Where Are They Now? Rico

Page 3 of 4
February 20, 2013

So they did. After several months of tryouts, Rico finally got the call that he’d been dreaming of. Billy and Chuck needed a stylist. Costantino assumed a dual role, as stylist and manager for the fashion-obsessed World Tag Team Champions (WATCH). On his first night, Rico showed how important he would be to Billy & Chuck, helping them retain their titles by sliding in the ring and spin kicking Jeff Hardy.

“I didn’t realize how much [the WWE Universe] liked The Hardy Boyz,” Rico recalled with a smile. “When we left, I was getting snowballs thrown at me.”

Rico was given free reign to come up with his own outfits, which led to a wardrobe of flashy colored shirts and loud, animal-print pants, not to mention his trademark sideburns. Eventually, he broke out on his own, even picking up a singles victory over WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair (WATCH), which still leaves him a little speechless.

In 2003, he reinvented himself in the image of another legendary competitor: the double-tough, extra-colorful “Exotic” Adrian Street.

“[A WWE official] came up to me and asked me what I thought about doing the character,” Rico told WWEClassics.com. “I asked, ‘Why me?’ And he said, “Mr. McMahon thinks you’re the only one who can pull it off.”

Before he put on a dab of makeup, though, he asked WWE to set up a meeting between him and Street, to get his blessing, and hopefully, a few tricks to make him successful in the ring. The company obliged and flew Rico down to Gulf Breeze, Fla., where Street lives.

“I spent about 14 hours with Adrian and [his longtime valet] Miss Linda,” Rico excitedly explained. “He told me everything, what worked and what didn’t. I told him my ideas and he wished me luck.”

Grateful for Street’s blessing, Rico also thanked the legend in a unique way.

“I bought my tights from him for the next year,” he said.

Armed with an arsenal of antics that distracted even the most focused opponents (WATCH), Rico pranced back on to SmackDown, with Miss Jackie at his side, and found success almost instantly. He captured the WWE Tag Team Titles with an unlikely partner, Charlie Haas.

“My antics fired Charlie up to do what he did in the ring,” Rico giddily recalled.

It worked. In their first match as a team, they defeated Rikishi and Scotty 2 Hotty for the titles (WATCH). The unusual duo held the championships for two months and remained a team even after they lost the titles.