Sunday, August 27, 2017

The Final Ride of Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat

Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat is one of the greatest wrestlers of all time.  A perennial babyface in all the documentaries and interviews I have watched or books I have read I have never heard anyone say anything bad about Steamboat in anyway.  In fact everyone praises how much they enjoyed wrestling Steamboat and how good he was in the ring.

On August 24, 1994 at Clash of the Champions XXVIII  in Cedar Rapids, Iowa Steamboat defeated "Stunning" Steve Austin to win the United States Championship.  During the match Steamboat injured his back, he managed to wrestle at house shows the next four days defeating Austin at each one.  Unfortunately the injury was too severe and signaled the end of Steamboats in ring career.  Or did it?

In the years that followed Steamboat would show up in wrestling in different rolls for TNA, Ring of Honor, and various independents, but he never stepped in the ring.  In 2005 he returned to the WWE as a road agent.  He made it known that he would like to come out of retirement in 2006 at WrestleMania to have a match with Ric Flair, I really wish that, that would have happened.

Even though he didn't wrestle Flair he did step back into the ring for the first time in almost 15 years, at WrestleMania XXVI teaming with "Rowdy" Roddy Piper & Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka losing to Chris Jericho in a three one on handi-capped match.

Steamboat looked amazing!  He literally looked like he never lost a step sinking in those deep arm drags, skinning the cat, coming off the top rope, launching himself over the top rope to the floor!  Amazing!

The next night on Monday Night Raw, April 6, 2009 in Houston, Texas Steamboat teamed with CM Punk, Jeff Hardy, Johcn Cena, & Rey Mysterio to defeat Jericho, Edge, Kane, Matt Hardy & The Big Show.

On April 26, 2009 at the Backlash pay-per-view in Providence, Rhode Island, Steamboat stepped in the ring with Chris Jericho losing in twelve and a half minutes.  Once again Steamboat looked phenomenal in the ring.

In June Steamboat started working select house shows wrestling Sheamus, Drew McIntyre, and Chris Jericho.  He won all but his match with Jericho in Japan on July 8, 2009.  In August he teamed with his son Richie defeated Hiram Tua and Orlando Colon at WWC Summer Madness in Puerto Rico.
Richie Steamboat
Steamboat would next compete in the ring on June 18, 2010 once again teaming with Richie at FCW's Father Day Salute in Ft. Myers defeating The Dudebusters.  This is Steamboat's last match to date, and as it's been seven years it's safe to say it was his last.

The Dudebusters: Trent Barreta & Caylen Croft
No one in wrestling has ever returned to the ring after a 15 year layoff looking as good as Steamboat did.  It would have been nice to have seen one of those matches in person or at least released on home video.

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Later Readers!

The Matches

April 5, 2009 WrestleMania XXVI Houston, Texas
with "Rowdy" Roddy Piper & Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka was defeated by Chris Jericho

April 6, 2009 RAW Houston, Texas
with CM Punk, Jeff Hardy, John Cena, & Rey Mysterio Jr. defeated Chris Jericho, Edge, Kane, Matt Hardy & The Big Show

April 26, 2009 Backlash Providence, Rhode Island
defeated by Chris Jericho

June 6, 2009 WWE House Show Pensacola, Florida
defeated Sheamus

June 13, 2009 WWE House Show Binghamton, New York
defeated Drew McIntyre

June 14, 2009 WWE House Show Hersey, Pennsylvania
defeated Drew McIntyre

July 3, 2009 WWE House Show San Diego, California
defeated Drew McIntyre

July 8, 2009 WWE House Show Tokyo, Japan
was defeated by Chris Jericho

August 1, 2009 WWE House Show Cape Cod, Massachusetts
defeated Drew McIntyre

August 2, 2009 WWE House Show Hyannis, Massachusetts
defeated Drew McIntyre

August 15, 2009 World Wrestling Council, Bayamon, Puerto Rico
with Richie Steamboat defeated Hiram Tua & Orlando Colon

June 18, 2010 Florida Championship Wrestling, Ft. Myers, Florida
with Richie Steamboat defeated The Dudebusters: Caylen Croft &  Trent Barreta