Former FCW Heavyweight Richie Steamboat was the latest guest on the Pancakes and Powerslams Show. He had much to share about the Hall of Fame career of his father, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, as well as his time in FCW. Here are some highlights.
On watching tapes of old matches to hone his craft:
“To know where you’re going, you have to know where you’ve been. In professional wrestling, even are far back as the 50s and the 60s, understanding the business and how far it’s come, and the changes that have happened over the time… Going back to the territory days and watching film, I got a lot of my passion from [that]. As a young kid (I was born in 1987), and my dad retired in ’94, so I didn’t get a lot of years to watch my father live on TV, so I would go back through old footage and watch things. Not only his wrestling match, I would watch The Four Horsemen, Tully Blanchard, Harley Race, all the legends of our sport.”
On being told to wear a mouthguard in Japan:
“I was 21 at the time, maybe 20. What a life-changing experience that wasn’t a culture shock for me. Not just the wrestling aspect of it, but the whole Japanese culture. I have Japanese in my blood, my grandmother is full Japanese, and it was my first experience in Japan. What a wonderful time I had with the culture and the fans, and the friends that I made there. But the wrestling is much different than it is here in the states. It’s on the front page of the paper, next to the sumo wrestling and the baseball. It’s a real sport.
I’ll give you and example. The first thing they asked me when I got to the [Pro Wrestling Noah] dojo, I put my bags down, they asked me if I had a mouthpiece. Because every single night, every show I went to, there [were] multiple people getting knocked out, shoot knocked out every single night, and it is legit.”
Why he was forced to retire from in-ring competition:
“The [back] injury couldn’t have happened at a worse time in my career. It was really getting to the point where things were taking off, all the hard work I had done for so many years was paying off. I was having a feud with Kassius Ohno on NXT, and I injured my back doing a moonsault. I landed wrong and I lost feeling in everything from my chin down. I could still move everything, but I couldn’t feel anything. Over the next few days, feeling started to come back to me, and I wrestled through it. I worked several more weeks and really kind of kept my mouth shut about it because I was given this position and I wanted to make the most of it, I didn’t want to give up that opportunity.
And it got to the point where my son at the time was like two or three and I couldn’t even pick him up. I sat down and talked to the WWE doctors to discuss things with then and I flew up to Pittsburgh to see some specialists. The best idea for my career and my future would be to kind of put the breaks on for a little bit and get some things fixed in my back.”
On a possible return to the ring:
“I’ve always had that itch for wrestling. It’s always been missing from my life… I feel good, my back feels good. I’ve really been listening to my body and how I feel. I weigh about 215. I love the sport of professional wrestling, I love all the fans, and I appreciate everyone so much and everything that they’ve given to me. Their cheers and everything that goes along with the sport. I just feel like I need to give back. I don’t know, we’ll see what happens.”
Steamboat also talked about Ricky Steamboat’s return to WrestleMania XXV, wrestling dozens of house show matches against Chris Jericho during WM and Backlash season, and more.