It is amazing how nice and genuinely kind-hearted some people can be. On screen, Rico Constantino was one of the most villainous characters on WWE television, popularized by being the manager of former WWE Tag Team Champions Billy & Chuck, as well as 3 Minute Warning. As a manipulative hair stylist, he was one of the most bizarre characters of the “Ruthless Aggression” era. His popularity was so strong that he was able to defeat WWE Hall of Famers Ric Flair and Rikishi during his in-ring career, as well as become a two-time WWE Tag Team Champion.
Interestingly, he reached this level of popularity in his 40s. While most wrestlers are wrapping up their careers by that age, he was just getting started. His desire to become a prominent name during that era was risky at his age, but he was able to make it a success as he did with his career on the American Gladiators a dozen years prior.
In September of 2015, I was pleased to interview Rico on my show, Pancakes and Powerslams. Rico shared quite a bit about his achievements and how each time he was determined to succeed despite a number of adversities in front of him. After wrestling, he returned to law enforcement, and he became one of the most respected officers in the state of Nevada.
Rico and I became close friends after he was on my podcast as we both shared the common ground of being devout Christians. We texted each other often, checking up on each other and encouraging one another along the way.
On November 3, 2015, Rico texted, “Just saying hello my friend I hope all is well with you and your family and your radio show.” I responded to him, wishing him well. He replied, “As long as I open my eyes every morning everything is great with me. Again thank you for the interview I enjoyed it very much. Take care of yourself and stay in touch.” I wished him a Happy Thanksgiving, and he did the same.
On February 6, however, he gave me some very unfortunate news.
“I’m in the hospital and sick for the last 3 weeks they just diagnosed me, I’ll probably get released in the next 2 or three days so we can talk on the phone I’ll let you know what’s going on the phone.”
“Man I’m so sorry to hear that. I’m here if you need me. Do not hesitate to call and keep me posted. Praying right now for you my brother.”
Checking up with each other via text throughout the spring, he gave me even more unfortunate news on July 20, citing some complications of brain trauma, causing a great deal of emotional stress as well.
Today, another close friend of Rico, former Ohio Valley Wrestling manager Kenny Bolin, released a statement on Facebook about his declining health.
“it saddens me to inform you that I have just found out that a Former WWE star and very dear friend of mine named Rico Costantino (Rico the Stylist) is very, very sick and has been since at least early January. He has no help financially at all, no disability help and none in sight. He has not spoke a word to hardly any one in like 9 months. he desperately needs our help. he also has severe diagnosed concussions, a collapsed lung and sever heart problems way to detailed to get in to here. I spoke to his X-wife and length last night and she is trying to take care of him as best she can. i am hoping we can set up a go fund me account to assist him as soon as his X can get me the banking info to have it sent too. i also hope the WWE and Vince Mcmahon, Stephanie McMahon or Hunter will chime in and help this great and very nice man who gave his life to helping others till here recently. Lets get the word out about Rico’s illness to those who may be able to help him in this extreme time of need. as i get more info from his X Linda i will pass it on. i will be contacting a few of my former and current WWE stars to rattle some cages in hope of getting rico some financial help. his illness was not caused by drug abuse as in the case of many others who got help. and his severe concussions were acquired entertaining all of us over the years. Linda says he can say something in one hour, and totally forgot he said it 2 hours later. i do hope we can all band together and give just a little that may up in the end being a lot and a life saver for Rico. he needs our help. he deserves our help. those of us who loved him and were entertained by him. he is one year younger than me and looked 20 years younger. Linda says we would not recognize him now. please help me help him and rattle a few cages. thank you all very much. KB”
I communicated with Rico today, and he informed me that he has two leaky heart valves, two blood clots (one an inch long), and complications from brain trauma. He is getting inundated with medical bills, which is making his emotional state worse. So, I decided to start a GoFundMe account for Rico, raising money for his medical bills and ongoing visits. I explained to him, “You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the level of support you’d get” from the pro wrestling community. So, an active campaign is now up to relieve him of the financial stress and get him successfully treated. Hopefully, similar to the campaigns of Scott Hall and Jerry Lynn, the pro wrestling community will rally behind this project and show the world how much of a strong unit we are.
[Featured Image by WWE]