Ricky Steamboat is widely regarded as one of the greatest babyfaces of all-time. However, if he had his way, that might not be the case.
According to Steamboat in a recent interview with Mike Mooneyham for The Post And Courier, Steamboat said that the WWF outright rejected his pitch turn heel. Steamboat said that fellow WWE Hall of Famer Pat Patterson explicitly told him that the idea would be a bad career move.
"Pat [Patterson] simply told me that it would probably ruin my career... I just wanted to experience what it felt like on the other side of the fence. As we all know, the heels have the most fun out there in the ring," said Steamboat.
According to Steamboat, he understood the importance of a change. If one has worked as a heel or a face for a long time and gotten stale, the change is usually made to freshen up the character.
"When you are a face for a long time and you turn heel, your stock value immediately goes up, especially if you're able to pull it off in the ring and on the mic. Then you ride that horse as long as you can. When it starts to falter, and when attendance drops, then you can turn back babyface. And your stock value goes up again For a year they'll boo you, and for a year they'll cheer you," said Steamboat.
Ricky's turn never came, and he's often remembered for being one of the last truly successful white-meat babyfaces.