Name: Santino "Cross" Recoba
Nicknames: The Fox
Tagline: The Man Worth A Thousand Bullets
Birthplace: Cicero, Illinois
Birthdate: 22nd July 1987
Current Place of Residence: Las Vegas, Nevada
Entrance Music: Fix Up, Look Sharp vs Genesis - DJ Hero
Wrestling Style: Brian Kendrick
Cross feels like he operates above the law, what he can’t buy gets to meet his ‘minder’. His mind has been trained to look at the world as a series of negotiations and he approaches each fight as if it were an acquisition. Despite not being brought up like the only child he has appropriated an egocentric view of the world in which he may serve as part of an organisation but the ultimate means and end of an operation are worked out around how to best serve his own needs
He has a tendency to display extreme narcissistic tendencies outside the ring, teased by his peers for his subconscious habit of looking in every reflective surface this has lead some to believe it is pure vanity on his part. This is only a half-truth. Whilst a certain vanity exists it also has stemmed through the curiosity raised by others for being a fair headed Sicillian American. Called ‘Hagen’ by elder kids at school, as well as accusations of being adopted, he has developed a certain distrust to his own looks. Looking more ‘Americanised’ than his siblings and other relatives it has shut as many doors as it has opened them.
Cross is the youngest of the three children but the only one to have followed in his father’s footsteps, this has lead to a ceasefire relationship with his elder brother and made him over-protective of his sister. However it has also made him assume the role of ‘leader’ over the other two and this sometimes means that his mind is not totally focused on the task at hand.
Cross has an almost ‘shag’ haircut, looking like a throwback to a well-kept sixties beatnik. His hair often tousled into his face and framing his well defined cheekbones and thus giving him an angelic look. His hair hides a small scar in his hairline from a beating as a teenager. His nose is unusually aquiline for an Italian-American , he has a semi-muscular build that was caused through his time spent playing high school football. Still only twenty-one he has still got an unusually smooth skinned face.
Cross favours wearing a crucifix (what child with the middle name Croccifixio couldn’t?) around his neck at all times. Out of business of any kind he normally relaxes in baseball-style tops and old sixties style tops to go with jeans and Chelsea boots , Doc Martens or high-tops. If on assignment or in business he favours dark coloured suits with understated ties and shirts.
Cross keeps the crucifix and wears black tights, he tapes his knuckles up to prevent damage to his hands, as you will see they are his most prized possession.
Anything except most garage and commercial pop. When this biographer got information the artists on rotation were: NoFX , Otis Redding, Dean Martin, Frazer King, The Bromptons, BB King, Charlie Parker, Small Faces, The Smiths, and Nina Simone.
Cross lists the stock market, following the unions, and his ‘side-businesses’ as the main time constraints out of the ring.
- Cross has been raised to be extremely streetwise, this was a lesson taught from his grandfather, his father and uncles, through to his godfather and family friends. Therefore he is wary of anything offered to him that seems too good to be true.
- Thanks to his background in playing football at high school Cross has become very agile, a great though not outstanding wide receiver he learnt to never be caught off-balance and thus he has an excellent countering system.
- Cross knows the right way in which to intimidate people, he is subtle and polite however this has stead him well in times of pressure and looks to try and get under people’s skin.
- Throughout his tender years he has learnt the art of picking his battles and delegation. If he feels that someone is not playing on a level playing-field he calls in his associate, Aspanu Guilano who normally evens out the odds a little.
- Cross’ methods of retribution are…methodical to state it politely. A master of such retribution his ring style reflects a methodical dismantlement of his opponent however this may give way to brutality at times depending upon his feelings towards his opponent.
- Cross isn’t the largest man in the world and sometimes forgets this. If he is caught without Guilano around he can be vulnerable to being overpowered.
- Cross also has a God complex in residence at times, this has meant that in conjunction with his mouth he has managed to get into situations beyond his control.
- Cross’ strong family ties work for and against him, his sister is an easy way to get into his head and his wariness of this weakness has meant that he sometimes displays paranoid fantasies about danger for her even when none is around.
- Cross’ temper isn’t stereotypically Sicilian but the capacity for it to turn like that is there if the other person knows how to enrage him. Once this happens it is not always clear in his head what to do in order to solve the problem at hand in a rational manner.
