The following are highlights of a new Two Man Power Trip Of Wrestling podcast interview with WWE Hall Of Famer Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat:
On memories of Dusty Rhodes as the booker in the Carolinas: “I have mixed memories with Dusty. Part of it being business when I was actively wrestling and he was actively wrestling and then later on when we were both coaching and teaching at the WWE school for the up and coming wrestlers. Understanding the business part of it, he was doing a job he had to do and at the time that it was in the Carolinas back in 1984. When you are the booker or the match maker and you are also still actively wrestling, most of the guys that were bookers around most of the country at that time were no longer actively wrestling and not penciling themselves into matches. I didn’t come to realize this until a couple of months ago. I was in the Carolinas and Dusty was the new booker and Dusty was wrestling as a babyface. The way he was writing for me being one of the top baby-faces in the Carolinas and having a ton of matches against Ric Flair and it just being smart business, he was using me in a way that with him coming in, whoever I couldn’t beat he would beat. The fans would say well “Ricky couldn’t beat him, but Dusty could beat him.” So Dusty was so much better and it sort of left a bad taste in my mouth and that’s another reason why I left the Carolinas for the WWF.”
On his all-time favorite match with Ric Flair: “It wasn’t taped and we had wrestled each other so many times in Charlotte at the Coliseum. George Scott who was the booker at the time said I don’t care how you do it but you are going to put Flair over tonight. We’ve had so many one hour Broadways that we had to make it something hot. Going sixty minutes all the time, twenty-five or thirty minutes would really shock these people. But we ended up going fifty-five minutes plus and the fans were thinking we were going to go with a draw again. We had one minute left in the match before it was going to become a draw and here comes (Steamboat) making his comeback, I’m pinning Flair over and over again, with fifth-teen seconds left and Flair in the corner I charge him, he lifts my feet up and puts his feet on the second rope in the corner and the ref counts three as the announcer is counting 5,4,3..two seconds left and Flair wins by cheating with his feet on the ropes. There was a lull in the building with the fans looking at us and then they just erupted and started throwing stuff at Flair and Flair looked at me and said “we got them tonight” and rolled out of the ring.”
On adapting to different in-ring styles: “I learned early on as a babyface you had adapt to their style. Ravishing Rick Rude had his own style and his own way with a little bit of some Ric Flair-isms. But I always learned to adapt myself. A lot of guys would say that I was like a damn chameleon. It doesn’t matter who you are in the ring with, you can adjust and adapt. I could have great matches with Blackjack Mulligan, with him at 6’8′ 340 pounds and who was nowhere near the pace of a Rick Rude or Randy Savage, same as Greg Valentine, he worked very much like his father.”
On knowing you have chemistry with your opponent: “I would say yes, but I don’t know how many guys would be able to agree with me. There are certain guys that you know when you lock up with each other that after the first couple of minutes you know there is something there . But it’s a double edged sword because believe me there were a couple of guys that we locked up and couple of minutes later I didn’t want to be in the ring with him. You can feel greatness in the ring. You can get two guys that gel together and it’s just like poetry or a work of art.”
On Jake “The Snake” Roberts and the infamous DDT on Saturday Night’s Main Event: “Pulling the mat away and exposing the cement floor and being dropped in the DDT is very dangerous and it ended up being dangerous for me that night. I’m going to say it was a timing issue. If my memory serves me right whenever Jake would suck you in and pull you underneath his arm he would always look at the crowd for a moment and then drop you. In that moment you show that this is the end for this guy and he would have a little snicker on his face and a little bit of an attitude and then drop you. But as soon as he sucked me in he dropped me and I was waiting for that pause. The unfortunate thing that happened is that what everybody suspects when he does do the move YES when it happened my head did meet the cement and they took me away with a bad concussion. Part of my head swelled up so bad and ballooned out and I know I got in front of the camera with it but I cannot find any pictures of what my face looked like because it looked distorted.”
On the rematch that never happened with “Macho Man” Randy Savage at WrestleMania IV: “In the locker room I was looking at the brackets. Randy of course goes on to win the championship. In the first round I had Greg Valentine and I was just assuming I’m going to get a win over him and Randy and I will have a return from the WrestleMania 3 match and the fans will be very very curious in wanting to see that. It was a big surprise to me that it never came out that way. I never went to Vince or any of the upper people in the company to ask why because I wasn’t that kind of guy. I always felt that whatever I was asked to do that my ability in the ring would speak for itself. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of politics in our business and there were guys that have the boo-hoo face because they weren’t getting there hand raised that night. Wins or loses didn’t matter to me, my worry was did the match get over? That was my priority. So I didn’t know who was going to win the championship, I just knew I wasn’t. I thought I would be with Randy in the second round and return the honors and that we were going to tear it down and GOD help the ones that follow that match.”
Check out the complete interview at Podomatic.com.