The following are highlights of a new Busted Open Radio interview with ECW original Steve Corino:
On how it was like a family member passed when he found out Dusty passed: “Oh absolutely. He was bigger than life. I went from a kid that would watch him every month at the old Philadelphia Civics Center to being able to look across the ring and face him in the ring and after ECW and WCW he had started his own promotion and I would sit there and I would be his opponent and I would argue with him and he would call me bad names and it was such a fun relationship. I had to sit back sometimes and think, wait this is the American Dream Dusty Rhodes that I am arguing with. And I am sure a lot of guys would tell you that he was like a second father to a lot of the boys and a lot of the women of professional wrestling and going over the tweets from all the NXT talent and fans that were tweeting in and sending me messages and stuff like that… bigger than life is just the best way that I could describe Dream.”
On how it felt to feud with Dusty in ECW: “It sounds punished but it was like a dream come true and it’s funny that you mention that first promo because I was just talking to Tommy Dreamer about this yesterday. That promo, I didn’t even know that he was in Atlanta… he had just gotten released by WCW that week… ECW happened to be in Atlanta… I had just done the thing with Limp Bizkit and the stars were aligned and I always called Tommy Dreamer “Dream”. And we would always joke and he would talk about himself in the third person just the humor of Tommy Dreamer and myself and CW and Jack Victory … so I asked that night, I go “Hey what am I doing tonight” and he goes “Oh you’re working with The Dream”… so I looked at him and go “So what are we doing?” and he goes “No man, you’re working with the REAL Dream tonight”. And that quick “Here comes the American Dream” and it was like an aura around him, and I’m just like, “You got to be kidding me, this is Dusty Rhodes!” And I remember walking up to him and I said “Sir, is there anything you’d like to talk about or go over?” and he said (Dusty impression) “Kid, if you as good as Bill Alfonso says you is… then there is no need to talk about it beforehand” and I said “Oh… yes sir”. And what a lot of people don’t realize… that fist promo … that was a one shot. We never knew that there was gonna be another chapter to all of this. We just thought that it was something we were gonna do in Atlanta. It was originally supposed to be dark and that’s why you see Joey Styles say “Oh, we’re not gonna put this on TV!” And afterwards he was so thrilled with how the boys treated him and the atmosphere that he said “Hey, let’s do something” and Paul sat me down and said “Are you ready for this? You’re going to become a star”. And it was true because he did what no one else could do for me. At the time I was feuding with Tommy Dreamer and Taz, who were such great talents and the heart and soul of ECW, but I was talking about the old school… these guys were current stars. And when Dusty came into ECW he legitimized the King of Old School character and I just rode that star of his. Now, my wife and I just moved into the house of our dreams and there is no way we could have done that if Dusty Rhodes doesn’t come to ECW. I’ve been riding that star for 15-16 years now because of 3 guys: Dusty Rhodes, Paul Heyman and Shinuhas Moto and a lot of supporting players around me and it’s hard to believe that 2 out of 3 of those guys are gone now and it’s just crazy, just crazy.”
On how much Dusty has effected the business and his legacy: “Absolutely. People would, you know, the negative would be “Oh he was always on top, he didn’t know when to step down, but that’s not true because he was ALWAYS making guys. JR said it best… Nikita Koloff NEVER should have been the star that he was in 1984 but Dusty gave him that rub and Nikita rode that wave and got better and became a star in his own right. He just did that for so many different guys. And all 3 of his world title reigns that lasted a week to two weeks – he deserved them … he deserved a longer run but you know what? For him it was about the chase and getting the people engaged and stuff like that. I know Rick talked about traveling with him and just learning because he would talk and just tell a story and I would ask about booking things because I’m so interested in that side of the wrestling business and he would talk about it as if it was a movie and it was always the John Wayne reference. I would go watch John Wayne movies or I would listen to Bob Dylan because a match would be a Bob Dylan song. He was so complex and he was on so many different levels that creatively… one of the top I’ve ever been around and I’ve been around Heyman and Cornett and so many different great minds. Dusty was a storyteller. He knew not only how to tell his own story, but how to tell everybody else’s story and it’s a lost art I believe. I totally believe the storyteller in everybody – just, he had it. I asked him once, real quick, and this was after a few beers and I said “Dream, why did you put the NWA title on Ron Garvin?” And at first he joked around, he goes “Because you weren’t available! Do you have any other stupid questions?” I thought Barry Windham was ready. He said “Barry Windham was the chaser. People wanted to see Barry chase. But Ron Garvin deserved it. He worked hard. He worked so hard. And I would do it all again tomorrow and I thought “Wow, this is a guy that, even when people questioned his booking decisions, he stuck by his guns and that was something that taught me, you’re going to make mistakes but stick by your guns and believe in what you say, believe in what you write. I say it all the time, he was bigger than life and I’m gonna miss him.
Check out the complete interview at BustedOpenNation.com.
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