On the mike with Mike Altamura: Steve Corino

On The Mike: With Mike Altamura (Don't believe the allegations, Corino is too genuine and honest a person to commit fraud)

I was shocked after reading reports last week that ‘The King of Old School’ Steve Corino was arrested in Detroit, Michigan, on allegations of forgery and fraud. An ex-girlfriend of Corino’s claims the wrestler forged a $2100 check and used her credit card 25 times without her knowledge. It was almost a surreal experience – I couldn’t believe my eyes. Steve Corino a fraud? Within minutes, I had come to a conclusion. Steve Corino is innocent. I know the gentleman well enough to almost guaran-damn-tee that.

The first time I communicated with Steve was in late 1999. In fact, he was one of the first people I interviewed in the business. Steve was still relatively a fresh face on the ECW roster at the time, and was arguably more well-recognised for his handful of televised matches on WWE programmes and the fantastic work ethic he had displayed in matches on the East Coast wrestling circuit. It was an absolute pleasure to interview the man. There was something special about him. He had an undeniable love for the wrestling business, and moreover, demonstrated a deep affection for his son, Colby. The latter two points have constantly been reiterated by Steve both in the commentaries on his website, and in the significant number of conversations we’ve since had.

Earlier this year, while Steve was touring with WCWA in Australia, I once again went one-on-one with ‘The King of Old School’. It was refreshing to hear so many honest views on the wrestling business – see Steve has never been afraid to voice his opinion. He was critical of the WWE product (despite knowing and accepting that his comments would probably further distance him from WWE talent co-ordinators), offered an honest opinion on the direction of the business, and not surprisingly, manifested his love for his child, and respect for the wrestling business.

“I do everything in my life for my son,” said Steve. Does that sound like the words of a con-artist? Why would he jeopardise the special relationship and bond he’s developed with his child for just $2100? Simply put, it doesn’t make sense.

In the same interview, Steve told me, “When I’m asked what I love about pro wrestling, it’s everything. It’s the sport of it, the fans, the camaraderie with the boys, travelling from town to town, getting to see different countries, experiencing the things in different cities that you wouldn’t get to experience if you had a normal job.” He continued, “That’s what I love, that’s what keeps me going.”

Why would he risk being convicted of a serious misdemeanour knowing the ramifications it could possibly have on something he’s so passionate about, professional wrestling? We needn’t forget that for the past 2 years Steve has been largely successful in Japan, and has become such a mainstay on the ZERO-ONE roster that he almost spends more time in the Orient than at home in Pennsylvania.   I hear the Japanese pay extremely well, so again, why would Steve want to jeopardise working there by participating in fraudulent activities?

Steve Corino is an honourable and respectable guy. Someone that strikes most people as being genuine, hardworking, and above all, honest. In a press release on June 20, Corino wrote, “The real truth of this situation will come out in court and I am confident that I will be found innocent of all charges.” Wrestling has had its fair share of crooks, criminals, deadbeats, and con-artists, but rest assured Steve Corino is not one of them. I too am confident that his innocence will be proven in a court of law.

If you wish to display Mike’s columns on your website, forward a comment (whether positive or negative), or contact for whatever other reason, you can reach him at icemanalt@aol.com or totalwrestlingma@aol.com


Steve Corino official website