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Americo Sebastiano Costantino (born October 1, 1961) is an Americanmarker retired professional wrestler and wrestling manager of Italian origin. He is best known by his ring names Rico Costantino and Rico in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) from 2001 to 2004. He is currently an Airport Control Officer for the Nevadamarker Taxi Cab Authority.

Career

Prior to embarking on his wrestling career, Costantino entered Northwestern Military & Naval Academy. He graduated near the top of his class and at one point considered enrollment at West Pointmarker. Instead, Costantino returned to Las Vegasmarker and settled into a career as a paramedic. This led to enrollment in the police academy, from which he graduated first in the entire state of Nevadamarker. Costantino was also on the SWAT team at one point, paving the way for his next career as a bodyguard.

Television career

Costantino was a contestant on American Gladiators. He was challenged by Gemini (Michael Horton) to find out if "he had what it took" to be a contestant for the show. He would end up defeating Gemini in his best event, the Joust, one of the few contenders to do so (Horton lost only 8 of his Jousts on his three seasons of AG).

Costantino went on to defeat all the other contestants and Gladiators to become 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 two 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.

Power Team

A chance encounter led Costantino to being recruited by The Power Team. A two week tryout lasted almost two years as Costantino traveled the world impressing young people with feats of strength. At one point while with the Power Team, he was ordained as a minister to allow him to counsel kids. His work with children includes the Special Olympics and other children's charities.

World Wrestling Federation / Entertainment (1999-2004)

Training (1999-2002)

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

SmackDown! and Raw (2002-2003)

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. Rico portrayed a homosexual stylist as his gimmick. On May 9 edition of SmackDown!, Rico wrestled his first match in WWF, where he teamed with Billy and Chuck to defeat Al Snow, then-babyface, Maven and Rikishi. At Judgment Day, Rico was forced to team with Rikishi to defeat his clients, Billy and Chuck for the World Tag Team Championship. On June 6 edition of SmackDown!, Rico turned on Rikishi by helping Billy and Chuck in pinning Rikishi for the tag titles.

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

Return to SmackDown! and departure (2003-2004)

Rico would soon return to SmackDown! and became a fan favorite due to fan reaction to his over-the-top gimmick, teaming up with initially-reluctant partner then-babyface, Charlie Haas (with whom he held the WWE Tag Team Championship) and had a valet, the face gimmick of Miss Jackie. He retained the essence of masculinity gimmick he shared with Gunn and Palumbo while taking it to new levels, much in the vein of Adrian Street. Despite his popularity, he was unexpectedly released by WWE on November 7, 2004.

Post-WWE and retirement

After his release, he went to All-Japan Pro Wrestling, where he and former WWE superstar Bull Buchanan defeated Mitsuya Nagai and Masayuki Naruse on the first event of the "Excite Series" in Tokyo, Japan to win the AJPW All Asia Tag Team Championship. In May 2005, Rico announced that he would be returning to a career in law enforcement. Costantino officially retired from professional wrestling in July 2005, causing him and Buchanan to vacate the All Asia Tag Team Titles.

Law Enforcement

In August 2005, Rico completed his law enforcement training in Boulder City, Nevadamarker at top of his class.As of 2006, Rico is an Airport Control Officer for the Nevadamarker Taxi Cab Authority.

Personal life

Rico is married to Linda Lopipero and they have three children together.

In wrestling











Championships and accomplishments







  • Memphis Power Pro Wrestling
    • MPPW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)










References

External links




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