For Rico Constantino, it took him 37 years to realize that professional wrestling was a career he wanted to endeavor. Making an impact in Ohio Valley Wrestling, he became tag team champion with The Prototype, better known as John Cena, as well as capturing the OVW Heavyweight Championship on three separate occasions.
Rico would go on to manage infamous tag teams Billy & Chuck and 3 Minute Warning, leading Billy & Chuck to the WWE Tag Team Championships. Rico would see some success in the ring, winning the tag team championship twice, and defeating WWE Hall of Famers Ric Flair and Rikishi.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Rico on my show, Pancakes and Powerslams, in September of 2015. One of the things Rico was proud to talk about was the fact that he was so adamant in achieving his goals, which can be shown by his success from the American Gladiators in 1990, and reaching success as a character in the WWE in his 40s.
While many are wrapping up their professional wrestling careers, Rico was just starting his. After his career in WWE, Rico was able to return to law enforcement, as well as become a security officer.
Earlier this year, Rico informed me that his health has taken an unexpected turn for the worse. Not only was this affecting him emotionally, but also financially. As some may know, WWE wrestlers are paid as independent contractors, so they are not responsible for many expenses, including medical bills.
As a result, Rico has been inundated with medical bills and financial stress. In February, he texted me that he is not doing well, stating, “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.” His health started to get worse, as his former manager Kenny Bolin expressed his plea to get financial help for Rico via his Facebook page.
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.
I communicated with Rico yesterday, and he informed me that he has two leaky heart valves, two blood clots – one an inch long – and complication from brain trauma. As a result, he allowed me to set up a gofundme campaign to be able to cover his medical bills and ongoing hospital visits.
Sadly, WWE does not have any obligation to assist Rico will his current health and financial status. Hopefully, the pro wrestling community can unite and tackle this head-on.
Thankfully, the GoFundMe campaign is getting donations by the hour with over $250 so far as of this article. Rico texted me his sincere gratitude for the financial assistance he is receiving, stating, “It’s nice to see some kind hearted people out there in this world.”