Top 20 Wrestling Moves
Knife Edge Chop
Spinning Back Kick
Running Elbow Drop
Cravat -> Knee Strikes to the face -> Snapmare -> Running Dropkick to the back of the head
Side Slam w/ Elbow Drop
Running Knee Lift to a cornered opponent
Slingshot Elbow Drop
Turnaround Springboard Dropkick
Top Rope Elbow Drop
A Million Lira - Over the top rope dropkick (Jumps over the top rope to the outside for a dropkick)
The Skim - Osaka Stunner (Inverted Facelock Suplex Stunner)
Staten Island Drop - DDT on the Ring Apron
Crucifix Lift to Neckbreaker
Reverse Huracanrana with the opponent siiting on the top turnbuckle
Inverted DDT -> Grounded Dragon Sleeper w/ Body Scissors
Leg Drop Bulldog
Shoulder Jawbreaker -> Leaping Reverse STO
An Offer You Can't Refuse - Crossface w/ Body Scissors
The Sicillian Typewriter - Straight Jacket Shiranui
The Recoba’s came across from Sicily in the seventies. With the Chicago Outfit breathing it’s last breath and with Momo Giancama heading the family he knew he was in a bad way and sent for reinforcements. The guys heading the commission realised that Momo was too Hollywood and too public to be this far up and the hit was out. He fled to Mexico, Paul Ricca called upon his old village to provide the soldatos for their next move and with this came Pippi Recoba. A skilled wheelman he brought with him a wife and a baby boy, Turi. His wife, Sophia, was left to raise Turi as Pippi found his way within the Chicago family. Rising up to head his own regime he was shipped off to New York to the "Dapper Don" John Gotti and worked as wheelman to his number two, Sammy "The Bull" Gravano. With this around 1982 he had already left behind another child, his only daughter, Maria, and knew that the time had come to try and escape from the family, with Gotti now public enemy number one and the trap from the FBI set for the top guys he knew that it was imperative to get out whilst he could. Trapped by his commitments he was put away for three years for attempted robbery, a sentence that was lenient but with the knowledge that they wanted him to turn on his bosses. Knowing the Henry Hill route was almost certainly a passageway to death he agreed but sent on false information upon his release in late 1986 and within a month of his release Sophia was pregnant again, this time with their last and youngest, Santino, with the family complete they all moved within six months of the newborn to New York.
Santino barely knew his father because at the age of one he watched his father leave the house for the last time. Pippi was trapped by his own quick wit, with his bosses wondering why the pressure seemed off but not quite trusting him they fed Pippi with false information. They were scheduled to meet at Roberto’s, a family run business in Little Italy. However Pippi , by cruel fate, was told this in the hope he’d pass it onto the FBI, unfortunately Pippi’s misinformation backfired on him when he sent them to a hotel that was known as a hotspot for ‘Mafia’ activity. In a cruel twist of fate this transpired to be the actual meeting place and several mid-ranking Capo’s were arrested and prosecuted under Giuliani’s lovable RICO act. The end was up for Pippi, alone in Roberto’s he assumed he was early. An empty restaurant on a Sunday night was nothing unusual with families at home to rest and soak up the free time before the working week started again on Monday and it has always been open to conjecture as to what happened next. One thing is for certain, Pippi never came home and no body has ever been found.
Pippi’s bosses tried to palm off Sophia with stories of him being deported in violation with his parole stipulations and she could not make a scene. With Turi, only nine, Maria, only four and Santino, a babe at one still, she couldn’t risk their lives as well as her own so she went back to her relatives in Chicago taking the rest of the family with her and hoping to forge her own American Dream with the children.
Santino attended a state elementary school and was a generally happy-go-lucky child. The apple of his family’s eye he looked forward to visits from his Uncle Bruno, his dead father’s brother. Bruno would indulge the child in all his worst habits, junk food, music, and even at his tender age, an appreciation of the female form. He would often stay for a week at a time on a trip from New York, never calling ahead, never specifying how long he’d be there for , just arriving and indulging a fatherless family with a man’s touch. Santino was ill one time at school when Bruno was down and with his mother working six, sometimes seven, days a week in order to bring in money for the family, he simply excused himself and headed home. He caught Bruno as he had just gotten back, it isn’t clear what Bruno did or what Santino saw but it is known that what he saw changed his destiny forever.
