Ricky Steamboat Discusses Flair Rivalry, Advice From Mr. Fuji, More


Ricky Steamboat took part in a Q&A at today’s Mid-Atlantic Fanfest. Here is a selection from the session, courtesy of Mike Johnson and Pwinsider.com…

Ross asked Steamboat of his memories of that match. He said that he gets asked about the trilogy of matches a lot but his favorite is the New Orleans bout as they got to go close to an hour and show what they can really do. The night in Chicago, he asked Scott what the plan was after weeks of Scott not telling him what the plan was. They had to start to think of a game plan. The show was underway and Scott didn’t know tell him the finish. Steamboat had so much nervous energy burned up by the time he found out. They had worked so much they just needed to worry about the last three moves. They spoke about that and separated and called the rest in the ring. Steamboat had to mentally and emotionally recover from finding out he was getting the belt so he wasn’t spent and blown up 5 minutes in. Ross knew before Steamboat did.

Ross said he saw Lance Russell this weekend and he’s a treasure and the only letdown this weekend is that Bob Caudle wouldn’t be here. He said as a fan, all he wanted was a photo with himself, Bob Caudle and Lance this weekend.

Ross brought up the Best of Three Falls bout. Ross said it was the bout that probably got George Scott fired. They didn’t promote the live aspect of the show and only drew 6 thousand in the Superdome. Ross got called in the office and was called out for not promoting tickets and the live event aspect. Ross said he was told not to. They talked about Flair submitting in e first fall and how it was smart booking since he was the challenger desperate to get the belt back submitting in the first fall. Steamboat said it was Flair’s idea. Ross said they didn’t do a lot of submission finishes.

At Wrestlewar 89, they decided to bring back the judges from the first Clash of Champions. Ross joked about the awful judges from the Flair-Sting bout and asked, “What the hell were we thinking?” They had Lou Thesz, Pat O’Connor and Terry Funk as judges in Nashville. Ross said they had a hell of a match that night. Steamboat agreed. He said all three were completely different from start to finish. Steamboat didn’t know they were doing the Terry Funk angle until he was walking up the aisle. Ross said that wasn’t good communication. They talked about who was booking then and decided it was “That stupid committee.” Ross said booking committees in theory is a good idea but when they cast, write and star in the stories, it won’t work.

Steamboat said the guy with the pencil is always go into be on top. Ross added, “and make the most money.” Ross said the most powerful weapon in wrestling was the eraser because they could change plans.

Steamboat said early in his career, old timers would take care of you if you liked you but if they didn’t, they would bloody you or knock you around and you dare not say anything about it. He said Mr. Fuji would always give him advice on things he can do better. Fuji said he wanted to show him a hold in the shower. He said if anyone gives him a problem in the ring, this is his equalizer. It’s called the five on two. The boys all knew what was coming and sure enough, Fuji grabbed his nuts and Steamboat screamed. He said that was his initation and he joked it always worked.

Steamboat then told a story about wrestling Flair in Mid-Atlantic at the old Charlotte Coliseum. They had done a 60 minute draw previously there. George Scott said to do something to get Ric hot and they don’t need to go 60. They can do it in 25 minutes or so. Ric says when it feels right he’ll beat Steamboat with his feet on the ropes. He expects it to be short but they end up going 58 minutes in or so. The fans know they go that long, it’s going to be a draw. They hit 59 minutes and Steamboat is going for a comeback as they count down with 10 second left, Flair covers him. They go 59:57 total. Steamboat said there was a lull in the crowd and suddenly fans start throwing all this stuff. Flair leaves the right but not before looking at Ricky and saying, “We got them tonight kid!”

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