I spoke to Ring of Honor color commentator and former ECW World Heavyweight Champion Steve Corino this afternoon about his career as a wrestler, as well as Ring of Honor's huge PPV Friday, All-Star Extravaganza.
Corino spoke on his relationship with former ECW Paul Heyman. Corino noted that he was initially upset following the collapse of the company, but when Paul Heyman reached out to him, he forgave Heyman. I asked him if he had heat with Heyman following the close of ECW.
"I think everybody was upset at the beginning because you have to blame everybody," Corino said. "He was the face of the company, and he was the easiest person to be upset at. Paul's communication skills with the wrestlers weren't the best at that time. I held a little resentment for maybe two or three months, until I started in Japan. One day out of the blue I got this huge e-mail from him explaining what happened. I was like 'okay, cool, I got it.' Even if he'd said 'I screwed up and stole $30 million from the company and I'm sorry' I'd have definitely forgiven him because as a man he apologized."
Corino said that Heyman trying to do too much at once may have caused the company problems, but credited Heyman for giving him the break that changed his career.
"Paul is a guy that was wearing 25 different hats," explained Corino. "Instead of asking for help, he did 25 different jobs, it gets to be, where did it explode? The job he did from 1993 to 2001, he did so much. He was such a great motivator that the in-ring stuff took care of itself. But outside of the ring, he didn't have that support staff. That could have been his downfall. If there was no Paul Heyman, you probably wouldn't be talking to Steve Corino right now, because I'd be at my old job thinking I loved my few years in pro wrestling. Paul Heyman put me on national TV and gave me the chance to live my dream and become a star. He gave me the tools to survive the end of ECW and venture. I love Heyman and what he's done for me. I like the person he's become both personally and professionally. He's a good dude and always will be."
We then switched gears, talking about this Friday's Ring Of Honor All-Star Extravaganza. Corino singled out Jay Lethal as having a potentially huge night, as he defends two championships.
"Up until the WWE days, you never saw a company with a champion who had two titles, and defend those two titles in respective matches in one night. It's interesting, especially against O'Reilly and Fish, who are a tag team. As great as they are as a tag team, they're singles work is different and excellent. I truly believe Jay Lethal is on the run of a lifetime right now. It's going to be exciting to see where it happens on the card, will the matches be first and last? Will they be consecutive? If O'Reilly goes first, will Fish have an advantage?," Corino said.
We'll have part one of our exclusive interview with Steve Corino on Thursday afternoon, and Wrestling Inc will have full, live coverage of Ring of Honor All-Star Extravaganza VII on Friday night.