Dearest Facebuster readers, due to some time constraints this afternoon, I want to apologize in advance for the dearth of substantive, fully formed, acerbic and cantankerous content in this post. However, I feel a sense of duty to act as the proverbial two Advils washed down with a bloody mary, chased by a schooner of lager, capped off by a growler of subtly potent Town Hall Brewery IPA (the Fritzer knows and soon the Rev. Von. Fury will too of where and what I am speaking) cure for this site's post-WrestleMania hangover by putting up some fresh content ...even as I am in the midst of grappling and coming to grips with a particularly unsettling recent development.
Folks, we're talking sprawled out on the couch, too kicked to lift the remote and flip the channel off of (or in my case "to") The Jenny Jones Show, particularly an episode
But I digress.
Based upon Ricky Steamboat's totally solid work against Chris Jericho at WrestleMania XXV and in convoluted eight man tag team action on Monday Night RAW after a FIFTEEN year absence from any in-ring competition that hopefully has encouraged over-compensated, under-talented lumbering stiffs at least twenty years the Dragon's younger like *cue up Undertaker voice* Batista, Mark Henry, Kane, The Great Khali, The Big Shew, Snitsky, Dolph Ziger, Cryme Time members Shad and JTG, Mike Knox, Kozlov, Ezekiel Jackson, Mr. Kennedy, The Miz, Santina/o Morella, Golddust, Paul Burchill, "The Innovator of flimsy Trash Can Lid and Cookie Sheet Related Violence" Tommy Dreamer, Jesse, Festus, Hawkins, Ryder and about sixteen of the nineteen divas currently on the active roster to think long and hard before climbing into the ring again and inevitability humiliating themselves and by association the company that frustratingly continues to keep him/her in the ranks of the gainfully employed, I think it is only fitting to further lay out the attributes that made/make Ricky Steamboat one of the greatest performers in the history of the business, as well as some intriguing minutiae.
Off the top of my head, these include:
- The deepest and most seamlessly executed arm drag.
- Egoless wrestling. Or if you prefer, a mastery of the art of giving and the art of taking punishment.
- Versatility: The ability to work both a technical/counter/mat-based style and a more of fast paced, high flying style.
- A body of work that includes some of the greatest rasslin' contests of all time with Ric Flair throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s culminating with their near flawless 1989 trilogy/wrestling clinic fought over the NWA World Heavyweight Wrestling Championship, not to mention epic battles with Randy Savage in 1987 and at WrestleMania III, The Dangerous Alliance (Rick Rude, Arn Anderson, Steve Austin, Bobby Eaton, and Larry Zbyszko) in WCW circa 1991/1992, Tully Blanchard at Starrcade 1984, and even Lex Luger at The Great American Bash 1989.
- Slightly less memorable and compelling but still totally solid feuds and matches with the likes of Jake Roberts, Don Muraco, and Jack and Jerry Brisco (along with tag team partner Jay Youngblood)
- An entire career spent as a babyface. That's right, not one heel turn/run in his 25+ year career. And an enduringly sympathetic one at that.
- He was a mainstay in the Mid Atlantic territory, one of the cornerstones responsible for the revitalization of that promotion in the late 1970s and thus instrumental in putting promoter Jim Crockett in the position to move for national expansion of his territory and consolidation of the National Wrestling Alliance (Steamboat would defect to the WWF before this plan could be fully actualized).
Oh, and while this clip features *yawn* yet another late 1980s/early 1990s "Total Package" Lex Luger heel turn (if my memory and count are accurate, I count at least seven face/heel turns between Luger's debut in 1986 through 1991), it also includes quite possibly the most violent clotheslines you'll ever witness.