About 15 years ago after he came out retirement, Ricky Steamboat engaged in a feud with Mick Foley in Ring of Honor. The feud was based on the two arguing which wrestling style was better – Steamboat’s pure wrestling style or Foley’s hardcore style.
Steamboat talked about Foley’s style and if he ever had to do anything crazy like that in the ring when he spoke to Wrestling Inc. on our WINCLY podcast.
“You need to have everything in this business, all the different styles. Foley, what he did every night and year after year really was hard on him physically,” stated Steamboat. “I’m glad I didn’t have to go down that path but that’s what made him different. It made him a star, a main event guy and a world champion.”
Steamboat was then asked if he ever had to do anything like what Foley did in a match.
“I remember when we were having cage matches and Superfly Snuka was the first to do this – both of us were doing dives off the top rope – but at MSG he did off the top of the cage onto Don Muraco. That’s another four feet up above the turnbuckle,” recalled Steamboat.
“Jimmy and I were pioneering a lot of stuff and these guys now-a-days, they’re taking it to different levels. I remember the first time I climbed the cage – it was almost like a challenge from Snuka. I said, ‘This is crazy. This is absolutely crazy!’ I went ahead and did it but I only did it a couple of times. It scared me half to death.
“But I didn’t really turn down anything [crazy asked of me] as anything approached to me by promotions logically made sense. They knew me and the kind of character I was. They didn’t ask me to have barbed wire wrapped around the ring and set it on fire. That’s not Ricky Steamboat.”
Speaking of fire, during Steamboat’s return to WWE in 1991 he was billed as “The Dragon” and spit fire. He discussed how that all came about.
“That was Vince wanting to repackage me and coming out in the dragon’s outfit. The company was taking a different turn on really specializing on who you are and trying to make the character different from the guy you were in the ring with,” Steamboat said before adding that when he was asked if he could learn to spit fire he thought to himself, ‘That would be so cool!’
“After doing it every night and not seeing the effects of it down the road. It got to be [rough] because I used kerosene in my mouth. A lot of guys may use alcohol or whatever but the guy that taught me – the company flew me down to Florida to this guy in the circus – he said use kerosene because it’s a dirty fuel but it really shows up well on TV because of the colors: the blues, the reds, the orange.”
“Doing it every night after night, you have that kerosene residue in your mouth. You’re burping and farting the smell of kerosene [laughs]. Back in the day when you’re younger and you’re lighting farts, but with me I’d be like the dragon blowing a flame about three feet.”
Steamboat will be at the Hamilton Comic-Con on October 19th and 20th. Other Superstars scheduled to be in appearance include Mick Foley, Ted DiBiase, Ricky Steamboat, Brutus Beefcake, the Godfather and Terri Runnels. For tickets and info please visit hamiltoncomiccon.com. Steamboat’s full interview with Wrestling Inc aired as part of today’s episode of our WINCLY podcast.
It can be heard via the embedded audio player at the bottom of this post. Featuring Steamboat discussing his memories of working Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, working with Randy Savage at WrestleMania 3, Andre The Giant’s spirit ahead of WrestleMania 3, which 80s heel he wished he’d have feuded with, how he spit his fireballs, the craziest thing he was ever asked to do, AEW’s launch, his 2009 feud with Chris Jericho and more.
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