I wrestled him at a show in Quebec and within minutes I knew he was someone special. A person with just endless talent and desire. I recommended him to ROH in 2005. He just exploded from there.

“But it was 2009 when I hated myself so much that I wanted back in ROH to show my bitterness. I knew Kevin was frustrated too and I took the opportunity to pounce. I just never thought it would get out of control.”

Steen left Ring of Honor after his match against El Generico at Final Battle 2010. A bitter, year-long feud culminated in a mask vs. career match and it was “The Generic Luchadore” who came out on top. At Manhattan Mayhem IV on Saturday, chants of “We want Steen” were heard; would Corino want Steen back in ROH? “If it were up to me he would have never said that he would leave ROH if he lost. If it were up to me, he’d be right there next to me and we would be working toward pro-wrestling recovery together. But it’s just not going to happen. He doesn’t want to be in a company that El Generico is in. The feelings run too deep right now. It makes me sad.”

Does Corino feel any responsibility for the downfall of one of the best young talents in ROH?“100% responsibility. I did this to Kevin. I have told him how sorry I am. I had a bad feeling in October he was falling off the edge and it hurt me that I couldn’t save him. “

Corino faced off against “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett in New York in a losing effort. The two haven’t seen eye-to-eye and Corino isn’t sure why. “I don’t know what his problem is with me. I had nothing against him. I tried to help him but he’s so wrapped up in himself. And Brutal Bob just feeds his ego. Bennett reminds me of myself 10 years ago. Young, cocky, and ready to do whatever it takes to make a name for himself.

“Mike Bennett has ALL the tools to be a superstar. Heck, he’s already a star. He is what baseball scouts call a 5-tool player. He can be the ROH World Champion one day. But if he wins the title with his attitude right now, he’s going to sit back and say “Wow, I wish I could have been humble enough to enjoy it.” I should know. It’s what I say about my ECW title reign. He should look at Eddie Edwards and follow that path.”

Corino told us that wins and losses weren’t the most important thing to him at the moment but, down the line, is there anybody he’d like to face in Ring of Honor? “Many. Mostly guys I have never wrestled before: new ROH World Champion Eddie Edwards, Davey Richards, TJ Perkins, and more. Did you realize I have never wrestled Christopher Daniels one on one in ROH? I would love that challenge. I would like to wrestle everyone that I wronged last year too.”

Ring of Honor is known for its amazing fans. Another company Corino worked for – ECW – were also known for their hardcore fan-base. Can similarities be drawn between ECW and ROH in this respect? “You really can’t compare the two to be honest. ECW had an underground feel to it. We were the land of misfit toys. In ROH, it’s about putting on the best PRO-WRESTLING show for the fans. I enjoyed ECW and loved the fans, but ROH fans kick ass. You can’t bring just your A game to ROH. You have to bring your A+ game. Every show.

Lastly, we asked Steve if he had a message for the Ring of Honor fans. “Thank you for supporting ROH for over nine years. And thank you for giving me a chance to compete in the best pro-wrestling company. Win, lose, draw, boo, or cheer it’s always a pleasure to be able to step in the black and red ring.”

Steven Coney

"Stuff Pants" Steven is the co-owner and editor of ROHWorld.com. He founded the website in February 2011 with Harry. Last spotted trying to take down ROHCast with his SCUM faction.