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The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling Podcast has been granted access into the Kingdom of the “King of Old School” Steve Corino for today’s episode. King Corino who can be seen every week on Ring of Honor Wrestling’s Flagship television show on Destination America is not only known for his stellar in ring resume but for being the best color commentator in the wrestling business today. Corino breaks down for us the outstanding dynamic between the NJPW stars competing against ROH’s finest and how lucky today’s fans are for getting the access they have to the premiere talents the business has to offer. We also discuss at great length the unbelievable career of Corino as he battled his way through the years on the Northeastern Indy Scene, ECW, ROH and all the stops in between. So take a seat because the King is now ready to go “old school”.
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Steve Corino on how he was told about working with Dusty Rhodes in ECW:
How were the recent New Japan and Ring of Honor shows from his veteran perspective:
It was amazing. It was the first four show-five day loop for Ring of Honor and I was wondering how everybody would all stack up because you are giving it your all on Tuesday, giving it your all on Wednesday, have a travel day Thursday and then I’m thinking these guys are going to break down by Friday/ Saturday but it seemed like everyone got stronger as the week progressed. It has to do a lot with the reaction of the fans. I’ve always been a big believer that the fans can make you feel invincible. A great crowd can just pump you up to where you are not feeling the pain or when you get tired from the travel they just get you over the hump. I’m just generalizing the Philadelphia and Toronto crowds because I know people came from all over to watch these shows but it was absolutely amazing. It shows that New Japan Pro Wrestling combined with Ring of Honor is a true alternative for fans that are only programmed for WWE or TNA. It really opens your eyes that there are different styles and so many different personalities. It shows that Pro Wrestling today, whether we call it Sports Entertainment or not that Pro Wrestling is as strong as it has ever been.
Why is the relationship between both entities so successful:
It’s who is writing the story. Hunter Johnston and the ROH office they didn’t want to change anything of the formula of New Japan. They wanted to present Tanahashi, Nakamura, Okada, Gedo, Kushida and Naito in the same way they are portrayed in Japan. Sometimes whether it has been Tajiri or Yoshi Tatsu or so many other Japanese wrestlers who have gone to the WWE they get changed into what the machine wants them to be and it is not that it is a bad thing but fans want to see what’s the big hype? What makes Tanahashi, Tanahashi? What makes Nakamura the enigma that he is? Ring of Honor allowed them to do that and in turn New Japan let Ring of Honor wrestlers be Ring of Honor wrestlers. There is that little worry in the back of my head that; are our guys going to step up and bring the fight to them? There are still going to be guys that say well because they are huge New Japan stars I will wrestle their kind of match but it was such a great collaboration between ROH and New Japan styles that every person stepped up. There wasn’t one guy that I had to pull aside and say that you have to wrestle your match because they are going to wrestle theirs. Everybody stepped up.
What Ring of Honor Superstar impressed him the most:
My favorite one that stepped up was and it was somebody I was worried about and that was Roderick Strong. On Wednesday night when he got busted open by Tanahashi and the commission Doctor, who I know looked over at me like I call the shots and was saying that you have to cut it soon. I was scared for him. But it seemed that it brought out more in Roderick Strong. In Toronto, the 10 man ROH All Stars vs. The Bullet Club was crazy. It was a crazy train wreck that veterans with 25 years in the business hate but it’s the style now that people enjoy and it is exciting. Fans really got a great taste of what New Japan Pro Wrestling combined with ROH can bring them.
His memorable Ring of Honor feud vs. Homicide, was there legit heat?:
There was definitely was. It is one of those things where nobody could put their fingers on it but there were just incidents over the years that we just didn’t like each other but somehow we had this chemistry. It just seemed to work out great and they were some of the best matches of my life. But it was also some of the most real competition. I am very proud of every match, but we still aren’t buddies.
How he found out that he was working with Dusty Rhodes in ECW:
We always used to joke with (Tommy) Dreamer. He would always talk about himself in the third person as “The Dream” so I didn’t even know Dusty was in the building that night. When he said you are working with “The Dream” I said “Ok cool what are we doing?” just thinking that I was wrestling Tommy Dreamer and he said no you are doing something with “THE DREAM”. The first thing I did when we met was say “Sir, we have a promo so what would you like to do.” He said “Kid, if you are as good as they say you are then we don’t need to talk about anything, just do it.” The original plan was he was just going to give me one big elbow, I would bump for him and roll-out and we would be done. We weren’t sure if we were using it for TV because he had just been released by WCW and as soon as they came alive for the first elbow Jack Victory ran in there and I’d get back up, then he would get back up and stayed in the center for the big elbow. Right from there he told Paul (Heyman) put me in a program with this kid. Paul asked how do you see this ending and I said a bull-rope match and we ended up doing a bull-rope match and it really was the greatest thing.
The most flattering comments given to him by Paul Heyman:
People always ask was winning the ECW Title the greatest honor Paul gave you and I think the greatest thing Paul ever said to me was after the bull-rope match he pulled me aside and said “Corino, that was better than anything he (Dusty) and Tully (Blanchard) ever did”. Paul had no idea that my three favorite wrestlers growing up were “Wildfire” Tommy Rich, “Hot Stuff” Eddie Gilbert and Tully Blanchard and that is what I saw in this feud was that I was the Tully Blanchard, Eddie Gilbert type of heel and when he said that I was all misty eyed.
Steve Corino also discusses the Northeast Indy Scene in the late 90s, his dark matches with the WWF, working Scott Steiner, all of his Ring of Honor feuds, CM Punk and much more.
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