The former WWE star saved a life as a police officer, trained for a SWAT team, competed on Gladiators and now works in insurance

A bevy of WWE Superstars past and present have fascinating life stories to tell – but perhaps none are as incredible as Rico Costantino’s.

The now 61-year-old only competed Vince McMahon in the largest in the world Wrestling company for two years.

Former WWE star Rico (center) alongside Billy Gunn and Chuck Palumbo


Former WWE star Rico (center) alongside Billy Gunn and Chuck PalumboPhoto credit: WWE
He was one of WWE's most outlandish characters in the early 2000s


He was one of WWE’s most outlandish characters in the early 2000sPhoto credit: WWE

But his adventures and career outside the ring are just as bold as the outfits he wore WWE.

The Las Vegas-born star originally trained to be a police officer after spending time at Northwestern Military Academy and was even part of the SWAT team at one point.

He also spent time as a paramedic, which came in handy for one lucky soul when he was working for the best in Las Vegas.

Rico was actually having a day off when he witnessed a motorcycle accident, but instead of watching it happen, he jumped into action and became a lifesaver.

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He used his skills to provide life-saving measures to the injured man named Jamie Healey until official paramedics arrived.

And even before he began his foray into the crazy world of wrestling, Rico had already shown that he had what it took to compete on equal terms with muscular meatheads.

He was a participant in a successful TV show American gladiators and then defeated Gemini twice in a draw in three tournament matches.

Rico was actually the champion in the first half of the 1990/91 season, but came up just short in the Grand Championship, losing in the Eliminator by seven points to eventual winner Craig Branham.

He later competed on the European game show Fort Boyard, where he completed the game’s bungee challenge.

After his exploits as a police officer and his foray into the Gladiators, the former martial artist began training as a wrestler under the tutelage of Jesse Hernandez.

That led to him signing a development deal with others John Cena in Ohio Valley Wrestling, which was used by WWE to train future stars.

His talents were soon recognized by superiors and he debuted on SmackDown in 2002 in the role of exclusive stylist for the tag team duo Billy Gunn and Chuck Palumbo.

He later turned against the duo and switched allegiances to lead rival tag team Three Minute Warning, later teaming up with Charlie Haas and Miss Jackie Gayda.

Although he never won a championship or reached the top of the mountain in WWE, his mutton chops and outlandish outfits as a stylist ensured that he will long be remembered by wrestling fans.

After leaving WWE in 2004 and making a few sporadic appearances on the independent wrestling scene, Rico completed his law enforcement training and subsequently served as a Sergeant Inspector for the Nevada Taxi Cab Authority.

And he still enjoyed a number of impressive side jobs, working as both a bodyguard and a stuntman for Batman.

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But in 2016 he began to suffer from health problems with his heart and a series of concussions, which he bravely survived.

And the days when he takes things a little easier now that he’s in his 60s and an accident investigator for an insurance company.

Rico was a participant in American Gladiators in the early 90s


Rico was a participant in American Gladiators in the early 90sPhoto credit: YouTube


ClareFora is a Dailynationtoday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. ClareFora joined Dailynationtoday in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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