As noted, WWE Hall Of Famer Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat recently spoke with our friend Raj Giri of WrestlingInc.com to promote his appearance at the PCW ULTRA's "May The 4th Be With You" show on Friday, May 4th, in Wilmington, CA. Featured below are some more highlights from the interview.
On not knowing his match with Randy Savage at WrestleMania 3 would have such a strong influence on the future of pro wrestling: "I did know [about winning the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania 3], yes. I was told by Vince [McMahon]. Of course, it's very rewarding, but truth be told, Randy and I never knew that it was going to escalate the way it has over the years and still be talked about 31 years later. We wanted to actually just steal the show that night."
On not working much with Savage prior to their WrestleMania 3 feud: "Randy and I never really got to work [prior to WrestleMania 3]. The first time was when we hooked up at WrestleMania, so we didn't have a chance to have a bunch of matches under our belt to get ready for the big show and try some stuff. Everything that was put together for the match was strictly based on our gut feeling on the story we were trying to tell. We tried to make it a championship match and that's the bottom line."
On the amount of pre-planning that went into the bout and how their false-finishes in the contest changed the genre forever: "I didn't realize it then, it was only later, that with the number of guys coming up and talking about the match, and I'm going back years later, and how we kind of changed the blueprint of how you put together a match because of all the false finishes in that match. And the false finishes to me is what made it a championship match. He's trying to hold onto the belt and I'm trying to win it from him. I think if my memory serves me, we had 21 false finishes in a match that went about 17 minutes. The hard part is when you're caught up in all the action, all the drama, and the story that you're trying to tell, is trying to remember 21 false finishes in the sequence that it was laid out. I was really stressed out before that match. I kept going through the match and all of the false finishes over and over and over in my mind, but, God, that was hard to do because customarily you would understand back then, a lot of the matches, we called it in the ring. Nothing was really set up from A to Z like this one. We took notes on a legal pad, a yellow legal pad, and, God, I can't remember how many steps we had, but once we got the match down, I'll give you an example, at night, I would get with Randy and say, 'okay, number 32 is this, this, and this. Tell me the rest of the match.' And he would go, 'number 33 is this, this, and this. 34 is…' and we would quiz each other back and forth, back and forth, just so we would have it."
On what he would've added had it been up to him: "If I was to add something to that match, it would have been this one moment to which I would have come off the top rope with my dive, which was my finish and I would have had a 1-2 count and Randy kick out just so the fans could have a little curve ball thrown in there. Back then, you never really prostituted your finish, but I think it would have fit. It would've worked. You see it sometimes in the main events today, a guy's finish, especially with two top guys, and the other guy kick out only later on in the match to be caught in the finish again and for it to work."
Check out more from the Ricky Steamboat interview at WrestlingInc.com.