A recurring theme in the Underrated and Under-Appreciated Wrestler Series is that the large promotions of the wrestling world have mismanaged some amazing talent. This week's case: Steve Corino, was never mismanaged by a large promotion. He has never had the chance to ply his craft on the biggest stage of them all.
Steve Corino has always been a talented wrestler in the ring, but that is not what has elevated him as true talent in professional wrestling. Unlike many a professional wrestler, Corino excels at interacting and making a connection with the fans. His give and take with the fans (especially as a heel) is something that all professional wrestlers should study and learn from.
Watching a Steve Corino match live is an interactive and participatory experience. He draws you into every action of his performance and makes you a part of the show. From his entrance to promos and even just waiting for the tag in a match, Corino always has the fans in mind, and finds a way to bring them in with either humor or serious drama. It is not an uncommon occurrence to have fans line up for the chance to have a back and forth with Corino (where he will often roast you to a crisp).
Corino's first big break in the business came with ECW where he portrayed "The King of Old School", a character that was diametrically opposed to hardcore wrestling. Throughout his career in ECW, Corino had many notable matches with the likes of CW Anderson, Dusty Rhodes, Taijiri, Jerry Lynn, and many others. He was utilized as a steady hand who could be counted on to deliver whenever necessary until he won the ECW World Heavyweight Championship in late 2000. Corino's period on top of the promotion would not last for long because of the companies financial issues. ECW was unable to pay his contract and Corino left the promotion just a few months before its ultimate demise.
Corino was able to land a contract with WCW but just weeks after signing the deal, WWE bought out their long time rival and Corino was released (popular rumor being that it was due to the aesthetic of his damaged forehead). Since that time, Corino has been a notable fixture on the independent wrestling scene. He has been bringing his ability to connect with fans and his penchant for breaking the "Muta Scale" to audiences across the company.
His most notable work in the indies has been with Ring of Honor (ROH). His various stints with the promotion have produced wonderful feuds and matches with Homicide, Colt Cabana, Kevin Steen, El Generico, and currently against the entire ROH promotion as a member of the invading S.C.U.M.
Steve Corino is a talented wrestler who possessed a rarefied ability to interact with the fans. For one reason or another, he never received a shot at the big times and remains one of wrestling's underrated and under appreciated wrestlers.