The SmarK Rant for Coliseum Video presents Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat
This should hopefully provide a better viewing experience than the Ken Patera Story, even though the Patera video did gangbusters for the blog.
Released 05.02.86, back before the IC title reign, when he had only quit the sport to open a gym, like, twice at most.
Hosted by Gorilla Monsoon, hosting another entire program dedicated to a single individual in the outstanding WWF home video series.
Intercontinental title: Greg Valentine v. Ricky Steamboat
From MSG on 06.21.85, as Steamboat controls with KARATE to start, and fights off Valentine’s attempts at an armbar with a back kick. DID YOU KNOW: Ricky Steamboat actually owns and operates a gym, according to Gorilla. That is completely new information to me! Valentine hides in the corner while Steamboat threatens him with more karate and karate-adjacent martial arts, and then hits a series of kicks in the corner and a chop for two. Bodypress gets two. Finally Valentine beats on Steamboat with forearms in the corner, which Mean Gene notes is “rough housing, street fighting, a real pier six!” Yeah, Daddy-O! I’m hip and can dig the lingo! 24 Skiddoo! Steamboat chops him down again for two, but tries a splash and lands on the knees, allowing Greg to drop a knee on him and take over. We’re clipped to Hammer working the knee, but Steamboat reverses a figure-four into a cradle for two. He follows with an enzuigiri, but tries a slam and Valentine falls on top for two. Steamboat bumps to the floor while Jimmy Hart calls him “Karate Kid” in a dated reference that defied the odds and came ALL THE WAY back again to relevance 30 years later. They slug it out on the apron as Steamboat has had enough, and they trade shots back in the ring before Steamboat wins that with chops and Valentine does a Flair Flop. Another chop gets two as the crowd is losing their damn minds. Steamboat chops him down again and goes to the top with the flying bodypress, but Valentine lands in the ropes. Hammer with a backdrop suplex and he drops the Hammer on him for two. Steamboat escapes another figure-four and makes the comeback again with more KARATE, putting Greg on the floor with the enzuigiri (which was done more like Inoki’s version here), and Greg is out cold and can’t beat the count at 11:41 aired. A fantastic opener to the tape. 1 for 1.
The Body Shop with special guest Ricky Steamboat, as the Body informs him that kung fu is illegal, especially those closed fists to the lar-nix.
Meanwhile, Mean Gene joins Ricky Steamboat at the Temple of Ching-Lau, as Steamboat flashes back to training tests against random ninjas on the Bridge of Serenity, connected to the Garden of Tranquility, which was apparently at the behest of the monks who run the place. For his final test, he has to fight more ninjas, most of whom are wearing sneakers, and apparently the head monk thinks this is pretty rad and awards him the black jacket for their order. Hopefully that sets up a rap battle with the rich fat kid camp. This of course leads to…
Ricky Steamboat v. Brutus Beefcake
Yes, only a battle with ninjas in the Garden of Tranquility could possibly prepare Steamboat for a battle with Brutus Beefcake in Toronto. Much like a ninja, Beefcake attacks him from behind and chokes him out on the apron, and then pulls up the kimono like a hockey jersey and beats him down before slamming him and putting the boots to him. Steamboat fights back and Beefcake clotheslines him down again and drops a forearm for two. Beefcake beats on him in the corner, but Steamboat fights back with KARATE and we’re clipped to Steamboat getting more karate, but Beefcake hits a german suplex for two. So Beefcake uses his own karate and then gets bored of that and chokes him out in the corner instead. Thank god that Steamboat had the Garden of Tranquility training or else he might be dead by now. Beefcake slams him on the floor and back in for a piledriver attempt from Brutus, but Steamboat backdrops out of it and makes the comeback. Ricky with the neckbreaker and he goes up with the flying bodypress, but that only gets two despite the house lights going up. So Steamboat beats on him with chops, and then dodges a blind charge, but Johnny V trips up Steamboat in the corner and Brutus falls on top for the pin and the house lights go up again. But then the ref immediately waves THAT off, so Beefcake throws him over the top, and Steamboat skins the cat and rolls him up for the real pin at 11:15 aired. Match took a while to get going but the finish was crazy fun. 2 for 2.
Meanwhile, on TNT, Magnificent Muraco and Mr. Fuji talk about the ELEMENT OF SURPRISE with Vince, as they like to torture the fans by hurting their favorites. So Vince throws it to the famous angle where Muraco is facing Steamboat on TV and Fuji interferes to hang Steamboat with his own belt, because Muraco was offended by someone else claiming to be a great wrestler from Hawaii. Muraco brags about how they’re at the top of the mountain, and Vince notes that there’s only one way to go from there. Then Muraco notes that Steamboat loves blond haired blue eyed women, but he’s got some “fat broads” that would blow Steamboat’s mind. An amazing promo. 3 for 3.
