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Wrestling / Ricky Steamboat

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"Competition has always been good."

Richard Henry Blood, Sr. (born February 28, 1953) is a retired American professional wrestler, better known by his ring name Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat. He has worked for brands like All Japan Pro Wrestling, AWA, WCW and WWE. Known for being one of the few wrestlers to have stayed a Face for his entire twenty year career.

Among his in-ring achievements, he is a former 2x NWA (Mid-Atlantic) Television Champion, former 2x WCW Television Champion, former 5x NWA (Mid-Atlantic) Tag Team Champion (3x with Paul Jones, 1x with Dino Bravo and 1x with Jay Youngblood), former 6x NWA (Mid-Atlantic/WCW) World Tag Team Champion (5x with Jay Youngblood and 1x with Paul Jones), former 2x WCW World Tag-Team Champion (1x with Dustin Rhodes and 1x with Shane Douglas), former 2x NWA United States Heavyweight Champion, former 4x WWF United States Heavyweight Champion, former NWA (Mid-Atlantic) Heavyweight Champion, former WWF/E Intercontinental Champion and former NWA World Heavyweight Champion. He is been inducted into the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling and to the WWE Hall of Fame in 2009 as well as to the NWA Hall of Fame in 2012.

"The Dragon's tropes will SCORCH YOUR BACK!":

