Ricky Steamboat Elaborates On WWE Turning Down His Heel Pitch

WWE Hall of Famer Ricky Steamboat was recently interviewed by Ring Rust Radio. You can check out the full interview at this link, and check out submitted highlights below:

 

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Ring Rust Radio: Since leaving your in-ring career behind, you have focused on working with younger talent, including hosting a PCW wrestling seminar on May 5 in Bell Gardens, California. How much pride do you take in bestowing your knowledge on the next generation of wrestlers?

Ricky Steamboat: Right now in my life, it’s what I do a lot of and happy to do it. I remember the first couple of years when I was coming up through the ranks, some of the old-timers would take me aside after the match and critique me. I understand today’s guys, a lot of guys when they get in the ring, they’re looking across the ring at a guy with the same amount of ring time. Some guys six months, some guys one year, some guys two or three years, but when I was coming up, most nights I was looking across the ring at a 15- or 20-year journeyman. Every night he was taking me to school and he knew what his position was and it was to pass the torch and hopefully by doing this, he would help to keep the business going. Help bring up guys that were green and rookies and show them the way. I find out at this point in time in my life, this is what I’m doing. I understand that wrestling now has changed as opposed to what it was when I worked, but I still think you can apply some of the things that I talk about and just put you 2018 twist on it and still make it work. It is a lot of pride for me and it’s a way for me giving back. A way I am passing the torch and hopefully some talent will look back at the day I was there teaching them, reflect on that and hopefully they will understand how it helped.

 

Ring Rust Radio: A lot of people point to you as the perfect model for what a great babyface is supposed to be in wrestling, and you're one of the few wrestlers who never turned and went to the dark side, so to speak. Is there any part of you that wishes you would have had even a brief run as a heel, and how do you feel you would've fared in that role?

Ricky Steamboat: I’ll tell you a true story. Back in ‘91, I went to Vince and Pat Patterson and asked to do a turn and they both shut me down without hesitation. They said it would not work, I was the premier babyface, and I told them that I’ve been in the ring with the best feels in the business. I actually believed that I could work as a heel because I’ve been in the ring with the best of them. They said bottom line, it would probably hurt your career and they shut it down. Now, at the time guys I was a bit turned off. I was a bit disgruntled because I wanted to be able to work as a heel. At that time, I had been in the business I was approaching around 17 years and I knew I was get into the twilight of my career and I just wanted to be able to experience working on the dark side. Being able to feel what that’s like and I was upset about not being able to do it at the time. Looking back at it now, I’m happy and pleased that they did talk me out of it and not allow it. Like you said earlier, one of the few guys in the business that wrestled close to 20 years actively and stayed the same way as he started in the business. There’s just a few of us that have done that and I’m happy to say that I’m one of those few guys now. I reflect back and I’m happy that I was turned down.

 

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