As I sit down at the ZERO1 office in Tokyo, a week away from the most important fight of my life, I can't stop thinking about what got me to this point. The decisions I have made, the people I have hurt, and the lives I have affected.
There is no denying that the Kevin Steen that you see, and will see at Final Battle, is a product of my manipulations. I brought the Monster out in him two years ago, for reasons that were selfish. I was mad at the world. I hated myself but I put the blame on people that didn't deserve it. Namely the ROH fans and El Generico. I take full responsibility and I am sorry.
People ask me all the time, why Kevin Steen? Kevin wasn't just some random guy I chose to create a Monster with. I first met Kevin Steen in 2004 at a show in Quebec. He was so young, but oh so talented. It took me close to 25 minutes to beat him, but the victory wasn't the thing I remember the most on that first meeting. It was that I got a sense that he was angry inside. A Monster was dormant inside him. His eyes told his story. I never forgot that.
It took me six years to realize that the Evil in my heart is because of the things I did. Not anyone else. The bitterness inside was because of me. I was a Monster. I am Evil.
2011 has been a difficult year for me and I appreciate the leeway fans have given me. Your support and cheers mean a lot to me. It took a long time to convince the fans and the locker room that I am a changed man, but the Monster still lives in me. There is still Evil in my heart. But I think I can control it. Everyday is a struggle.
10 years ago, almost to the day, I walked into the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, a young 27 year old warrior ready to face the future. Confident, defiant, and focused. I was the ECW heavyweight champion of the World. But now, a decade later, I walk into that famous arena as a man fighting for not only MY future, but the future of Ring Of Honor.
ROH fans may cheer Kevin Steen, but your cheers are only justifying what this man is doing. By letting him back into ROH, it will start a chain of events that can only lead to the destruction of Ring Of Honor. If I lose and the Monster comes back to ROH, no one will be able to stop him. Not even Davey Richards.
Kevin will tell you that I pander to Jim Cornette, but he's wrong. Few people know that it was Jim Cornette that helped me out when I was just a youngster in pro-wrestling. He paved the way for WWF tryouts, stays in the old USWA in Memphis and WWC in Puerto Rico, and was a man I could look to for advice. I owe this to him. I owe this to the ROH lockeroom. And, even if you don't believe me, I owe this to you fans. Kevin Steen MUST be gone from ROH forever.
On December 23, I am going to do what I have to do to defeat Kevin. Jimmy Jacobs is there to be a referee, not for my sake, but so Kevin can not bully the ROH referees like he did at Final Battle 2010. I don't need anyone's help in this fight. This is my fight.
When I wake up on December 24 I will know what the future of Steve Corino holds. If I win, it will be a Rebirth of my career. One last chance at glory. And to do so, I know that I have to be Evil just one more time. I am prepared.
If I lose, the Destruction of not only Steve Corino, but ROH, begins. I can't let that happen.
Steve Corino vs. Kevin Steen...Rebirth Or Destruction...HELL HAS NO HONOR.
My name is Steve Corino and for one last night on December 23rd, I am EVIL.