Ricky Steamboat v. Mr. Fuji
From Championship Wrestling, as Steamboat immediately attacks the Fuj and chokes him out with the belt, then follows with an atomic drop, but Fuji goes to the kidneys to put him down. Steamboat fights back, but Fuji uses his own karate expertise to put Steamboat down again, and follows with the dreaded nerve pinch. Steamboat fights out of that with chops and goes up with the flying bodypress, but that only gets two. He tries a splash and hits the knees, but Fuji tries an atomic drop and Steamboat flips out of it and cradles for the pin at 4:10. I mean, for a 4 minute TV match, this was a hell of a deal. 4 for 4. And then of course Muraco waddles out while Steamboat is celebrating in the aisle, breaking a chair over his head and spitting on him. Bruno’s completely unaffected reaction to this kind of undercuts the moment.
Magnificent Muraco v. Ricky Steamboat
We’re at the Cap Center, which I always like because it’s brightly lit when they do the house shows. Steamboat chops him down and gets a series of slams to chase him to the floor. Back in, they do the test of strength, but Steamboat slams him more and Muraco bails to the floor and lands on the announce table as Gorilla gives him shit. Back in, Muraco decides to hide in the corner and suckers Dragon into attacking, but Ricky fights him off anyway until the idiot ref grabs Steamboat’s arm, and Muraco takes over. Muraco with the [redacted] legsweep and he catapults Steamboat under the ropes, giving us some primo Steamboat babyface selling. Muraco goes up with the ASIATIC SPIKE and clotheslines Dragon again before getting his own series of slams. He tosses Steamboat, who is unable to skin the cat at this point. So then Muraco finds a woman who is yelling at him at ringside and then drops Steamboat on the railing right in front of her. Steamboat fights to the apron and Muraco clotheslines him back into the ring, only for Steamboat to fight back with his own clothesline. Muraco tries going to the top and Steamboat slams him off and makes the comeback with more slams. Atomic drop sends Muraco to the apron, as he hangs himself in the ropes and Steamboat beats him down to the floor. So Steamboat brings him in front of that same fan and beats on him, setting up a flying chop to the apron. Muraco takes his great bump where does a Flair Flop on the apron and lands on the floor, and they head back in as Steamboat suplexes him back in. Which is impressive given that Muraco was in Free Willy territory in 1985. Steamboat slugs away on the mat and the referee pulls him off AGAIN, which is complete bullshit. So Steamboat goes to the top with the flying chop and Fuji has to interfere to save. Steamboat chops him down, but Muraco used the distraction to load up his foreign object, and that knocks out Steamboat for the pin at 12:15. AWESOME match. 5 for 5.
Piper’s Pit with special guest Ricky Steamboat, as Piper claims that kung fu is just CHEATING, so Steamboat calls him “Rodney” and Piper gets triggered.
Ricky Steamboat v. Davey Boy Smith
From the Wrestling Classic PPV, in the first round of the tournament. They trade hiptoss reversals to start and Steamboat gets a backslide for two. Smith with a press slam for two. Another one gets two, and Davey goes to a facelock, but Steamboat reverses to a suplex and then hits the knees on a slam attempt. Smith dropkicks him to the ropes, but he charges and lands on his nuts, so the ref calls for the bell at 2:57. He’s FOOKED. Short but fun. 6 for 6.
Ricky Steamboat v. Randy Savage
From the second round of the Wrestling Classic tournament. Savage attacks to start and that backfires on him, as Steamboat sends him to the floor and they brawl out there. Back in the ring, Savage slugs away in the corner, but Steamboat takes him to the floor with a headscissors and follows with an atomic drop. Back in, Steamboat chops him down, but Savage hits him with a backdrop suplex and goes to the top for the double axehandle. Steamboat catches him with KARATE on the way down and chops Savage to the apron, and then suplexes him back into the ring. Ricky with the flying bodypress, but that only gets two. Savage bails to the apron, finds the foreign object, and then blocks a Steamboat suplex by knocking him out for the pin at 3:30. Another short match, but this was all action. 7 for 7.
And that’s the tape! A perfect sweep, actually. Yeah, this only covered a very early and specific time in Ricky’s WWF career, but it’s all killer and no filler. Thumbs up.