At Junior High Aspanu Guilano came into the life of Cross. A fellow son of an immigrant family they bonded over their disparate roots and lack of acceptance from the large majority of students. His seemingly ‘All-American’ appearance could not detract from his distinctive name and so would often be met with slurs about the Mafia and nicknamed the ‘Albino Guinea’ by his peers. Aspanu leapt in to save Cross from a sure beating at the hands of a preppie who took exception to Cross possession of a face with an intent to use it. With this came a friendship that has lasted to this day.
Bonded by this isolation they grew up in front of the wrestling , trips to see Bruno would always be met with talk of how great Muraco and Sammaratino were, icons in the Italian neighbourhoods Aspanu and Cross would often shoot the shit talking about how great it’d be to once day be at the Garden headlining.
It was at Junior High that Cross started to play football, looking for a way to lose the denigration of his detractors. He made a good start to his football career and made the team at starting wide receiver and things looked up for him. Around this time, in the summer before his senior year, Bruno reappeared in Chicago, this time on an ‘indefinite holiday’ from New York. Cross hadn’t forgotten what he saw all those years before and mentioned it to his Uncle.
Bruno didn’t take it too well, the secret out the bag and with the threat of unwelcome gossip in the community he warned Cross away from it and the teenager seemed to accept this warning. When Cross went to the high school he again made wide receiver and seemed to be off to a bright start on the field. Off the field he was an above average student, displaying a great aptitude towards figures and business and was seen by his teachers as a good all-round prospect. His peers still didn’t let the slurs slip though and constant beatings and harassment were still prevalent. In a local High School derby match Cross caught a catch badly and was tackled in mid-flight, the resulting injury, a fractured forearm, was further aggravated by unrelenting beatings whilst he recuperated and this damaged his arm to an extent where a career in football was deemed too dangerous.
Without an outlet with which to forget about his troubles Cross floundered for a while and messed up his SAT exams which put paid to dreams of an Ivy League college. With this knowledge he went back to Bruno, who three years later was on another ‘holiday’, the reason for these vacations now known to Cross, the youngster demanded he be let in to the action and Bruno, realising his youngest nephew had no better prospects, finally relented and told Cross he would be sent to an associate to learn the ropes somewhere where his name wouldn’t attract too much attention, the heat from Pippi’s ‘indiscretions’ seen as a bad sign. Bruno himself had lost his given surname upon his arrival to America in a bid to avoid problems in adjusting to the environment and to his American neighbours was known as ‘Bill’.
Cross graduated from High school and was sent away to his father’s place of birth for a two month vacation. This gave Bruno time to smooth out the finer details in his plans. For Cross this visit back to the homeland meant he got to meet his paternal and maternal grandparents for the first time, he improved his Italian to near perfect fluency and kept his head down.
Upon his arrival back to America he was immediately sent to Las Vegas to join up with Alberto Costello, an ageing Don who had been friends with Cross’ family back to the times in Sicily. Having come to America in the fifties as a teenager he had established a wide reach of power that swept from California to Nevada, the once neutral state having been awarded to Costello in the late eighties after the whole mess with Gotti. At first he simply worked at the hotel and in the casino, he was fast-tracked from dealer to the floor manager within eight months and although this caused unrest upon his work colleagues he managed to always make money for Costello, at times underpaying himself in order to look better, and thus the promotion seemed legitimate. At the age of nineteen he was making the money a college graduate would make within in their first five years of working and life seemed good. It was at the juncture that Costello started to ask Cross to supervise ‘ancillary’ jobs , as he put it.
Cross was put under the tutelage of Tony Zaccardo, capo to a regime of Costello’s responsible for tasks such as debt collecting as well as making the rounds at businesses around the Nevada/California area in order to make sure that Costello’s business interests were being protected well.
With the New Year of 2008 Costello looked at his young charge for ideas on how to enter new markets for business. With a high profile scandal last year the professional wrestling industry looked ripe for the taking. But in what way? This is where Cross had an initial entry strategy to make the business open for the family and lead to other ventures…