Rico Constantino

Last updated

Rico Costantino
RicoWWE.jpg
Costantino in March 2003
Birth nameAmerico Sabastiano Costantino
Born (1961-10-01) October 1, 1961 (age 59)
Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
ResidenceLas Vegas, Nevada, U.S. [1]
Alma mater Northwestern Military and Naval Academy
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Rico [1]
Rico Costantino [1]
The Cobra [2]
Billed height6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Billed weight230 lb (100 kg) [1]
Billed fromLas Vegas, Nevada, U.S. [1]
Trained by Jesse Hernandez [1]
Ohio Valley Wrestling
Debut1998 [2]
Retired2012

Americo Sebastiano Costantino (born October 1, 1961) is an American retired professional wrestler and wrestling manager. He performed under the ring names Rico Costantino and Rico in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) from 1997 to 2004.

Contents

Professional wrestling career

World Wrestling Federation / Entertainment

Training (1998–2002)

Costantino began to train with the Empire Wrestling Federation for a career in the wrestling business. [1] Costantino was discovered by World Wrestling Federation (WWF) officials Terry Taylor and Dr. Tom Prichard. [1] After only 12 matches, Costantino signed a developmental deal with the WWF. [1] Costantino was sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling for further training, before being sent up to work for WWF. [1]

Managerial role (2002–2003)

Charlie Haas (left) with Rico (center) and Miss Jackie (right) Haas, Rico and Jackie.jpg
Charlie Haas (left) with Rico (center) and Miss Jackie (right)

He debuted in WWF on the March 21, 2002 episode of SmackDown! as the stylist of Billy and Chuck (the heel gimmicks of Billy Gunn and Chuck Palumbo), establishing himself as a villain. [3] Rico portrayed a homosexual stylist as his gimmick. On the May 9 episode of SmackDown!, Rico wrestled his first match in WWE, where he teamed with Billy and Chuck to defeat Al Snow, Maven and Rikishi. [4] At Judgment Day, Rico was forced to team with Rikishi to defeat his clients, Billy and Chuck for the WWE Tag Team Championship. [5] [6] On the June 6 episode of SmackDown!, Rico turned on Rikishi by helping Billy and Chuck in pinning Rikishi for the tag titles. [7]

On the September 12, 2002 episode of SmackDown!, Rico moved over to Raw brand and became the manager of 3-Minute Warning (then-heel, Rosey and Jamal). [8] He ended up turning on 3-Minute Warning after they lost a match to the Dudley Boyz. However both he and 3-Minute Warning all remained heels during that time. [9] After turning on 3-Minute Warning, Rico scored an upset victory over another heel, Ric Flair. [10]

Tag Team Champion and departure (2003–2004)

Rico would soon return to Raw in 2003 with Miss Jackie appearing as his manager. Then, on the March 22, 2004 edition of Raw, Rico got drafted to SmackDown! and became a fan favorite due to fan reaction to his over-the-top exótico style gimmick, teaming up with an initially reluctant partner, Charlie Haas, (with whom he held the WWE Tag Team Championship) [11] and had a valet, Miss Jackie. [12] [13] He retained the essence of the masculinity gimmick he shared with Gunn and Palumbo while taking it to new levels, much in the vein of Adrian Street. [14] Rico was unexpectedly released by WWE on November 7, 2004. [1]

All Japan and retirement

After his release, he went to All-Japan Pro Wrestling, where he and Bull Buchanan defeated Mitsuya Nagai and Masayuki Naruse on the first event of the "Excite Series" in Tokyo, Japan to win the All Asia Tag Team Championship. [15] Costantino retired from professional wrestling in July 2005, causing him and Buchanan to vacate the All Asia Tag Team Titles.

Return to wrestling (2012)

Rico came out of retirement for a Future Stars of Wrestling (FSW) TV taping in Las Vegas on November 17, 2012 where he teamed up with Beast to defeat the team of Gregory Sharpe and Clutch. [16]

Other media

Costantino was a contestant on American Gladiators . He challenged Gemini, winning once and fighting to a draw twice in their three Joust bouts. Costantino was the champion for the first half of the 1990–1991 season. In the Grand Championship, Rico came up just short, losing to Craig Branham by 7 points (3 1/2 seconds) in the Eliminator. Costantino next appeared on the European game show Capture Ft. Boyard, with a win over his former Gladiator nemesis Craig Branham. On the show, he was the only competitor to capture the needed key in the bungee jump challenge on an upswing.

Personal life

Costantino entered Northwestern Military and Naval Academy. He graduated near the top of his class and at one point considered enrolment at West Point. While Rico attended Northwestern Military and Naval Academy in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Costantino returned to Las Vegas and settled into a career as a paramedic. This led to enrollment in the police academy. [17] Costantino was also on the SWAT team at one point, paving the way for his next career as a bodyguard. [1]

In August 2005, Rico completed his law enforcement training in Boulder City, Nevada. As of 2006, Rico was a Sergeant Inspector for the Nevada Taxi Cab Authority. [18] Beginning in 2016, Costantino suffered health issues relating to heart problems and a series of concussions. [19]

Championships and accomplishments

See also

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References

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  8. "SmackDown – September 12, 2002 Results". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved April 29, 2012.
  9. "Raw – May 19, 2002 Results". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved July 8, 2007.
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  11. "SmackDown – 22nd April, 2004 Results". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved July 8, 2007.
  12. "SmackDown – 13th May, 2004 Results". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved July 8, 2007.
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  14. Power Slam Staff (August 2003). "What's going down... WWE". Power Slam Magazine. Lancaster, Lancashire, England: SW Publishing LTD. p. 4. 109.
  15. "All Asia Tag Team Title". Wrestling-Titles.com.
  16. "FSW High Octane-11/17/12 Featuring WWE Alumni Rico". FutureStarsWrestling. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
  17. "Where Are They Now? Rico". WWE. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
  18. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 8, 2009. Retrieved June 22, 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  19. Jacobs, Corey (September 21, 2016). "Rico Constantino facing heart issues". WrestlingNews. Retrieved September 21, 2016.
  20. Meltzer, Dave (January 26, 2011). "Biggest issue of the year: The 2011 Wrestling Observer Newsletter Awards Issue". Wrestling Observer Newsletter . Campbell, CA: 1–40. ISSN   1083-9593.