  • Animal Motifs: Beginning in mid-eighties, of course.
  • Arch-Enemy: Sgt. Slaughter, "Magnificent" Don Muraco, "Macho Man" Randy Savage, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, Rick Rude, Ric Flair, "Stunning" Steve Austin and Chris Jericho.
  • Artistic License – Biology: What he took to the ring in order to fight back Damien in his match against Roberts wasn't a "Komodo Dragon", but a baby crocodile.
  • Bash Brothers: With Jay Youngblood, Paul Jones, Dustin Rhodes, Shane Douglas (pre-ECW, of course)
  • Beware the Nice Ones: This mild-mannered, soft spoken lifetime babyface manages to scare his heel opponents shitless. He's that good.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Steamboat is of mixed ascestry, having been born to an English father and a Japanese mother.
  • Captain Ersatz: Mortal Kombat Liu Kang... anyone? There's a very strong hint that he was based on The Dragon, to the point of actually transforming into one.
    • Starting with the franchise's second game, Liu's attire begun to be every time more similar to that worn by Ricky.
  • Combat Commentator: Served as one for the Pro Wrestling Syndicate
  • Deathbringer the Adorable: A man with the birth name Richard Blood was known as the kindest man in wrestling and spent his entire career as a face because he was too likeable to draw heat.
  • The Dragon: Subverted. Besides of being his moniker, he never have gave any indication that he was serving as "second-in-command" for any Big Bad.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Didn't use "The Dragon" Red Baron until his first WWF run, though he retained it for the rest of his career.
  • Enemy Mine: With The Prophecy vs The Second City Saints in Ring Of Honor. Then with the Second City Saints vs Generation Next. Then with Mick Foley vs The Carnage Crew.
  • Expy/Legacy Character: Of Sam Steamboat. Eddie Graham actually made him pass as his nephew.
  • Face: Spent his entire career as a good guy, which is almost unheard of in Professional Wrestling. TNA planned a storyline around his first-ever heel turn, basing it around Vince McMahon snubbing him years earlier, but Steamer never appeared on Impact again. (Smart man.)
    • He actually wanted to turn heel a few times, but bookers were unconvinced that he fans would buy him as a bad guy. He was reportedly told that even if he went out there with a chainsaw and sawed Hulk Hogan's arms off, the fans still wouldn't buy it. In fact, he's so likable that his real name (Richard Blood), an easy to use ring name, was changed to match his personality.
  • Finishing Move: Diving Crossbody.
  • Flanderization:
    • Originally nicknamed "The Dragon" due to his physical similarity to Bruce Lee.
    • When he came back in 1991, he became an anthropomorphic dragon who breathed fire.
  • Hope Spot: In American Pro Wrestling, this trope is most commonly referred to as "The Rule of the Baby Face", called later "The Law of Steamboat", after him. It states that even if all of your offensive power was completely ineffective, you'd always make sure to do something to at least let the people know you were still trying to win the match.
  • I Know Karate: Or Judo for that matter, only implied given his ring attire back in the day. note . Oddly enough, his ring style is more akin to a Masked Luchador than to your average martial artist.
  • Lighter and Softer: During his second run in the NWA after his stint in the WWF, he was well known for having his wife and son at ringside with him during his matches, portraying himself as a settled family man. This arguably worked against him, as the idea of the happily staid babyface was becoming passe in the early 90s and he spent most of his tenure feuding with Ric Flair, he of the fast cars and faster women, who despite being the heel had the far more entertaining gimmick.
  • Lightning Bruiser/Pint-Sized Powerhouse: At 5'10''/235 lbs. he was both incredibly agile and strong.
  • Martial Arts Headband: For show mostly when doing promos, he just wrestled with it on from '86 to '90.
  • Power Stable: in WWF:
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: In TNA, he was hired with the hopes he would be a reasonable one after a successive string of bad bosses and attempted company takeovers. He ended up being perhaps too nice.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: "Dragon", the theme he's used since returning in 2009, was originally used by the Último Dragón during his forgettable WWE run.
  • Retired Badass (In 2009, And How!)
  • The Reveal: Would often enter a territory as someone's unannounced tag team partner. Most notably, his classic 1989 series of matches with Ric Flair started when Steamboat (billed as "Mr. X") teamed with Eddie Gilbert against Flair and Windham at a TV taping. Flair's surprise at seeing his former archrival was a classic Nature Boy meltdown.
  • Ring Oldies: Wrestled up to the age of 56, though he took a 15-year break before then.
  • The Rival
    • His Wrestlemana III match with Randy Savage is still widely considered one of the best technical wrestling matches of all time, and was meticulously planned, spot to spot, by both men over the course of three months.
    • Ric Flair and Steamboat had a series of matches known as the "holy trilogy" both for how good they were and how much they drew in 1989. Of course, he and Ric Flair had feuded before that too.
    • To Mick Foley in Ring of Honor, on whether the promotion should be showcasing more "pure wrestling" or "Garbage Wrestling".
  • Signature Move: A LOT:
    • Several chop variants, prominently the Mongolian, Knife-edge and top-rope Overhead ones. Also kicks, being the Dropkick his most famous.
    • Atomic drop/roll over and Arm drag/armbar transition combos.
    • The Sleeper hold.
    • He also has a tendency to arch his back really high when he was dropped on it.
    • An evade called Skin the Cat, when flipped outside over the top-rope, gripping it hard both hands, and "slinking" back to the ring without touching the ground.
    • The maneuver that highlights amongst the others was his Elevated double chicken-wing, so unique to him even back in the day, that it's still a move you don't see too often outside the indy shows.
  • Still Got It: Steamboat made a return to active competition in 2009 when he feuded with Chris Jericho, facing him at Wrestlemania 25 and Backlash. And damn if he wasn't still able to impress and give Y2J a serious run for his money!
  • Summon Bigger Fish: He used his "Komodo Dragon" to chase off Jake Roberts and Damien.
  • Tag Team:
  • Take That!: He had an issue with Ron Killings in TNA, but when Ricky Steamboat tried to put Killings in his place, Ron Killings instead ran down Ricky Steamboat's WWF career and stated based on his wrestling ability alone Steamboat should have been WWF Champion but was held back for things he could not help.(basically, being an Asian man) In response to this, Steamboat gave Killings a shot at the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.
  • Underwear of Power: Before switching to long tights in the mid-1980's.
  • Worthy Opponent: CM Punk, Colt Cabana and Ace Steel, the Second City Saints. It did not start out that way, Punk trying to make history at Steamboat's expense but they eventually reach the point where they teamed up together against Generation Next in Ring Of Honor.
  • Wrestling Family: His brother Vic was also a professional wrestler. His son was a wrestler in WWE's developmental territory of FCW until a back injury forced him into early retirement.